We are more than half way into the year, and that means it's time for a mental health check in! Just like you would schedule a doctor's appointment, your mental health should be a priority as well. Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body, and this is a perfect time to do a check in with yourself, see how you're really doing and assess if something needs to be done.
Here are some Mental Health check in questions to ask yourself that can help you to reflect:
1. How have I been feeling lately?
Everything in our lives effects the way we feel and if we are not checking in with ourselves, our mental health can take a big hit. We are sometimes on "auto-pilot" with work/school, social lives and personal lives that it can be tough to take a break and see if we are really doing okay. Make some time, over the next week or so, to really ask yourself "How am I doing?"
A good old feelings wheel can help you out too! Created by Dr. Gloria Willcox, the feelings wheel is a colorful wheel (or black and white) with emotion adjectives on it. You can scan the wheel to discover what adjective best describes your state and then allow that understanding to empower how you want to meet the moment.
2. What has been going on in my life that might be affecting my mental health?
Has anything changed in your life? Have you started a new job or at a new school? Have you lost anyone in some way? Are your interpersonal relationships going well? Anything and everything can effect how you are doing and whether you determine them to be "big" or "small", you could always receive some support around it. Taking note of how things are impacting you is something that a mental health therapist can help you with if you find that you are unsure.
3. What do I need to do to take care of myself mentally and emotionally?
This can sometimes be a tough question to answer so spending sometime reflecting on what would meet your emotional needs would be beneficial. Perhaps it's a conversation with someone or maybe some time alone to decompress; if you are having difficulty answering this question, it might be time to reach out to a counselor.
4. What can I do to reduce stress and promote relaxation?
A daily routine can help in reducing work/school-related stress, as well as, using a planner or "to-do" list; this can help make things more manageable. Adding in self-care throughout the week and breaks throughout the day, allows us some much needed relaxation time.
If you are struggling with things outside of work/school, carving out time for yourself is even more important. We can't "fix" anything in our lives, if are not at a full optimal capacity ourselves. Incorporating your "go-to" self-care activity more often throughout the week can be helpful too.
5. What are some coping mechanisms I can use if I'm feeling overwhelmed or down?
Mindfulness and meditation are great skills to incorporate if you are feeling overwhelmed, these skills can help you slow down and take a break throughout the day. If you are feeling down, you can spend some time doing your favorite activity or hanging out with your favorite people (which could also be yourself!). Take some time to write down your thoughts and how you feel to release some tension and create awareness.
As stated before, practicing self-care weekly, if not, daily, is very important. Self-care helps us maintain a sense of balance and stability; it shoudn't only be used when we are feeling burnt out.
6. Who can I talk to if I'm struggling with my mental health?
Try reaching out to a trusted friend or family member for some support. If you feel that you need more, please reach out to us at Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling, we are happy to help!
Answering these questions honestly will give you a good idea of where you stand mentally, and what you can do to improve your mental health. Remember, you are not alone in this! There are many resources available to help you if you're struggling, so don't hesitate to reach out for the help that you deserve. Taking care of your mental health is vital to living a happy and healthy life, so make it a priority this summer!
Stephanie Polizzi is a licensed mental health counselor at Peaceful Living Mental Health Counseling.