We all talk to ourselves (you can admit it). From the moment we wake up, our internal voices start chattering away. Planning, directing, and always moving from one thing to the next.

And it’s not our fault. More so, it’s a consequence of the time we’re in and the demands of everyday life. As soon as I wake up, the first thing that comes to mind is “Hey…let’s send that email to…”, and the next thing I know, I’m back in bed and I’m thinking “Alright, if I wake up an hour earlier tomorrow, then I can maybe read this article before class…” Soon after, I pass out and dream about not doing whatever I should’ve done.

But don’t worry, talking to ourselves is good! Whether you’re a student, a professional, or a professional student, talking to ourselves is how we’re able to accomplish the three thousand things we have to get done on any given day.

The bad thing is that we can go day after day talking to ourselves, but can go weeks or longer without talking with ourselves. When was the last time that voice in your head didn’t bark your next directive, but actually checked in on you? How often do you get to center yourself and reflect?

I had to learn the hard way was that we, especially African Americans, often put our well-being on the back burner.

So hey, let’s try this the next night you go to bed. First, put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb.’ Then, take a few minutes to check-in and talk WITH yourself about the following:

Physical health

Life is hard, and time is money. Too often, we wait until something’s unbearably wrong before we seek medical attention. Before you go to bed, check in and ask yourself, “Hey, how do I feel right now? How did I feel today? That sore throat I had this morning — maybe I should look into getting some meds tomorrow?” It doesn’t take a doctor to know that the earlier you notice problems and seek help, the less pain you have to live with.


Yes, mood does mean mental health. We don’t always reflect on our moods and feelings, which could lead to so many problems that affect not only how we feel about ourselves, but how we treat others. Mental health is a concern in our community that we don’t talk about enough. Don’t go to bed without understanding what place you’re in, or else you risk ruining the next day before it even begins. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now? If I’m feeling good, why? If I’m not, then why not? How was I feeling through most of the day? Did I have an attitude at some point? What put me in a bad mood?”


We move on so quickly through the day, and we (especially me), forget to take stock of the things that went well. So, before you start making your next move, check-in and feel good about the things you did get right. “That talk I gave at the team meeting? BEASTED IT. That paper I just aced? WON’T HE DO IT?” There are also times when we have to give ourselves tough love. When I wake up, my main goal is to be the best version of myself. Needless to say, there are many times I fall short. And on those days, check-in with yourself. Not to dwell on those mistakes or start a cycle where you’re beating yourself up every night, but to reflect on why you couldn’t be the best you. Don’t focus on what you got wrong, but reflect on where it went wrong. Don’t make the same wrong turn twice.

Self-reflection can take many forms, and what’s so great about it is that it doesn’t have to look anything like this. The only important thing is that it does happen. A lot of us, regardless of our path, are experiencing stressors in our lives that those who came before us never had to deal with. I mean, you’re at least the first to have a Twitter account, or you’re at least the first to Milly Rock on your block (…never mind, after a moment of self-reflection, I take the Milly Rock part back. Your little cousin probably beat you to it). It only makes sense that we have to be more vigilant in taking care of ourselves.

So, say ‘hey’ to yourself every now and then, OK?

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