10 Second Body, Mind, and Heart Check-in

Across the United States, we bring awareness to Mental Health throughout the month of May. Mental Health Awareness Month assists with bringing awareness to fighting the stigma and normalizing our need to take care of our mental health.

For this Mental Health Awareness Month, I invite you all to take a “10-second break” to acknowledge our body, mind, and heart.

Check-In with Your Body

We immediately go into autopilot as we start our day-brushing our teeth, getting dressed, and heading out to work. Then at work, we start with our daily duties. Sometimes mindlessly typing, eating fast, and going from one task to another without a break. There may be very few times when we acknowledge how our body feels up until it’s time to use the restroom or when we feel those hunger cues. You might notice once the routine is winding down that you are experiencing muscle pain, pulsing feet and/or hands, and all sorts of aches. That is when we acknowledge those body sensations. However, our bodies communicate with us throughout the day, we just need to take time to listen. A check-in with your body helps to recognize these body signals.

Practice taking a “10-second check-in” by:

-Wiggling your fingers and toes.

-Moving your head side to side.

-Acknowledging your steps or seated position.

-Slowing chewing when eating or drinking your water.

-Pausing and scanning each part of your body and noticing if tension is present.

-Taking a deep breath in and exhaling with a sigh.

-Thanking your body for all that it is doing.

Check-In with Your Mind

Similar to how our body moves us to complete our daily life activities, our minds control our entire being. We use our minds to think, do, and speak. At the moment, our minds are so focused on finishing the tasks and the endless to-do list waiting for us after work. It doesn’t take time to acknowledge its surroundings. The mind goes from one thought to the other. It becomes too easy to spiral leading into our sleep time. Even then, sometimes our minds are so busy that during bedtime we might still be thinking about tomorrow’s to-do list. However, our minds also communicate to us throughout the day that it needs a break. Engaging in a check-in can aid to begin practicing mindful techniques to balance those thoughts.

Practice taking a “10-second check-in” by:

-Stopping the activity you’re engaged in.

-Acknowledging your thoughts and give them 5 more seconds.

-Grounding yourself using your senses (touch, taste, smell, hear, and sight)

-Imagine and describe your favorite and/or safe place.

-Massaging your temples.

-Taking a deep breath in and exhaling with a sigh.

-Thanking your mind for all that it is doing.

Check-in with your Heart

Lastly, our heart. By heart, I will be referring to our social-emotional well-being. Throughout our day, we are constantly interacting with others and engaging in different activities. As our day moves along, we participate in work-related conversations or small talk. We give out our energy during these interactions and tasks. Therefore, our hearts can feel unsatisfied, depleted, or overwhelmed by the output of energy. Just like our body and mind, our heart communicates with us to let us know what we need to feel fulfilled. Checking in with your heart (social-emotional) can begin to aid in recognizing what you need in your day to day.

Practice taking a “10-second check-in” by:

-Acknowledging your emotions.

-Holding space for the present emotion.

-Reflecting on the purpose of the present emotion.

-Ask your heart what it needs (e.g., need for a break, talk to a friend, family, etc.).

-Being kind to yourself using positive or neutral words.

-Setting boundaries to protect your energy.

-Taking a deep breath in and exhaling with a sigh.

-Thanking your heart for all that it is doing.

Setting time or space for yourself can be difficult especially when it is a busy day. Acknowledging that mental health plays a role in our daily life is even harder. Particularly, with the stigma around mental health. May’s Mental Health Awareness Month reminds us that we all need some time for ourselves. Our body, mind, and heart are all connected. We need to provide space for each part to create a balance within our body. Feel free to use the “10-second check-in” as a tool to aid with your daily life activities. Also, notice when it’s time to consider getting professional care. Therapy may help to assist in providing the additional care you may need.

Remember to be kind to yourself and prioritize your mental health because you matter!

Seek Support if Needed

If you are experiencing deep depression or feeling overwhelmed, please know that help is always here for you at ECDA. El Centro de Amistad translated into English means The Friendship Center— aptly named for those seeking help and support to build a sense of connection and community and to improve their mental health. ECDA has an array of resources available; If you would like to speak to a professional, please give us a call at (818) 898-0223 to speak to our Intake team and schedule your appointment.

Article written by Alexis Saray Cabrera, MA, AMFT, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist