The Traffic Light Check-In – A simple way to measure if you’re doing ok (and what might help if you’re not)

In some of my workshops I talk about a Traffic Light Check-In. This is a concept I first heard about from Françoise Mathieu in her workbook on Compassion Fatigue.

The way I use it today, is to help people measure how they’re feeling and whether or not it’s time to reset and recharge. As I explain in my classes though, ‘resilience’ isn’t keeping going no matter what (that’s endurance), and organisations have a responsibility to understand what systems, policies or culture might be impacting employee well-being. (This is why it’s so important to Mind Your Language). We can’t achieve well-being in isolation; it’s a much bigger picture than that. (I talk about the different pillars of wellness here).

However, if you personally want a place to start in terms of recognising your ‘early warning signs’ of when you’re not ok, I’ve given a brief overview below:

🟢 = All good, you’re sleeping and eating well, making time for movement (this doesn’t always have to be exercise, it could be a walk/gardening/even dancing round your kitchen) – you’ll be able to concentrate and engage with people when you want. You’ll be setting healthy goals and might even have a vision for the future.

Action: Keep doing what you’re doing! (Note: it’s just as important to engage in self-care when you’re doing well, as it is anywhere else. In fact, your self-care might be one of the reasons why you’re doing ok).

🟠 = Starting to notice some early warning signs, eg., poor night’s sleep, skipping meals, feeling edgy.  

Action: Start to engage in restorative acts of self-care which may include talking to people about sharing the load, or even the little things like changing your bedding and having an early night. Ironically the very things that can help us feel better (like eating healthy and regularly) tend to be the first things that go out of the window when we’re not ok. However, try if you can to stick to healthy routines that you know work for you.

🔴 = Feeling like you’re not coping, may have started using unhealthy coping strategies. It may be time to stop, reach in to sources of help (eg GP, Occupational Health, Employee Assistance Programme) and start to make more room for your well-being. It will be different for everyone, so don’t be put off by other people’s idea of what that might look like. There’s also a list of links that may be useful here.

You could also consider the Self-Care Check-In, which is in my book Answers In The Dark; have a look at the video that explains more here. Hope this helps.

Answers In The Dark is out now.

You might also like Monday Mojo™ – feel good motivation for the week ahead. © Delphi Ellis 2022

Published by Delphi Ellis

Therapeutic counsellor, well-being trainer and author working with grief and mental health, helping people get their sparkle back. Explores dreams on telly. Avid tea drinker. © Delphi Ellis - Helping You Sparkle™ 2006 - 21

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