The holiday season is a time to self-reflect. However, it is such a busy time of year that most of us don’t think about something like this. What, with all the parties, shopping, family, and finishing out the year the last thing most of us have time for is thinking about ourselves. I have people ask me what self-reflection is and what the point? So I thought I would explain what and why self-reflection.
Self-reflection is a way to evaluate your life or check in with yourself to see how you’re mental, physical, spiritual, relational, and social health is. There are more categories than this but most of these categories determine our overall contentment with life. Self-reflection does not take hours to do but it does take focus and time to think about life. Asking questions that may feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
So, here are steps to self-reflect. First, you need a space where you can be alone. You need some time where you won’t be disturbed. You can do this in increments of 15 or 20 minutes or you can take an hour. You also need to be able to write down answers to questions. So, you can use paper and pencil, or type a note on your phone. The next step is asking questions. Here is a list of questions to answer.
1 – How is my mental health? Do I get angry easily? Am I depressed often? Do I get overwhelmed? Do I have racing thoughts or negative thoughts? Do I compare myself to others or do I judge myself and others harshly?
2 – How is my physical health? Do I eat a good balanced diet? Do I eat when I feel depressed or anxious? Do I do some form of exercise at least 3 times weekly? Do I drink a lot of soda or alcohol? Do I use my medications as prescribed?
3 – How is my spiritual health? Do I get outside and enjoy nature? Do I give to others by being serviceable? Do I go to church or believe in something bigger than myself? Am I forgiving?
4 – How are my relationships? Do I lash out at the ones I love or family members? Am I holding any grudges with family members? Do I have high expectation of my loved ones and get angry when the expectations are not met? Do I give my family time?
5 – How is my social health? Do I support my friends? Do I gossip about others with friends? Do I hold grudges with past friends/spouses/partners? Do I get out and enjoy activities with friends? Do I drink or have to use a substance to have fun?
Some of these questions can be difficult to answer but learning to evaluate your life can give you the information you need to improve your life. We all make mistakes, take others for granted, get angry, feel judged or inadequate however self-reflection can help you determine how to let go, let it be, and move on.
During this holiday season take some time for yourself and find ways to improve your life.