A time to check in

Jess Henshall

It’s January, a time where life restarts after the madness of December, and the winter low begins to take hold. December is never a month of rest and relaxation, then its straight into January, work and the never-ending exhaustion of life. However much we convince ourselves we can get through another day, another week, another month without stopping, the quiet truth is that we can’t. We need time to check in with ourselves, to create a private zone of peace and quiet, and to just stop, before another month rolls by without taking time out to rest and look after ourselves. It’s never an easy task, sometimes stopping is harder than carrying on (in the short term). Stopping forces us to check in with ourselves, and that can release built up exhaustion, emotion and tension. This is often painful, but this pent-up mass of feeling has to come out somewhere, and when done in a controlled, calm environment it can transform the rest of your day, your week, your month. Here are a few suggestions on taking time out to refocus and relax, to make the transition from January into February, the dark winter months, more bearable.


January, however much the media pushes diets and exercise to transform your body, shouldn’t be a time of pressure or mass change. Focus on making small positive changes to connect with your body without the pressure of changing everything in one go.

  • go for a walk 
  • stretch
  • get outside
  • sit down with a warm drink


Sometimes to switch off and check in with ourselves, we have to balance the art of distraction with listening to our brain. If you suffer with anxiety then switching off can feel impossible when your brain won’t slow down, so distracting yourself with music, books and cooking or whatever suits you, can help to quiet the inner noise and allow you to slow down.

  • take a bath
  • reorganise your space
  • read
  • turn your phone off
  • listen to music 
  • have an early night
  • listen to a podcast
  • cook


Once you’ve managed to create a place of quiet both internally and externally, its time to work on maintaining a level of rest and regular checking in with yourself throughout the months to come. Meditating, journaling, listing and talking are all great ways to check in with yourself and reaffirm a positive way of thinking. 

  • meditate
  • keep a journal
  • light a candle
  • list the things your grateful for today
  • talk


Picture source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/332984966184534444/