Five Things You Can Do To Check In With Your Mental Health

Managing your mental health is an everyday job, and for some of us, it's more difficult to manage than others. That's why checking in with my mental health is so important. I often forget to check in with my mental health, which can lead to some not-very-good outcomes, and sometimes I just forget to notice the signs that my mental health is slowly getting worse. So, here are five things that I do, and you can do too, to check in with your mental health.


Take note of how you've been feeling the past few days or weeks

How have you been feeling? It's okay to admit that you're struggling. When we check in with ourselves with this question it gives us time to reflect on our emotions, a chance for us to zoom both out, and in, on how we have been feeling. Are there things that you have picked up on? Were you a bit short and snappy whilst speaking to someone you usually enjoy the company of? Did you put off going for your usual walk? Have you left chores undone? These are all things that I check in with when I think my mental health is on the decline. Being snappy with people and ignoring tasks is usually a sign that you might want to check in with how you're really feeling and to give yourself some time to think about why you're feeling the way you do. Just noticing and acknowledging these feelings is a massive first step.


Go for a walk

Similar to the first tip, going for a walk can do wonders for checking in with how you're feeling. Not only is going for a walk a good way to check in with yourself but being outside in nature does wonders for your mental health. Here is a fantastic piece of research from The Mental Health Foundation about the many benefits of nature for your mental health:

Across multiple studies, researchers have found a fascinating link between access to green space, such as fields, forests, parks and gardens, and a reduced risk of mental health problems, improved mood, and increased life satisfaction. Other benefits include reduced stress, increased physical activity, and better physical health.

I'm lucky enough to live only a 20-minute walk from my local beach, and it's such a joy to see the sea. The walk down itself is lovely, but once I can see the glistening sea, everything seems to be better. I do often feel a sense of longing to see the sea if I haven't in a while. As someone who has always lived near the coast, it brings me such comfort to be near it. This is something that I definitely want to do more of, especially in the Winter, which is a time I feel that my mental health declines by quite a lot. A simple walk can do wonders.


Journal

Journaling is something that really centres me. There are a few different ways people journal - some like to just write down whatever is in their head, or what they've done that day, but I like to journal with prompts and questions, such as 'what would your perfect day look like?', or, 'what things have brought you joy today?'. I like to do this at the end of my day, as it gives me 10 minutes of calm and makes me reflect on what I've done and how I've been feeling. I made an Instagram Guide with some of my favourite journal prompts - I hope you can enjoy them too!


Notice how your surroundings make you feel

Have you noticed that your surroundings are putting you on edge? Do you feel like you just want to escape? Our surroundings can have a huge impact on our mental state. I notice that if my bedroom is getting messy, then I am usually quite irritable and short with my boyfriend. A messy room isn't a calming and peaceful room, and therefore I feel it stresses me out and makes me irritable. I usually notice this on the weekend, and I always try and make Sunday a cleaning and sorting day, so I feel calm and ready to face the week. As I live in a shared house, mine and my boyfriend's bedroom is the only space we have control over, so we try to make it as mess-free and calming as we can - adding plants, keeping it tidy, and as light and airy as we can.


Rest

Taking some time to rest is probably one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. We often go about our days rushing around that we can't actually see or feel how tired we truly are. Giving yourself some time, 10 minutes, an afternoon, or a whole day, to rest and recuperate can give you a sense of how you're really feeling and time to check in with yourself. Finding a quiet space for just five or ten minutes to sit and be is very powerful.



I know these seem like such little tasks, but sometimes it's the little things that really help. I hope you've found these tips useful. Please take care of your mental health.


Kayleigh x