I love this diffinition of “Awareness as the state of being conscious of something. More specifically, it is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel, or to be cognizant of events.”
Mental health awareness week is often framed as an opportunity to learn about and understand what mental health is perhaps to understand others and what they are going through better. But what about understanding ourselves.
For many of us we are not even aware of our own mental health. So what can we do to help understand our own mental health.
When we think of physical health if we were asked how do we measure it most people could real off a list of things, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, mobility, eye sight, BMI, hydration, iron levels the list goes on. But when we asked how do you measure your mental health the answer is much more difficult. So here are a few suggestions.
Measure your happiness
Sounds like an odd one but if we measured our happiness every day what would we find?
Would you be happier at weekends or perhaps when your on work days, would your happiness be fairly static or fluctuate with time. Would you be happier in the spring and summer than the winter.
A level of happiness is very subjective but that is ok, if you are the only person assessing it and it is your own level of happiness. Consider simply scoring out of ten every day how happy you felt. Look for patterns, declines or consistently low numbers.
Are you productive?
When our mental health is suffering we can often become under or on occasion over productive. Measure your to do list, is it manageable or overwhelming? Do you consistently manage to progress a sensible amount of actions? Are there things on your to do list that you are avoiding.
Are you sleeping well?
Sometimes a lack a sleep can impact our mental health and sometimes it is the other way around. You can get lots of great apps to monitor sleep or you could simply keep a sleep log. A lack of sleep, insomnia, broken sleep can all be a potential measure of mental well-being.
Use tools to measure your mental health
There are lots of tools out there that can help measure things like your level of depression and anxiety for example this NHS list of questions might provide an indication of where you might be on the scale of depression or anxiety. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/depression-anxiety-self-assessment-quiz/
Awaken your awareness of your own mental health
The first step to owning your mental health is being aware of it. Just remember that mental health is something we all have. At times many us will struggle. If you find yourself in a difficult period there is always help and you should never just accept this as the way things are.
Don’t forget follow The Happy Path for more tips and inspiration to live your happiest live.