When I was writing the post on knowing your triggers, it occurred to me that though I had a checklist for how to overcome bad days or how to know something is triggering me or that I need to make some shift in my daily routine to sleep better, etc. I didn’t have a checklist for good days.

But why do I need such a checklist?

Well, usually, it’s my body that tells me I have been neglecting my mental health. When I used to work in an office, I would fall ill often – a normal cold cough – but it would happen often. One day I asked my body what the hell was happening and it told me: I don’t want to go to work. I was making myself sick so I could avoid going to work. Thankfully, it wasn’t the people or the environment that was a problem. But the workplace lacked intellectual stimulation so I wanted to stay home where I could read or go to my library or exercise.

So any disturbance or pain is my body’s call for help. And knowing what you look and feel like when you’re at statis not only gives you a benchmark that’s based on you, it also tells you what you need to do to fix things.

For example, my body’s way of getting my attention are headaches and sleeplessness. Both hamper my productivity – not only in terms of work but also in terms of leisure activities – and when I have multiple days when I have a headache, I know that I need to “wake up” so to speak.

Some markers that let me know I’m having a good day:

  1. I feel energetic even at 6 PM. My energy usually dips at this time before picking up again post dinner. The day it doesn’t dip, means something good has happened. The “good” can be anything – a lighter/productive work day, I finished writing something, I read something, I ate a good meal, etc.
  2. I don’t feel like escaping into a pleasure activity – like reading fanfiction or re-watching Season 3, Episode 3 of Merlin on Netflix for the seventh time.
  3. I’m not cranky or feel like I’m holding myself together. I don’t close my door. This is something I have learnt recently about myself. I know I’m not okay when I close my door so my room becomes my space where I don’t have to interact with the outside world.
  4. I have good sleep. This is the first thing to go haywire when I have been neglecting myself or signs from my body.
  5. Usually, I just want to eat a piece of chocolate and I’m done. But if I feel like stuffing my face with chocolate, I know something is up. I have this image in my head: of a huge chocolate cake in front of me and my face buried in it. When that image comes into my head, I know I’m craving some sort of solace.
  6. I don’t want to drop everything, cocoon myself in my blanket and go to sleep.
  7. The mental chatter is on the down low – or almost non-existent.

The thing to remember is to have markers that define statis – which means neither high nor low. In the words of the eminent Bunny from Yeh Jawani Hai Dewani, what we’re looking for is daal chawal.

If you had to create markers for yourself for good days, what would they be?


Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter and Blogchatter Half Marathon.

18 thoughts on “Markers for good mental health days

  1. So good to have such a list. My good day is when I get some sleep. Changes every single thing. It’s true that our body gives us signs. Your post is a very good example of how mental and physical health are connected deeply.

    Like

  2. You know I really never thought of making a marker for good days. I have been so focused on the negativities that it never occurred that I should have a list for good days too! I think the main marker of a good day for me is sleep! Catching up on a good 6 – 8 hours of sleep would be a good start of the day for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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