The importance of checking in on yourself as a veteran

Life as a serviceperson can be far from peachy. Military hardships are extraordinarily distinct, both out in the field and during the transition home into everyday life, which means maintaining positive wellbeing and thinking may require a different approach than most.

So, where do you start? With yourself.

Today, we’ll be diving into the importance of a self-check-in: a personal evaluation and rumination on one’s energies, thoughts, feelings, moods and needs. For many veterans, it’s an independent and flexible way to reflect on yourself, in your own way and in your own time. It can be difficult at first, but as you begin to make it somewhat of a routine, it becomes easier to elucidate positive steps forward. 

The key components of an effective self check-in

In short, checking in on yourself involves making time to ask yourself how you are, and the team here at Deploi recommends carving out a moment of each day to do so. A revolving set of questions is a great way to approach it, with different avenues of reflection adapting to the way you’re feeling at that very moment. This begins with a few core questions which you can then branch out from.

Just remember: be honest with yourself!

Core questions

  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What do I think my body needs? Movement? Communication? Nourishment? Rest?
  • Who do I have in my corner?
  • Are there any repetitive thoughts going through my head? Are they positive? Negative? Confused?

If you’re feeling positive

  • How can I continue riding this wave?
  • Who can I share these feelings with?
  • Are there things I can forgive myself for? Or show forgiveness to?
  • How does my body feel at this moment?
  • What can I channel this energy into? Passions, hobbies, people, self-care?

If you’re feeling negative

  • Have I felt these feelings before? If so, what did I do well or not so well last time?
  • Who can I reach out to?
  • What is the most loving thing I can do for myself at this moment?
  • Am I acting on the things my body is telling me?
  • Which thoughts, people or feelings are no longer serving me positively? Can I let them go?

If you’re feeling confused

  • Can I extract any steadfast thoughts or feelings (positive or negative) to reflect on?
  • Is there something that is making me feel muddled?
  • Can I reach out to someone or something to help make sense of my thoughts?
  • Do I need to find or create a space that allows me to find clarity?
  • Is there a prevailing feeling that is stopping me truly exploring myself?

Beyond the questions

While a moment on the couch or in the park thinking to yourself is enough for many, combining this with other means of mindfulness may work even better for you. This could include:

  • Journaling: Processing your thoughts through writing may allow you to process your thoughts with more clarity. Some find it’s best to write and never read back, others connect with contentment by reflecting on their words at a later date.
  • Breathing and meditating: Taking a moment as you check-in to come to your breath and listen to your body can help you calm the mind. This way, you can articulate your feelings more easily.
  • Music: Soundtracking your inner journey can make the self-check-in process more rewarding, enjoyable and guided. Instrumental songs or albums are known to be most effective, as they let your thoughts wander without obstruction of vocals.
  • Reaching out: Try not to feel afraid of talking through your discoveries with your support network. This includes friends, family and military-adjacent initiatives like Deploi.

How can Deploi help?

Deploi is a healthtech platform for military personnel and their families that makes the self-check-in a natural part of the day. You can not only check-in with yourself, but your mates too. Note down those feelings and, with a few swipes, connect with military-adjacent support and a like-minded community built on shared experience.

Deploi was founded by veterans. We know that sometimes it may seem easier to neglect our inner thoughts and feelings and even check-in on others instead of pouring that care into ourselves. That’s why we’re innovating for the best for our community.

Solidarity in a positive journey forward – that’s what we’re all about.

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