What do you need in this moment?
What do you need in this moment? When was the last time you asked yourself this important question? When was the last time you sat still, closed your eyes, took a long smooth breath in and out through your nose, and thought “What do I need at this exact moment in time?”
My guess is that it’s been a while. Living through a pandemic means that most of us are constantly projecting our awareness outwards. From daily announcements of new COVID 19 cases, to constantly assessing risk vs. benefit. From environmental and social crisis to financial stress and social distancing. 2020 has been a doozy.
We are on high alert. We are consuming information and acting on it at a record pace. We are constantly assessing our environment for risk in a way that most of us have never had to do. It is a necessity, but it is also taking a toll. The constant looking outwards may be coming at the cost of feeling cut off from our inner environment.
I realized that this was the case for me a few days ago. Deep in internet research I did just this. Closed my eyes, took a breath, and checked in. And here is what I found. I was thirsty. I was tired. I needed a break from the news. I needed cozy socks and a fiction novel. I needed an old university hoodie and early 2000s romcom movies. I needed quiet. I needed to stretch out on a yoga mat, soften each part of my body, and do nothing but breathe. I needed rest. Here is the rub, had I not stopped to check in, I would have pushed myself through my day anyway. But, because I took that brief moment of presence, I was able to have the self-awareness to put my phone away, drink a glass of water and take a hot shower.
This is the medicine. Presence and connection with self. Tuning into the moment and honoring our needs. This is the ultimate act of self-care. It is also an act of generosity. Because we can’t show up for others, make our best decisions, and do our most meaningful work when we are running on empty, with dysregulated nervous systems, too much coffee and not enough sleep.
The hardest part about doing a check in? Remembering to do it! Here are some suggestions to help you incorporate this self-awareness practice into your day.
Begin your day with journaling! Record your feelings and what you feel you need in the moment and / or on that specific day.
Honor the transitions. Pause, breathe and reflect any time you are, for example, getting out of your car.
Wear a bracelet that you associate with checking in. Every time you notice the bracelet, take a few moments to ask yourself what you need in the moment.
Use water as a cue! Commit to self-reflection every time you pour a glass of water, or every time you take a shower or bath.
Set a notification! If you are a smartphone kind of person, set a notification with something like “Hey you! How are you feeling right now? Is there anything you need to do to practice self care?”