Personal wellness check-ins are a necessary step towards a healthier, more mindful existence.
In the age of social media, personal wellness check-ins have become a common sight on our newsfeeds. Not only influencers, but also friends and family, now post updates about their mental states, physical well-being, and self-care routines, often accompanied by hashtags such as #SelfCareSunday or #MentalHealthMatters. While it's easy to dismiss these check-ins as a passing trend or a superficial display of self-care, they actually serve a vital purpose in promoting mental health and well-being. Awareness is the first step in taking action toward your mental health and well-being, but it shouldn't end there.
Personal wellness check-ins encourage self-reflection and self-awareness. In our fast-paced lives, it's all too easy to ignore our emotional, mental, and overall well-being needs. These check-ins provide a designated time and space for individuals to pause and assess how they are truly feeling. By acknowledging their emotions and well-being, people can identify areas that may require attention and take proactive steps toward self-care. This is the first step toward making long-term change; you can't change what you're not aware of.
Breaking the Stigma
Mental health has long been stigmatized, leading many to suffer in silence. Personal wellness check-ins challenge this stigma by normalizing discussions about mental health. When individuals openly share their experiences, struggles, and triumphs, it sends a powerful message that it's "okay not to be okay" sometimes. This can encourage others to seek help and support when needed, reducing the shame associated with mental health issues. Several of my clients — both men and women — have made massive leaps and transformations but still are reluctant to share their progress with their close friends and families. Fortunately, having an external outlet like working with a coach or therapist provides them a safe space to get the help they need if they can't find it within their support network. Slowly, one person at a time, they are realizing the value and importance of working with mental health professionals and starting to feel more comfortable about sharing their journey with others.
Building Support Networks and Meaningful Connections
Sharing your story and personal wellness journey also serves as a way to connect with others who may be experiencing similar challenges. It fosters a sense of community and support, allowing individuals to reach out to friends and loved ones for guidance and empathy. These connections can be invaluable for those going through difficult times, reinforcing the idea that they are not alone in their struggles and can spark deep, meaningful conversations. We all have good and bad days, and this is a reminder that those "perfect" images and personas on Instagram are not real. The more we share our real, authentic stories, the more we can create meaningful, authentic connections. Building meaningful connections is also one of the best things you can do for your mental health and well-being. Today, although we are more connected than ever through the internet, what we lack is deep, meaningful connections. In over 148 different studies, loneliness proved to have a negative impact on our overall health and is considered to be equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and decreasing our life expectancy by 50 percent.
For me, it's important that I share my own story and my past personal struggles with my mental health and well-being so that others know that even a Mindset and Well-being Coach has had their own struggles in the past. Someone out there may be struggling with similar issues, and my story is also an invitation to let them know that they're not alone and that my past does not define who I am today.
Self-care is more than just a buzzword; it's a crucial aspect of maintaining good mental health and well-being. Personal wellness check-ins often include descriptions of self-care routines, which serve as inspiration for others. When individuals see their peers prioritizing self-care, it encourages them to do the same. Whether it's taking a long bath, practicing mindfulness, or simply going for a walk, these small acts of self-care can have a significant impact on mental well-being. One of the things I always remind my clients is that your self-care routine is personal. What works for one person might not work for you — we are, in fact, all unique individual beings. While it is great to take inspiration from others, it's more important for you to educate yourself on understanding how the body works. For example, learning how to regulate your nervous system and moving your body is good for all of us — but there are dozens of different ways to do that, so take some time to experiment, get curious, and always make sure you're getting information from a credible source. Remember, one size does not fit all, so adjust it to you.
Another benefit of personal wellness check-ins is the ability to track one's mental health journey over time. By regularly documenting their emotional states and self-care efforts, individuals can gain insights into their patterns and progress. This can be particularly helpful for those undergoing therapy or seeking professional help, as it provides a tangible record of their mental health history.
One of the most important things to do is to set goals before you start a new wellness routine or program and also create mini milestones along the way. I always tell my clients it's not about the "BIG wins" but about all the "little wins" that lead up to the big wins; that's how it happens. So tracking the "big" and "little" wins is an important part of the journey.
From my work as a Wellness and Mindset Coach, it is clear that personal wellness check-ins are more than a social-media fad. They are a valuable tool for fostering self-awareness, breaking the stigma surrounding mental health, building support networks and meaningful connections, promoting self-care, and tracking progress. By embracing this practice, individuals can take meaningful steps toward prioritizing their mental health and well-being. So, the next time you see a personal check-in on your feed, consider it more important than mere digital noise, and maybe share a story or two about yourself.
This op-ed was written by Kai Simmonds, a Mindset & Wellbeing Coach and Speaker, dedicated to addressing and mitigating the impacts of burnout.