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The Importance of Checking In

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

And it's not the hotel kind...

“We are a collection of busies with little time to really sit and think about how we feel, reflect on our emotions or build and develop our own creative dreams”- S Coventry

I find having free time to be quite frank, daunting and overwhelming. I am so used to filling my life with a million and one things including uni, cleaning my room (oh the repetitiveness of cleaning my room…), working, training at the gym, socializing, flicking through my phone or something else to pre-occupy my mind. Urban dictionary may even call it procrasta-cleaning or procrasta-eating.

It was not not until the previous summer holidays that I had 5 days off a week to stop, think, reflect and actually CHECK IN. It is not until now (August) have I realized the importance of sharing my reflections.

To be honest, it sent me into a spiral of playing emotional catch-up that disheveled and ungrounded me rather than allowing me to get a grip on what I wanted and how I am going to succeed at it.

For me, sitting and reading a book at home all day seems like the ultimate dream I never let become a reality. So I tested myself. At first, I routinely tried to fill the “boredom” with social catch-ups and running errands. THEN, I gave myself a challenge, not to make a single plan from Monday- Saturday.

First of all, I saved a ton of money by not eating out or buying food on the go (this consumes about 90% of my small weekly income). Monday was daunting. I found myself questioning 100 times what to do, was I bored, should I call a friend to hang out? It was amazing to acknowledge this deeply ingrained pattern I have of “keeping busy.” I sometimes feel like society creates this idea that if you are “super busy” all the time, then you must be successful. BUT is this really the case?

Sarah Wilson discusses in her book First we Make the Beast Beautiful how everyone wants more time yet what we really need is more space. Well. There you have it. This was my week to create more “space” and boy was it rattling. I rarely give myself the time or appreciation to slow down and essentially CHECK IN. It also occurred to me that my busy lifestyle is like that of nearly everyone around me. We are a collection of busies with little time to really sit and think about how we feel, reflect on our emotions or build and develop our own creative dreams.

During this week I cooked, listened to music, danced, read (FINALLY just sat down and read

without my phone distracting me), lay in the garden and stared into space, stretched and wrote. This time allowed me to grasp and acknowledge a wealth of buried emotions, thoughts and feelings.

Although it is uncomfortable, creating this space has allowed me to actively change and put strategies in place so I can create a more fulfilling life.

By the end of the week my cup was FULL! By coming into myself, taking the time to check in and having a little dig to find what I really want, the things that really make me happy, I am changing the way I want to live my life.

Allow yourself the opportunity to create that space and check in. Even if it is for 5 minutes a day. It will probably be uncomfortable, there will probably be many things that come up, but if you can try and sit, acknowledge, feel into them then you can gracefully let them go. I promise your life will be FULLER.

I am pledging to myself that even in the chaos of uni starting back and a jam packed routine, I will take a few minutes out of each day to create this space.Whether it is journaling, drawing, taking a bath, reading, lying in the grass, going for a walk, don’t be afraid to STOP, LOOK into yourself and CHECK IN.

It is within this space of feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable that amazing and transformative changes can occur!



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