“And how are you feeling emotionally?”
My massage therapist asked as she began to knead the knots in my calf muscles.
She’d already done a quick review of my physical health before I’d climbed on to the therapy table, and I’d easily answered her questions.
But emotionally? I was stumped!
“That’s a really good question! I don’t really know. Can I get back to you on that?!”
A seemingly simple question yet it really threw me. How was I feeling inside? I couldn’t remember the last time I’d stopped to check in with myself!
What is a Check In?
What does it even mean: to “check in”?
When we book into a hotel, we check in at the main desk. This little routine is about:
- Presence: letting your accommodation provider know that you are present;
- Access: receiving the key or access card to your room and all the facilities;
- Helpful Information: finding out more about the facilities on offer;
- Cost: and there is usually a discussion of cost, and how payment is to be made.
What a fabulous summary of the purpose of an emotional check in too!
How can we be more present in our everyday life?
Brisbane Psychologist and Executive Coach, Peter Doyle
explains: “Simple mindfulness activities can help us to focus our attention on the moment – for example, through yoga
, or sitting in the garden or verandah and feeling the warmth of the sun, noticing the fragrance of the plants nearby, listening to noise of the passing traffic.”
In my case, that massage helped me to bring my focus back to the moment - and by the end of my session I felt whole enough to finally answer the question: How was I doing, emotionally?
Checking in emotionally opens up access to every area of our being and helps us to tune into our needs again.
All too often we shut down the feedback from our body, mind, and soul, in the interests of just getting on with things. By emotionally checking in, we become more self-aware which provides us with helpful information that allows us to better nurture, love and care for ourselves.
An emotional check in helps us to realise the true cost of our life choices and routines. Is it a price we are willing to pay – for example, our sleep, our health? If not, it’s time to negotiate!
There’s a famous saying that our body is a temple; perhaps we should think of it as the accommodation for our soul. Instead of taking it for granted, let’s make a point of checking in regularly!
Based in Brisbane, Janet Camilleri submitted her first article to a magazine at the tender age of twelve (no, it wasn’t published). Since then however her work has appeared in dozens of print and digital publications. If you enjoyed this article, check out her blog Janetti Spaghetti!