When you’re in the process of recovery or even fully recovered from an eating disorder, addiction, mental health concern, etc, do you check in with yourself periodically? In grad school, we talked about the importance of checking in with our counseling clients to make sure we understand them accurately and to assess what they are thinking about us, their own progress, and our relationship as therapist/client. But it occurred to me today that “checking in” is a valuable tool for those of us in recovery or trying to maintain healthy and balanced lives. Think of it as looking at our personal barometer…is the pressure rising, falling, or remaining steady? Is our temperature (mood) rising, falling, oscillating or remaining steady? Are we walking around under (and conveying to others) sunny or cloudy skies?
When I did my own check in today, I discovered that despite having recently resumed a full-time work schedule, signed up for three counseling supervision sessions a month, and taken on more responsibilities at my church, I am still making time for exercise, dinners out, coffee with friends, and relaxation time for me. When the different areas of my life are in balance, it seems that my barometric pressure and temperature remain relatively steady. Brief periods of instability (like when I was ranting yesterday morning about a series of frustrating emails I had with a colleague), are just that: brief. Things can be kept in perspective and I can truly take my life one day, one moment at a time.
Do your own check in today. What are your pressure and temperature readings? What can you do to gain new perspective and put some aspects of your life back in balance? Remember to make your goals small and attainable. Then you can check in with yourself again in a week and see what’s different.
Peace, joy, and health!