I wrote a post last summer on my anxiety and depression. With the pandemic seemingly coming towards an end, it’s a great time for a check in. Here are the mental health check in questions I’ve been asking myself lately.
How are you doing?
Honestly? I’m doing pretty good. I haven’t felt that way the whole of the last year, but I can see a progression in my mental health over the last 2 months that is notable. It was like a switch flipped in April that changed my outlook on things. I still feel down every once in a while, but managing my anxiety is much easier when I’m feeling good.
What helps you feel better when you’re down?
Lately, working out! I recently joined a new gym (talked about here) and I’m loving it. As Elle Woods once expertly said “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy” (we don’t need the rest). I’m actively working out 4-6 days a week, eating well, and it’s been great. I don’t track calories or follow a specific diet per se, I just eat what I feel like eating and try to keep things proportionate. The exception to this is that I’m trying to increase my protein intake to help with workout recovery (I don’t know exactly if that’s how it works, talk to a professional if it’s something you’re looking to do).
How are you relaxing/de-stressing?
Giving myself mental breaks as I need them during the day to lay on the floor and meditate, stretch, or do a quick workout have been helpful. I give myself space and time to feel things, process things, and I have no regrets about it. If you need 15 minutes to yourself to process your feelings, do it. Treat yourself with the same respect you would if it were your best friend.
What are you looking forward to right now?
Two big things: re-watching Endgame for the 3rd time (5th time? Who’s counting?), and visiting my family now that everyone has been vaccinated. I haven’t had the family together like this in a year and a half and I’m THRILLED to be able to hug them again. One less-big thing but still exciting, I’ve been doing a pretty good job getting back into a fitness routine. I’ve started on a C25k (couch to 5k) plan to ease back into running safely.
What are things your friends and family can do to help you?
Asking for help isn’t always easy. There are times where expressing how I’m doing to the people close to me didn’t yield the support I wanted, and communication can be critical in getting the help you’re looking for. While I’m doing good, I don’t need a ton from my friends. When I’m down, I really need support (check ins on how I’m doing, plans to hang out and get me out of the house, etc). I’m still getting better at the asking for help element, but I work on it when I’m feeling good.
These are the things I ask myself whenever I’m doing a mental health check in. What works for you? Let us know in the comments!