It’s been around five years since I’ve put to words what I’ve been feeling for most of my life. It’s been less that I’ve started working towards improving my life quality. I’m someone who suffers from anxiety and depression. I take medication, go to therapy, and all that stuff.
However, anyone who has problems with their mental health will be able to tell you that oftentimes these things aren’t enough. I’ve worked with my doctor to find out several ways to be able to help myself when the basics don’t work. What has helped me a great deal for the last few years is keeping a journal of sorts. It has sections for planner-type notes and important dates, but also has a section for my mood chart.
Here’s a chart I found from a simple Google search:
This is pretty similar to the one I have, removing the highs because it doesn’t apply to me personally. Now, there are many ways to do this. There are several apps that you can download and there are also some computer programs. I’ve tried a lot of those, but what seems to work for me is holding the paper and a pen and seeing things on a page being written down.
However you want to do it, I suggest trying to put in your schedule a few minutes to note down how you felt and some variables that may have contributed (caffeine level, hours of sleep, important events) to that. It’s helpful for both my doctor and me. For my doctor, she can see if there are specific patterns and advise me on certain activities. For me, I can see for myself if there’s something directly influencing my mood.
It’s very frustrating when I feel tired and I can’t seem to remember why, but sometimes, I look at my mood chart, see that I had stressful events recently, and it helps me rationalize why I’m feeling what I’m feeling. Furthermore, if I know what times or days of the week I’m more likely to feel more depressed, I can add activities like painting that could help or I could cordon off the day to spend time with myself. It’s very helpful for me and hopefully if you can find time to do it, it could be helpful for you too.
Share your thoughts with me in the comments, if you’d like.