"It’s common for us to schedule a routine visit to the doctor when we aren’t feeling our best, so it should be common for us to check in with our mental health to ensure that we are physically, mentally and emotionally in tune," writes author, expressive coach, and licensed social worker Minaa B. on a recent Instagram post.
It's true: a 2018 poll conducted by Well+Good found that of the 2,700 people surveyed, 95 percent struggle with stress and 92 percent struggle with anxiety. However, 20 percent had never shared their feelings about either because they believe such mental obstacles are no big deal. The daily grind has a way of distracting from the basic human need to take an emotional time-out. Now that mental health realness is the order of every day, caring for your brain should no longer be an afterthought.
Still, it's not always easy to separate yourself from a looming deadline or children who need your attention whenever your mental health comes calling. But these five questions (courtesy of Minaa B.) should be stashed in your back pocket for whenever that happens. A Q&A with your mental well-being isn't an indulgence—it's a necessity. Make an appointment to do it every single day.
5 mental health questions to ask yourself every day
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✨ mental health check-in ✨ — it’s common for us to schedule a routine visit to the doctor when we aren’t feeling our best, so it should be common for us to check in with our #mentalhealth to ensure that we are physically, mentally and emotionally in tune. did you know that when you are dealing with a mental illness like depression, trauma and anxiety, not only does it affect you mentally, but you can feel it in your body? for it manifests in ways like headaches + stomach aches, dizziness and more. did you know that what we put in our bodies can also affect our mental health. nutrition is important. but low appetite can also be signs of depression and other mental health concerns. so when was the last time you ate? are you tired? being sleep deprived doesn’t do our health any favors, it’s okay to rest. your mind is depending on it. overall there are small day-to-day things that we experience that can be easily overlooked and is impacting our mental health in major ways. so check on yourself. check on a friend. — ✨ affirmation: i am a priority, i am allowed to take care of myself.
A post shared by Minaa B. † (@minaa_b) on Aug 7, 2019 at 6:13am PDT
1. How am I feeling today (mentally and physically)?
"Did you know that when you are dealing with a mental illness like depression, trauma, and anxiety, not only does it affect you mentally, but you can feel it in your body? [It] manifests in ways like headaches, stomach aches, dizziness and more," writes Minaa B. You can be stressed without necessarily knowing it, so check for both mental and physical factors before moving about your day.
2. What's taking up the most of my headspace?
Work? Family? What's for dinner?
3. When did I last eat a whole meal?
"Nutrition is important, but low appetite can also be signs of depression and other mental health concerns," she writes.
4. Am I tired?
"Being sleep deprived doesn’t do our health any favors. It’s okay to rest. Your mind is depending on it," writes the coach. Since so many of us are TAAT (tired all the time), this question may be answered with an internal scream of "yes! absolutely!" In that case, clear your evening plans and make sleep the priority.
5. What will I engage in today that will bring me joy?
Previously, Minaa B. told Well+Good that she's not afraid to remove herself from a situation that does her mental health a disservice. This includes setting boundaries on the job. “I’m someone whose work has triggered anxiety and depression, and when that happens, I’m out of the door. I’m very firm with boundaries," she said. It's your right to do the same.
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