We’ve shifted our approach for schools from “check-in” to “self-reflection”. This change is driven by the recognition that true emotional health comes from within, and that relying on others for support and feedback can only take us so far.
The concept of "checking in" involves sharing our feelings with others and seeking their validation, support, or advice. This can be beneficial in some cases, as it allows us to gain perspective on our emotions and receive feedback from others. However, it also has its limitations, particularly in a school setting:
- Schools don’t always have the resources to check in with every student individually and respond/support their wellbeing.
- When we rely too heavily on others for emotional support, we risk becoming dependent on them and losing touch with our own emotional resources.
Self-reflection, on the other hand, is about becoming self-aware of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours so we can make positive changes. It involves taking the time to examine our feelings, motivations, and reactions, and developing strategies to manage them effectively. It’s a more powerful tool for personal growth and development than a ‘check-in’ is.
Why the shift
The shift towards self-reflection is driven by a number of factors. Firstly, it acknowledges the fact that emotional health is a personal responsibility, and that true healing can only come from within. Secondly, it recognises that seeking validation and support from others can be a short-term solution, but sustainable long term change is driven by the individual. Finally, self-reflection is empowering, it allows us to take control of our wellbeing and identify positive changes in our lives.
Reflection alone isn’t enough
While self-reflection is a powerful tool for growth and development, it’s not enough to make lasting change in our lives. It is important to identify what actions we need to take to improve and then follow through on those actions. In the end, the purpose of self-reflection is to make a positive change at the end of it, be it to a particular thought process or habit we have developed. When we take action and see progress, we feel more confident in our ability to make changes in our lives. We feel more in control of our present and future.
Using Skodel to self reflect and take action
There are many ways to practice self-reflection, such as journaling, meditation, or simply taking a few minutes each day to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. You could do it right now if you’d like:
- Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can be alone with your thoughts. It could be a private room, a park bench, or any other place where you feel at ease.
- Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Focus on your breath and let your mind quiet down.
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- How am I feeling right now? Am I happy, sad, stressed, or anxious? Is there anything in my life contributing to this?
- Have I been taking care of myself lately? Have I been eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly?
- Have I been spending time doing things that I enjoy, or have I been feeling overwhelmed by work or other responsibilities?
- Have I been connecting with friends and loved ones, or have I been feeling isolated or lonely?
- Take a few minutes to reflect on your answers. Be honest with yourself and try not to judge your feelings or experiences. Simply observe and acknowledge them.
- Identify one or two small things you can do to improve your wellbeing right now. It could be something as simple as taking a walk, calling a friend, or taking a few deep breaths.
- Finally, commit to taking action on your self-reflection. Write down your plan and follow through with it as soon as possible. Remember that even small changes can have significant impacts over the long term.
Skodel is essentially a platform that guides users through the self-reflection process. It describes feelings you might be experiencing, suggests potential underlying feelings e.g. behind anger might lie rejection, fear, being controlled or others, and pushes relevant action steps for you from psychologists based on the feelings/situations you describe. Users can add and track actions on their plan and trigger reminders to keep on track. Importantly, it captures data on all of this so leaders can report on wellbeing, celebrate wellbeing in the community and target resources accordingly.
The impact so far?
We recently asked over 1,000 Skodel users what impact Skodel has had on their wellbeing. 87% said it has had a 'very positive' impact on their wellbeing. And since launching the new planning tool and suggested action steps last week, over 1,000 students have created their personalised plan and over 150 interactive coaching sessions have been completed.