Here’s an opportunity to check-in for basic self-care needs.
We all know the standard American greeting: “Hi, How are you?”
“Fine. And you?”
My husband has taken a new tact, and though it can bring a little discomfort, I love it. When he asks and I give the “standard greeting”, he responds with how he truly is.
“I’m a bit tired today and have a crick in my neck. I feel accomplished because I got so much done and I think I need a nap.”
He then asks me, “So, how are you really?”
This gentle re-asking of the question is a loving nudge to check in on my own basic self-care. And I know two things:
1. He is truly asking how I am. He Cares.
2. It’s time to check in – How am I? Really? And what do I need?
Checking into our emotions can be a vulnerable experience. Admitting how we truly feel can sometimes be daunting. I have often heard of childhoods where emotions were frowned upon. Parents expected a more even-keel emotional range. Sometimes parents have no idea how to deal with the tears, they were uncomfortable and the parent didn’t know how to “fix” the issue. Other times the joy was too much and the child was labeled as obnoxious, yet the child was expressing their emotions the only way they knew how at that moment.
Being asked how I truly am, and the asker being genuine is uncharted, and sometimes uncomfortable, territory for me. I shy away from admitting I may need something or be less than fabulous in this given moment.
“How are you, Really?” is an opportunity for me to check in with myself.
How do I feel?
What is honestly going on for me?
This gentle reminder of his love and willingness to engage me is so beautiful I have added it to my conversations with people.
I was recently talking with a friend having a very challenging time. I asked her how she was and she told me how all the things around her were going. “Well, I talked to this person and got that moved along, this is still stuck and that is still a total mess. So, I’m making progress and stuck at the same time.”
My response was,” Thanks for letting me know how things are. And, how are YOU?” This gave her pause, A moment to think and do a self-check.
How am I?
This gentle re-ask of the age-old question gives us an opportunity to truly connect with each other. Break down a wall and move out of the automated response.
When was the last time you took a pause and checked in? Are you going through life on autopilot?
In these challenging and ever-changing times, the need for connection and understanding is greater. Compassion and the knowledge we are NOT alone in our sadness, anger, fear or joy, bridge a gap and reminds us we are all in this together. This is the beginning of basic self-care.
The rallying cry of “social distancing” leaves many of us missing our connection to each other. I ask for a change of vocabulary. Let’s call it “Healthy Distancing” and keep the social aspect positive and caring. Let’s take the opportunity to show love and concern, share in joy and accomplishments and break down barriers. The camaraderie soothes the fear of being alone and sharing burdens makes them feel a little lighter.
Let us take a moment to truly check-in, be honest with how we feel, and connect in moments of vulnerability and strength.
I pray for #healthydistancing while maintaining closeness with those we love. Be social by talking, emailing, calling, texting. Share your strengths, fears, and burdens, and let’s get through this together.
Connection with loved ones meets a basic self-care need which will encourage more healing around the globe. And right now, nurturing ourselves is paramount for survival. Our immune systems work better when we respond to our needs; eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, enjoy the sunshine, and move your body. Give yourself some love.
I pray for heartfelt love and interactions. I pray for genuine connectedness. I pray for moments to check in with ourselves and truly feel where we are.
And if you need someone, I pray you reach out for support, love, and encouragement to make it through another day.