6 Questions To Help You Evaluate Your Mental Health Situation

If you have been reading The Introvert Archive for a while you will recall me talking about the highs and lows of depression- how there is never just a flat line, your depressive state is constantly fluctuating. You have good days, you have bad days, you have average days, and then sometimes those days will last for months before boom you get hit with a bad day. That isn't science or anything like that, I haven't looked it up and found the research- there could be some I have no idea, I have just found this to be the case in my nearly six years of dealing with mental health issues.

If you follow the TIA Instagram (if not you should be @theintrovertarchive) you will see both through y feed and though some of my stories that I have been in struggle town in regards to mental health as of late. In the last few weeks I think I have had one just complete breakdown with tears and screaming into my pillow, one day where I just couldn't bring myself to get out of my bed (it was like a high school days throwback) and two anxiety attacks- one happened while I was asleep and I woke up mid way through and the other I was conscious for the whole thing and man I kind of wish I wasn't.

Now let me tell you about a new thing that happened today, now I haven't had this happen before, ever and usually would just throw it away, pretend it didn't happen and certainly not tell anyone about it, especially not put it on the internet. BUT we are all family here and I always try to be as open as possible in regards to mental health because I love how much other people find comfort in knowing they aren't weird or strange for going through the same things. Get to the point Elyssa- what happened today?

So, most Sundays I like to spend the day chilling out and then end the day with a run, just to clear my head after the weekend and rid of the sluggish feelings that come along with doing not a whole lot for the day. The first kilometre of my run today told me it was going to be a run/walk day, I could barely pick my feet up off the ground to actually run and when I would start running I just couldn't do it, I stopped and walked like three times in that first kilometre. I accepted what was going to be not a personal best effort and that was that. AND THEN I got to around the 2.5km mark which thank goodness was out of town, because I just started bawling my eyes out. Not just a few tears, I am talking ugly crying with sobbing noises while I was actually running. I was confused, mortified and I was seriously thinking "what the fuck is going on? Why the hell am I even crying right now." I think I have concluded that I am beyond physically and mentally exhausted from the past few weeks- from being not okay but putting on a face that I was fine, from continually pushing myself, from putting way too much on my plate, from so many different things. I think my body used me running and not thinking about too much at all as the time to let me know its time to sort some shit out in regards to what is going on in my head and to slow the hell down.

Now is the time to stop and evaluate what its going, what I am doing, how I can get back on to the track that goes up instead of heading back towards rock bottom. I want to talk about the questions you can ask yourself to preform this evaluation if you find yourself in this position. I think that evaluating your current state and situation is so, so important.

  • Do I like the current mental state that I am in? Do I find enjoyment in being in this state? How good would it be if we could do a Marie Kondo on our mental states, like "that does not spark joy- get rid of it and give me a new and improved one." It, however is not that easy. You have to look at your frame of mind currently and determine if you're happy how you are, you're enjoying your mental state or if it needs improvement and you need to make changes. 
  • Who do I spend my time with? The people that you spend your time with and you are around a lot have such a huge impact on your mental state, you need to take a step back and evaluate those people. Are you spending your time with people who bring you up and have a positive effect on you and your mental state? Or are you spending time with people who drag you down and inflict negativity on you and your mental health.
  • How am I feeling about myself? Are you looking after yourself? You've already evaluated how you are feeling about your mental state, but how are you feeling about yourself as a whole human being? Are you loving yourself? Are you accepting of how you look? Are you feeding your body nutritious and nourishing foods? Are you taking the time to rest and relax? Are you doing more of the things that bring you enjoyment?
  • What habits and hobbies do I have currently? Do they serve me well? While down the rabbit hole of mental health issues it can be easy to fall into new habits, and sometimes that can be bad ones. Evaluate the habits and hobbies you are doing at the moment- are they good for you? Do they make you happy? If not why are you doing them? Is it time to get rid of them?
  • How do I feel about my current life position? Take a look at where you are in life as a whole? Are you smashing goals? Are you in a plateau? Are you happy with your job? Where you are living? Are you struggling financially? Evaluate those things and then determine what you can do to improve that position you are in- ways you can save more money, is it possible to move house? 
  • What makes me happy? THIS IS SUCH A HARD ONE- I can tell your right now, this question makes me think and think pretty bloody hard. You know that you feel happy sometimes, but can you pin point why that makes you happy? My favourite this it to list what has made me happy during the day and reflect on it at the end of the week- try it. 
I have given you six questions to evaluate your mental health situation, of course there is so many other things you can ask yourself to do this, so many different aspects of life and such that you can look at and think "how is this affecting my mental health?" If you have other suggestions, feel free to comment them below- you never know who could benefit from you sharing.

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