Whenever there’s a change in seasons, I tend to get introspective. To me, autumn in particular always feels like one chapter ending and another beginning. Maybe it has something to do with the change in sunlight, the temperature fluctuating, or the trees shedding their leaves and getting ready for their wintery slumber, but it feels like a time for new starts and plans for the next four months.
Someone introduced me to the idea of “self check-ins” a year or two ago. It took me a while to stop resisting the idea, but checking in with myself has become a bit of a personal tradition for whenever the seasons shift. It’s a very easy practice in mindfulness.
I tend to ask a lot of questions in general, so it’s only fitting that my version of checking in with myself involves asking myself questions.
–Q: How am I feeling right now?
-A: Alright, but a little nervous about taking on a hefty, full-time course load after being a part-time student.
–Q: What am I grateful for?
-A: Cooler weather, but also how nice complete strangers can be sometimes. I’m also incredibly grateful for the amazing learning experiences I had over the summer.
–Q: Where am I at, in terms of my personal goals? [My big goal for this year was de-cluttering my room]
-A: I recently learned that textiles can be recycled and I have set aside a bag of holey socks for recycling. It might be worth pushing myself a bit harder in terms of this project, so that I have a less cluttered space for the rest of the academic year.
–Q: What do I want right now?
-A: I want to spend as much time outside as possible. I also want to make sure that I have a really great final year at UofT.
–Q: What’s bothering me, and how can I change this?
-A: Nervousness about life post-graduation. I’m continually telling myself to go with the flow and that it’s about the journey and not the destination.
There are probably a million ways to check in with yourself. Maybe you write all this down in a journal or on a whiteboard. Or maybe you vocalize it somehow. Some people probably draw or make things.
Let me know how you check in with yourself in the comments! And if you feel like sharing, I’d love to hear about your goals, wants, things you’re grateful for, feelings, and bothers.