It doesn’t have to reach the extreme point of roaming around wearing holey shoes. Slow down, take a deep breath, and ask yourself "What do I need?"
After all, drastic times call for drastic measures.
It was 2010, my senior year in high school. Cheer practice was let out and my sore thighs managed to get me home. Luckily my location was less than 5 minutes away.
I arrived at my doorstep in a rush. At that moment all I could fantasize was a hot bath mixed with Epsom salt.
"Don’t enter the house with your shoes on, your attracting dirt! Leave the world outside."
The sound of my mother's voice startled me. Girl, as quick as a flash I placed my white cheer sneakers right on the shoe rack.
A low conditioned shoe stood out to me, now this was way before the infamous phrase "What are Those." I made the assumption my mom invited a guest over, but she never mentioned someone was coming over.
I did a double take and realized these shoes looked oh so familiar.
As I examined the sandal, I noticed holes.
At that point, I was freaking out. I had tons of questions and flashbacks began to arise on the way to my bedroom.
In the living room, I remember witnessing my mom dozing off at 2 a.m. with a hot glue in her hand.
In the kitchen, I saw my mom juggling cooking for Buddhist members and responding to clients request. Now remind you she ignored her stomach growls and signs of sleep deprivation.
The list goes on, but at this point, you get the idea. Momma was running on E.
I adopted the duty of being my mother's vocal self-care check-in system. It went a little something like this:
Did you drink water?
Did you eat?
Did you get enough rest?
How are you feeling?
A loving and caring heart was never questioned. Yet, I concluded that it's spiritually impossible to enjoy the process of creating joy for others if you're not taking care of your basic needs.
Alright, Sis. Maybe you're a parent. Or you work in an environment with a constant deadline, and somehow your team relies on you to wear a superwoman cape to save the day.
Inhale and exhale right now. Take a moment, to be honest with yourself. Try to avoid self-critical judgment.
In the past week have you caught yourself saying these statements:
- It has to be perfect or I won't do it at all
- I’ll take care of my needs once they are happy
- I can handle it on my own
- I don’t want to be perceived as weak
Keep in mind self-care is a skill which must be taught, implemented, and incorporated into daily rituals.
Whether if you're at work, or on the go, you can use this impactful tool to check with in to determine your needs.
The self-care check-in
1. Ask yourself, what do I need right now?
-Get some fresh air on a walk
-Listen to a motivational video or read your favorite quote
-Take a mental break by coloring a worksheet
2. Have I taken care of my basic needs?
On a hectic day, it's easy to skip meals and ignore our water intake.
The basic needs for survival are pretty apparent but at times is overlooked. Some examples are food, water, and breathing.
Simply ask yourself:
Am I thirsty, how much water did I drink so far?
Did I eat lunch?
Do I need to practice a breathing exercise ( You can download the mindfulness workbook to help guide you through a 4,7,8 breathing technique.)
3. Is there anything upsetting or bothering me right now?
Inside one of my favorite books, Emotional Agility by Dr. Susan David, she stressed the importance of viewing emotions as data, not facts.
It's okay to feel anger, it’s okay to feel sadness, it’s okay to feel happy.
Slow down to analyze your feelings and ask why are they showing up in your life right now.
Remember, you deserve to take time out of your day to pause and check in with yourself to figure out your needs.
Please feel free to share this post with a friend or colleague who could use a self-care check-in. They'll thank you for it!