What It Means To Check In With Yourself And 27 Questions For More Self-Awareness

Wanting to grow personally is a beautiful thing.

But constantly striving to do more, be more, and have more can take a toll on your mind, body, and soul.

That’s why checking in with yourself is so important.

It allows you to focus on where you are and how you feel to better achieve all those other things.

Let’s review what checking in means, the benefits of doing so, how to and how often, and we’ll provide you with questions to check in with yourself

What Does It Mean To Check In With Yourself?

You are so busy these days with a ton of obligations to both yourself and others. Work, school, friends, family, appointments, meetings. 

Your to-do list seems never to end. It’s so easy to go through the motions without really paying attention to what happens and why or how it affects you. 

You likely put others’ needs before your own, worrying about how life affects them and ignoring your own well-being. Or maybe you keep busy, so you don’t have to face your thoughts and feelings.

When you check in with yourself, you exercise your mind. Like moving your body has many benefits, checking in with yourself protects your heart and mind.

Checking in with yourself is taking time to honor your feelings and understand them. It allows you to process and manage your emotions, find ways to change what you can control, and deal with what you can’t. It allows you to heal. 

Regular self-check-ins are an effective way to:

  • Sort through your emotions
  • Assess your needs and decide how to address them
  • Notice how your body feels
  • Monitor your moods
  • Notice the physical aspects of your well-being
  • Guage your mental and emotional status
  • Evaluate the amount and quality of sleep you get
  • Show yourself kindness, grace, and compassion
  • Connect with yourself

What Are The Benefits of Checking in With Yourself?

It can be tempting to push your emotions aside. It might feel easier to ignore them than to face them and deal with what arises.

But disregarding what’s going on inside of you limits your ability to care for yourself and others. It’s critical to fill your own cup before you can pour into others.

While this vital act of self-care goes a long way, you should note that taking care of your mental health doesn’t mean you won’t have challenging moments or never feel down. 

But checking in helps you better cope with those struggles, allowing you to be there for yourself and those you care about.

A few of the many benefits of self-check-ins:

  • Boost your mood and energy. When you understand how you feel and why you can do things to address it and feel better. 
  • Improve your relationship with yourself and others. When you feel down or overwhelmed, it takes a toll on your relationships. Addressing your stressors allows you to be happier and, in turn, betters how you respond to yourself and others. 
  • Improve your productivity. It can be difficult to get things done when you have a lot on your mind. Sorting through what’s happening inside of you frees up brain space to focus on the things you want to accomplish. 
  • Understand your environmental and situational triggers. Knowing what makes you feel good allows you to do or get more of that, and recognizing what brings you down can help you learn how to respond. It builds resiliency and helps you manage your emotions. 

How to Check In With Yourself 

There’s no right or wrong way to check in. Explore whatever comes up with curiosity and refrain from judgment.

Consider why you’re experiencing those thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative. Notice how it shows up in your body, and allow yourself to feel it without trying to change it.

Here are a few ways to check in with yourself. Find what makes you most comfortable and just do it.

  • Ask yourself questions. Use this time to be authentic and truthful. After all, if you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with?
  • Journal. Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts and feelings out uncensored. It helps you track patterns in your moods and how events or actions, both positive and negative, affect you. Writing it down helps you process your stressors and find solutions.
  • Meditate. There are many benefits of sitting alone with your thoughts and focusing on your breath. It helps you relax, relieve stress and anxiety, and release past hurt and trauma.
  • Make it a habit. When you make it part of your routine, you’re less likely to forget to do it when life’s stressors come at you. Stack it with something you already do, like right after your workout or before plugging your phone in at night. Designate a calm, quiet space and time.
  • Create reminders. Put post-it notes on your bathroom mirror or the fridge. Schedule it on your calendar. Or set the alarm on your phone. 
  • Accountability partner. It’s up to you how much you share, but consider enlisting a friend or family member to help you remember to check in. You can do the same for them.
  • Express yourself constructively. Checking in can bring up strong emotions that can be uncomfortable and difficult to face. Let it out. Cry, walk, vent to someone you trust. 

How Often Should I Check In with Myself? 

You check your phone notifications, the time, and the weather regularly. But when was the last time you tuned into yourself?

writing a daily journal entry check in with yourself

Finding large blocks of time in your already busy schedule may sound daunting, but there’s no need to stress yourself further. Start small and build from there. 

Just as there’s no right or wrong way how to check in, there’s not a defined schedule to do so either. It depends on what’s going on in your life and the emotions that arise.

Take as long or as little as you need or have time for. Even a minute or two will help tremendously. 

As a best practice, check in at least daily, if not throughout the day. The more stressed or anxious you feel, the more you’ll benefit from checking in often.

27 Questions To Check In With Yourself

Tailor your check-ins to coincide with when you do it. If you do it at night, reflect on how your day went. If it’s in the morning, consider what’s on your plate and how you will approach your day.

Use these questions to get started. Choose the ones that resonate with you.

Self Check-In Questions

These self-check-in questions allow you to focus on the most important person in your life, YOU.

1. Are my actions reflecting my values and beliefs?

When you feel shame, embarrassment, or discontent, it’s often because your behaviors don’t align with what’s important to you. Understanding when what you do isn’t consistent with what you believe, or value allows you to adjust accordingly.

2. How am I feeling about myself today?

Some days you feel like you have it all together, and on others, not so much. Are you giving yourself credit for all your greatness or beating yourself up for your mistakes or things outside of your control?

3. What will I do to feel good today?

Approaching your day with intention is powerful. What can you do to uplift and empower yourself? What activities can you do? What can you eliminate that brings you down?

4. How can I love myself today?

Find ways to show yourself love and appreciation – whether it’s taking a personal day off of work, going shopping, sleeping in, going out for lunch solo, or something else.

5. What action or quality can I appreciate about myself?

Regardless of where you are or what you’re feeling, you, without a doubt, have some awesome qualities that need to be acknowledged. Toot your horn and celebrate yourself.

6. Is this something I can do on my own, or do I need help?

It is 100% okay to need help. Be honest with yourself about your abilities. If you can do the thing by yourself, great. If not, who can you lean on to ease the burden?

Emotional Check-In Questions

Your emotions play a vital role in your overall happiness. Ask yourself these questions to understand what you feel and why.

7. When was the last time I felt truly happy?

Figure out what makes you happy and do more of it. You can’t avoid everything you don’t like, but you can most definitely bring yourself more joy on purpose. 

8. How am I feeling right now?

Do you feel sad? Angry? Frustrated? Scared? Happy? Excited? Grateful? Let yourself feel it and try to identify the root cause of those feelings. 

9. What am I grateful for?

It’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong. But when you express gratitude for what’s going well, you’ll notice more of it.

This powerful practice helps change your perspective. 

10. How are my emotions affecting my behaviors?

Sometimes simply noticing how your actions are affected by your emotions is enough. It allows you to show yourself grace and compassion. 

11. What do I need to heal?

There’s a good chance you’ve experienced pain and trauma in your life. What can you do to process and heal yourself?

man rethinking of life choices check in with yourself

12. Am I surrounding myself with people who energize me?

The people you spend time with affect your moods and feeling. Positivity begets more positivity.

Negativity begets more negativity. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not bring you down. 

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Mindfulness Check-In Questions

It’s easy to focus on what was or is to be. Mindfulness is about being in the moment and noticing what is happening in and around you.

13. What does my body need right now? 

Conduct a body scan and notice things like pain or tension. Then determine what you need to deal with what you feel. A nap? A workout? A healthy snack? Now act on it.

14. What is taking up a lot of my head space right now?

When your mind is preoccupied, it’s challenging to focus on what you need to do. Sometimes getting it out allows you to focus on more productive things. 

15. What am I holding onto that would benefit me to let go?

Holding on to things that don’t serve you only brings you down. Identify any harmful behaviors, negative thought patterns, or toxic relationships and let them go. 

16. Where am I hurting right now?

Identifying your ailments allows you to properly address them, whether they are physical, mental, or emotional. Dealing with even the smallest of stressors gives you a more positive outlook. 

17. What do I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel right now?

Involve as many senses as possible to bring your attention to the present. Try to identify at least one thing in each area. 

Wellness Check-In Questions

Questions about well-being are a great way to figure out what makes you feel good and what brings you down.

18. What healthy habits can I adopt to feel better?

What can you do differently to maximize your well-being? Can you get up 15 minutes earlier to go for a walk or meditate? What about going to bed half an hour earlier to ensure you’re getting enough sleep?

19. How can I be kind to myself today?

Look, it’s easy to beat yourself up and remind yourself of the things you don’t like. Pretend a friend is in the same boat and treat yourself the way you would treat them. 

20. What is making me feel down, and is there anything I can do about it?

Everyone has down days, some more frequently than others. Identify what has you feeling that way and determine if you can do something to change it or if you just need to accept it.

21. Am I taking care of myself the way I know I should?

You likely know that exercising and eating well are essential parts of health. Are you doing the things you know you should do?

22. When was the last time I made time for self-care?

You can’t effectively care for the important people in your life until you take care of yourself. Make time regularly for self-care. 

Mental Health Check-In Questions

It’s okay not to be okay. These mental health questions allow you to assess and address why that might be.

23. What feelings am I ignoring?

Ignoring your feelings might seem to work short-term. But in reality, pushing them away makes them stronger. 

woman thinking of something check in with yourself

24. What did I do well recently?

Whether you completed a task, helped someone, or showed yourself kindness, give yourself credit. Celebrate your small wins to feel good and motivate yourself to keep going. 

25. Who can I count on to support and encourage me?

You need a circle of folks that make you feel validated and important. Identify those people in your life and lean on them when you need to. 

26. What can I forgive myself or others for?

Forgiveness is powerful. What have you been holding against yourself or others that you can move on from?

27. Are there any boundaries I can put in place to honor my own needs?

It’s not about controlling other people, but setting and honoring boundaries allows you to care for yourself.

The bottom line is you deserve to take time for yourself and live your best life. Do yourself a favor and start now by checking in with yourself to garner more self-awareness. There’s no time like the present!

Self-awareness is essential in figuring out what you need and want in every moment of your life. Learn how to check in with yourself with these questions.

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