The Wisdom of Self Check-IN
There is so much going on in the world right now it is hard to stay balanced, joyful and calm. When one is feeling “off” (anxious, irritable, frustrated, angry, sad, panic, reactive, exhausted) it is important to run through a mental check list to see what these feelings may be a result of so that we can more quickly get back to a more stable, balanced state. There are so many things that can determine how we “feel.” We survive in the intersections of our own physiology and mental/ emotional/ spiritual states. Since we live as part of a greater whole, we are also “at the affect” of people we are in relationship with, our communities, and our nations, indeed, a collective consciousness (meaning we are affected by these things). We are also at the affect of our earth, our weather, and many would argue our solar system. Since many of us are very sensitive, it is important to check into all of these systems when we feel something is “off” in ourselves.
Here is a simple check-IN list to naturally restore balance and understanding for what it is to be you in the moment. I hope you feel it to be IN-powering!
1. What emotion/feeling am I experiencing right now? (happy, sad, scared, angry, confused, etc)________________________________________________________
How is my body doing? ________________________________________________
3. When was the last time I ate? (blood sugar is so important! Eat a combination of a protein, fat and carbohydrate every 2-3 hours)_______________________________
4. How did I sleep last night?_____________________________________________
5. Where am I in my menstrual cycle (women often are more sensitive/variable in the luteal phase, the two weeks before you get your cycle)? _________________________
6. Am I just exhausted? (so much of our problem is FATIGUE!) If so, how can I rest today? _________________________________________________________________________
7. Why am I exhausted? _______________________________________________________________
a. Lack of sleep? __________________________________
b. Have I been running in fight or flight mode and my adrenal glands/stress response system is depleted? ______________________________________________
c. How is my thyroid? Is it low? (am I gaining weight, losing hair, feeling depressed, constipated and overwhelmed?) If you have a history of thyroid disorder, please get your TSH tested at least! We can do this at our office for under $20 and you can order your own testing through Direct Labs. _____________________________________________________________
d. Stress Level (1-10, 10 is high)__________________________________
8. What are my main stressors in this moment? _________________________________________________________________________
9. Do I have any control over these stressors? _________________________________________________________________________
10. How can I better my own reaction to these stressors if I have no control over them?____________________________________________________________________
If you go through your own system and realize that everything is fine, but you still feel “off” (example: I slept well, just ate, and just had a great weekend, why do I feel panic?) then examine---
What am I “at the affect of?”
This can merely be collective. Things outside of your control that you are affected by. Like when you wake up in a panic for no apparent reason then later in the day realize why you had the panic in your system when you see news headlines, find out the stars shifted, that there was a massacre somewhere in the world, or that someone you know just had a tragedy. The more attention you pay to yourself, the more you realize the collective really does influence you as you will become more and more aware that you are part of a unified whole. It is like in Star Wars, where the Jedi Masters say, “I feel a disturbance in the force.” That is real!
Obviously we are “at the affect” of our partner’s, children’s, family’s and friend’s wellness. When someone is having a hard time that you care about, it is hard to stay balanced and well ourselves. My tools for dealing with this are to remember that I don’t have to “fix” everything. Indeed, it is rather presumptuous to think I know what is best and to try to “fix” things towards that end. Also, I remember that it is important to be “in relationship with” but not “responsible for” (obviously we are responsible our young children and for ourselves/our own actions which if we stay aware of we should be more pleasant to be around). Finally, I turn towards trying to trust and have faith. Whatever your belief system, I think we can mostly agree that we are part of an interconnected whole of which we are expressions of. There is a love/divine, which is the undercurrent of this wholeness, and in that love things tend to be exactly right, even if we only get that 20/20 vision in hindsight.
Remember, things may draw your attention for a reason. If you wake up thinking about politics, global warming, a friend, an “enemy” there may be something you can do about it. Since we are all webbed, merely paying attention and offering love/prayer you have a way you can help the situation. The Tibetan Buddhists have a Meta-Meditation (loving kindness) and that is something that can actually create great change. Repeat, “may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be happy, may all beings be free.” The Hawaiians developed the Ho’oponopono prayer, which also really changes the entergetics of the situation. Repeat, “I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.” You will be amazed at how bringing this transparency to a situation diffuses the stress immediately.
It is helpful to feel connected to a unified whole. To feel the undercurrent of love and light in our world that Creation is reaching out to you as you reflect it and embody it. I stay reminded of this by paying attention to synchronicities and signs. Synchronicities are merely things that you realize are not random, but are really a gift. Signs for me are more like rainbows, seeing the clock at 3:33, 4:44 etc. It is important what you pay attention to, because what you pay attention to gets anchored in your being and becomes a reality. I encourage you to pay attention to what is life-enhancing and what supports life. Don’t feel guilty if you ignore that which is life-defeating or goes against life (like the news!) You can notice them, but seek out/share the stories of hope and progressive forward movement if you want to have that life-enhancing, hopeful, unified reality to be the dominant one.
Weather can also really influence your moods. Track your feelings seasonally and see if you are really one of those people that dip in the winter, etc. If so, get your Vitamin D levels checked and I would recommend getting a general blood panel. Physiology really does affect mood! If your Vitamin D levels are low and your B vitamins are low it is hard to be “happy.”
You can start tracking yourself with this simple tracker
1. Today (at this moment) I feel_____________________
2. My energy levels is _________ out of 10 (10 being the best)
3. I slept _________ out of 10 (10 being the best)
4. What did I eat today? (avoid much caffeine, sugar, simple carbohydrates and ALL trans fats) ________________________________________________________________________
5. What times did I eat? (eat every 2-3 hours if you are the typical person who runs low blood sugar/hypoglycemic) _______________________________________________________________________
6. When was the last time I had my thyroid and or thyroid medication checked? ____________
7. Are there any known disturbances in the field?____________________________
8. Is there anything I can do about these disturbances or do I just need to put intention there/pray/trust? ______________________________________________________________________
The Importance of Rest and Sleep
Don’t underestimate the importance of rest! It is recommended that you sleep 7-8 hours a night (at least) and more if stress is high. Try to be asleep by 10-10:30pm for the most regenerating sleep. Remember your organs, hormones, and stress response system gets rejuvenated during the night.
If you are having trouble falling asleep, consider changing your bedtime routine. “Sleep hygiene” is real and there is much information online (which I have a difficult time following personally!) Make sure you catch yourself before you get a second wind that can keep you awake past a healthy bedtime!
If you have trouble staying asleep that could indicate a problem with your blood sugar or adrenal glands (stress response system).
1. Try eating a good snack (protein/fat/carbohydrate) before bed (whole milk yogurt and some homemade granola, a handful of nuts with raisins, cheese and a ½ apple, etc. For more information on blood sugar refer to my hand out on hypoglycemia. Going twelve or more hours between meals is too much!
2. If you try the snack before bed and you are still waking in middle of the night, especially if it is between 2-4am and your mind is “busy” or “racing” that is likely due to a dysregulated adrenal system. Please refer to the Adrenal Health articles on my website or Dr. Aviva Romm has great info on her website and a book on it!
3. I keep an adrenal calming natural lotion on my nightstand and use it if I wake in the middle of the night (AdrenaCalm from Apex Energetics available at our office) and after using it within 10-15 minutes I usually take a deep breath and feel peaceful again, which helps me better fall back to sleep. If you try AdrenaCalm or an equivalent natural remedy and it does not work for you, you may need to use melatonin to re-train your system.
4. I personally love the NeuroScience product Ultra Kavanase PM which is melatonin and neurotransmitter support. It works fabulously and we have been successful in getting people off Ambien with it. Remember, melatonin is in a dance with cortisol, when one is up the other is down. So when you take melatonin you are interfering with that dance and it is not a solution, just a way to get enough rest to reset your cortisol rhythm so that you can sleep without the help of sleep-aids.