For most of us, taking care of our mental health is an afterthought.
We schedule doctor’s appointments and physical check-ups, but how many of us take the time to monitor our mental state?
Just like our physical health, our mental health fluctuates day to day, week to week, and even month to month.
By keeping tabs on our mental health, we can catch problems early and hopefully avoid them all together.
Here are a few tips for monitoring your mental health
1. Check in with yourself regularly
Make it a habit to stop and ask yourself how you’re feeling both mentally and physically.
If you’re not used to checking in with yourself, it may feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become.
You can ask yourself general questions like “How am I feeling today?” or get specific by inquiring about particular areas of concern such as “Do I have any anxiety about work today?” Checking in with yourself gives you a starting point to begin monitoring your mental state.
2. Keep a journal
Journaling is a great way to keep track of your thoughts and feelings over time. The act of writing down your thoughts can help you clarify them and perhaps even find solutions to whatever is bothering you.
Additionally, re-reading old entries can help put your current situation into perspective and remind you that whatever you’re going through is not permanent.
You may also want to consider using a Mood Tracker along with your journal.
A Mood Tracker is simply a chart where you track your mood on a regular basis (daily, weekly, etc.). This can be helpful in spotting patterns in your mood swings which can then be addressed accordingly.
3. Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling
It can be difficult to talk about our mental health because we don’t want to appear weak or crazy. But opening up to someone we trust—whether it’s a family member, friend, therapist, or even a support group—can be extremely therapeutic.
Talking openly and honestly about our feelings is one of the best ways to gain insight into what we’re dealing with and start working toward feeling better.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet we often neglect to monitor our state of mind.
By checking in with ourselves regularly, keeping a journal, and talking to someone we trust about our feelings, we can begin to get a handle on our mental state and make strides toward improved mental health.