Dangers of Checking Out: Remaining Present During Stressful Times


As a mom it’s a little too easy to put our self care at the end of our to do list when we see everything else we need to do. It’s also easy to forget that there is a person under the mom title. As responsibilities grow they can bring overwhelming feelings or stress causing a complete shut down or my version of that, checking out. I don’t mean leaving the hotel room but it’s very similar to this topic.

Checking out means not being present with right now. Feelings are often numb, days are just passing by doing the things that need done without a real check in on how one feels on the inside. Going through the motions but not really being aware. Have you taken on too much work and are having a tough time balancing work and life? Or have you suffered emotional trauma that you feel you cannot deal with because the show must go on?  They are both precursors to checking out. We often pride ourselves on the multi tasking ingrained in our lives, as we should. However, this type of multi tasking can be dangerous because it may seem efficient in the forefront, however the tail end doesn’t measure out well. 

Examples of checking out are; avoiding responsibilities altogether, not checking emails, being out of tune with finances, noticing relationship changes, and self sabotaging actions. It’s different for everyone as we all go through different situations. I can always tell I’ve checked out when my emails build up or I notice a late fee because I wasn’t aware of the dates. During a deeper checkout I completely let my goals fall tho the wayside and allow self sabotaging actions such as procrastination and believing in self doubt to keep me from furthering living in my purpose. It normally doesn’t last long but they are very noticeable in the bumps of life.

Walk away with these insights to keep you in the present and avoid checking out in your life.

  • Can you fix it now or will it take time? If it can’t be fixed now let it go. A lot of my stress comes from worrying about things that never happened. There’s no need to hold onto things you can’t control. Save all your energy for what’s in front of you at this moment.
  • Do you know what your schedule looks like tomorrow? I often felt overwhelmed prior to carrying a planner because I never knew what my day looked like. Invest in a planner and start mapping out your life so you don’t feel like it’s just going by. 
  • Is your to-do list daunting? Break it up into small chunks. Making a huge list of things to do looks more intimidating than inspiring. Applaud yourself for everything you check off. 

  • Ground yourself in the moment. Make a technique to ground you in busy times to avoid getting overwhelmed. I’ve learned taking five deep breaths and saying five things I’m grateful for calms any negative feelings trying to arise. Tapping into to all your senses; sight, sound, smell, touch, and or taste will help bring you into the present moment.
  • Practicing self care regularly. Take those two minutes to follow through on your skin care regimen. Or make one if you haven’t had one before. Meditate, read, whatever makes you happy. Always remember to take care of you in some way.

While we all need to check out sometime from life’s daily tasks, it’s best that they come by choice, not out of the blue due to circumstances. I’ve experienced both and still use the insights above to get me through stressful times. Don’t let things overwhelm you and take away from the precious moment you have now. Share for a loved one going through a rough patch, you never know who needs it.