by Stefanie | 10.08.21
October is a month of transition. There’s a bit of a chill in the air, our swimsuits head into hibernation and pumpkin spice takes center stage in ridiculous abundance. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the December holiday season, we’re pretty much booked for the rest of the year. That is why October is the perfect time to press the pause button and take stock of your current situation.
We’ve talked before about the importance of self-care and the dangers of burn-out, and even given some strategies to help figure out ways to shift some of the focus away from others and onto yourself. You know that checking in with yourself is important but can also be overwhelming; one more thing to fit into your already busy schedule. So we’ve put together five simple questions you can ask yourself at the end of each day to help you listen to your body and your needs.
- what two emotions do I feel the most at this moment?
- how did I take care of my body today?
- what are three things I am happy with today?
- am I letting things that are out of my control stress me out?
- how can I be kind to myself tomorrow?
Keep reading to see why these questions are so important.
what two emotions do I feel the most at this moment?
This is an important question to ask yourself daily because the answer will always be different. Learning to acknowledge all of our emotions, whether positive or negative, allows us to process and move forward. Resist the urge to suppress and ignore what you’re feeling because though you may be successful in the short term, these emotions will ALWAYS come back until they are resolved.
how did I take care of my body today?
It is a lot easier to beat ourselves up than build ourselves up.. Maybe we planned to exercise but it didn’t happen. Or maybe we were going to avoid carbs, but had pizza for lunch. We tend to focus on the things that didn’t go as planned. But take a moment to think about the things you DID do for your body today. Give yourself props for drinking all that water or eating breakfast even though you were running late. Taking care of your body isn’t about going to extremes.
what are three things I am happy with today?
Try to be specific with this one. What three things are you happy with today? Get down and dirty with your daily happenings, like the fact that you took 10,000 steps, got to cuddle with your best friend’s cat, saw a beautiful sunset, or watched your favorite movie. No matter how small or insignificant it seems, acknowledge the things that make you smile each day. Your positive thoughts will help kick any lingering negativity to the curb, which is especially helpful right before you go to sleep.
am I letting things that are out of my control stress me out?
For most of us, it's been a tough couple of years. Between Covid, climate change, and the abysmal state of politics in the US, it’s easy to get bowled over by feelings of pessimism and anxiety. Take deep breaths and remind yourself that no one individual can tackle these issues. Focus on what you can actually do to improve things for yourself. Instead of giving yourself insomnia worrying about the excessive amount of trash in our oceans, take purposeful steps such as cutting out plastic or buying sustainably-sourced seafood.
how can I be kind to myself tomorrow?
Right before you go to sleep, come up with a few easy ways you can be kind to yourself in the days ahead. Get a manicure, go for a walk, get together with a friend for dinner - whatever you need to get your endorphins flowing. And remember, this is about what works for you. If your friends want to go camping but you’d rather lick a subway pole, be kind to yourself and decline.
Sometimes putting your needs first and saying no is the kindest thing of all.
Use these five questions as an experiment. Make a point to ask and answer them each evening for the month of October. You may find that your mood improves and your stress level goes down, just by checking in with yourself in real time. The worst that can happen is you miss out on five minutes of social media scrolling. And really, that in and of itself is a major win.