Hey beautiful, I'm just checking in....
Hey you! Yes, YOU! The Beautiful woman (or handsome man) reading this post. Let’s check-in and see how you are doing… Mentally and emotionally. Maybe even physically! When I started my journey to better health and achieving self-love and self-worth, I was in a bad place mentally. I didn’t take care of myself, because I was too busy taking care of everything and everyone else. But you can’t do that, and continue to function… For this post, I want to focus on doing personal mental health check-ins and tips to boost your mental state if you are having a bad day. I also created a printout you can use to do your mental check-ins.
When you do a mental health check-in, it’s important that you are honest with yourself. There is no way for you to be healthy or get better at managing your mental health if you lie. Remember that everyone struggles. Some of us more than others, but we don’t need to feel like we are less than others because we struggle harder, or it SEEMS like we struggle harder. We often see the Hollywood reel of one another and we forget the behind-the-scenes is rarely beautiful for anyone. It’s easy to get caught up in the glam and glitz of other’s achievements and stories, but do you post your bad days? If you do- GOOD FOR YOU! If you don’t, that’s totally okay! Just don’t be afraid to own your trials. They shape you into who you are and who you will become. How you handle those struggles- determines the outcome and ability to move forward if the outcome is less than what you had hoped. Take time to self-assess and work towards stable mental health and you will be stronger through your trials! I promise!
Onward to the self-check!
How are you feeling today? Right now, in this moment…. Awful… okay… great?! Determine where you stand emotionally. This is your baseline, and controls the whole rest of the assessment, so be brutally honest, but not TOO hard on yourself. It’s okay if you feel awful… It’s also awesome if you feel great! Next, you wanna label yourself… WAIT! What?!? Label myself? Isn’t labeling bad?… Well, that depends. Are you using labels to judge someone, then YES! It’s bad… are you using labels to determine your mental state? Then NO! It’s a key part of your self-assessment!
Are you happy, feeling lazy, overwhelmed, sad, anxious?… See labeling yourself will help you determine patterns in your mental health. As you go back and look at your check-ins, you can see that you often feel HAPPY, so maybe there is more to look forward to than you tell yourself…. Or maybe you feel anxious a lot… Now you can look at your days and see if there is a pattern to what makes you feel anxious and address that. Label away, sister! Become a label maker and go crazy! But only if it’s in regards to your mental health!
Let’s check your sleep habits… Have you been sleeping well? How many hours are you getting? Do you feel rested when you wake up? Do you have energy? How about water intake? Do you know how much water YOU personally should drink in a day? I require a minimum of 82 oz a day. But that’s determined by my height, weight, and health goals… I want to lose a few pounds… so my water intake requirements are different than someone who is taller and or thinner than I am. You can easily look it up and see how much water you should have a day. Did you get enough? Let’s not forget exercise…
Oh, the dreaded exercise… Often when someone is struggling with their mental health, their exercise routine is nonexistent. Here is a little tip… even if it’s vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning up a room… that’s physical activity. Two birds with one stone… Keep yourself from staying stagnant too long. Moving gets your blood going, exercise gives endorphins and both of those things can boost your mood and productivity. Walk in place while you watch your favorite tv shows at night. Get your chores done at a minimum. Walk your dog, throw a ball back and forth with your kid. Walk around the block maybe… It doesn’t have to be an intense workout… just move! Tracking this in the check-in can also help you determine if your mood improves with exercise or not. Establishing patterns to help us stay out of negative cycles. See where this is going and how it’s all tied together?
Last two steps of your check-in… Set 3 daily goals… They can be small to start, then get more courageous and challenge yourself a little. I really encourage small easy to achieve goals until you consistently complete the goals you set… It’s easy to get discouraged and give up if you set the bar too high… It helps you maintain your trajectory to start low and slowly speed up to a higher altitude. Lastly, list at LEAST 5 things you are thankful for. Mix it up and don’t do the same things every day… I challenge myself by trying to get as many different things as possible without recycling the ones I’ve previously listed. Some days it's as silly as “I’m thankful my pinky nail grew out and matches the rest of my nails”… Other days it’s deeper and more spiritual like “ I am thankful my God acknowledged me today when my kids were quicker to obey today….” I had been praying for patience with my kids or understanding from my kids… They were quick to listen and do what they were asked and I felt HEARD.
It does not matter what you are thankful for… It doesn’t need to be profound and it can be simple. Maybe you are grateful for a keychain that reminds you of better times. Maybe you are thankful you have your favorite pen today. Whatever you are grateful for- write it down… It makes a difference. I have a gratitude journal page available for download too if you wanna make a bigger habit out of it. I noticed a BIG difference when I started being thankful. We even do a family version at the dinner table and if I forget to initiate it the second I sit at the table, one or all of my kids jump in to say “Okay Mom, What are you thankful for today!?” That’s what I am thankful for… Kids who keep me accountable and thankful!
Lastly, I wanna share with you a few of these things to boost your mental state if it’s a bummer day.
-eat less sugar
-Go for a walk
-talk with a friend or therapist
-make a longer gratitude list
-connect with your higher power
-put your phone away for a while
-take a hiatus from social media
-establish a better bedtime routine
-find some sun! Indoor or outdoor exposure works… But outdoor is better!
-keep a journal or log of your feelings.
-TAKE A DEEP BREATH (or 12….)
Why do I care about mental health check-ins? We have lost too many people to suicide, drugs and alcohol abuse, self-harm, and sexual degradation due to their mental health… Make YOUR mental Health a Priority! Because Mama, YOU are worth it! Don’t forget to check in daily! It’s important! Share it with your friends and your daughters. Even your sons and husbands, because let's face it… Mental Health doesn’t discriminate. It attacks everyone. Stay grounded, stay in tune, and take action. Together we can rise from our mental instability and make it through another day. Together we can beat mental health!