Do you ever have that feeling of inadequacy? Like you can’t really accomplish the things you want, or be good enough at something, or happy enough with the way your life is going? You have grand plans to actualize a goal, get going on it, and then life gets in the way??? Or maybe you are consistently unmotivated or perpetually ill and can’t quite figure out why. It often seems like if we could just get over that hump…climb out of our rut and up that mountain ahead, life would be so much better. We would be happier.
Self improvement is incredibly important to me. However, I have just felt ALL over the place lately. Constantly “catching up,” these days, I can’t remember the last time I was AHEAD. I’d like to attribute it to the fall, and school starting, and trying to adjust to our new schedule, but really this is always an underlying theme in my life.
I suffer from chronic migraines, however, these practically disappear when I am at my best physically and emotionally. Gee, go figure. I also suffer from several other typical women problems that come and go on a monthly basis. I am sure my husband dreads these times because I am basically laid up on the couch for 13 weeks out of the year. Yet again, these weeks are far less miserable if I have been eating, exercising, and living well in the weeks prior. These problems are debilitative. They reach out like spider veins and invade all the other parts of my life and it turns into an endless cycle.
I know what it takes to live a healthy life. I know the things I want out of life (in no specific order):
- Have an amazing relationship with my husband
- Feed my entire family all natural, healthy food
- Keep up with my jiu jitsu training and advance sometime in the future/keep my husband motivated to do his gym routine
- Keep a strict budget that allows our family to have a good time now, but also “live like no one else today, so we can live like no one else tomorrow” – Dave Ramsey
- Keep electronics a minimal part of our lives (except to listen to music) and spend our time being active
- Be a positive, contributing member of our community
Reading that list, I’m thinking, duh! These are all so obvious and natural Marissa! Just Do It!
If it were that easy though, we would all be super models living on the beaches of Hawaii spending our days surfing, wouldn’t we? It can be incredibly difficult keeping up with and maintaining a lifestyle. And sinse it sounds so easy, we beat ourselves up about it when it doesn’t happen and the terrible cycle continues on. Sadness, inadequacy, depression, motivation, ready to go, making progress, life gets in the way, can’t manage the schedule or demands, failure, sadness…..
One of my friends pinned this idea the other day and I LOVED it. It inspired me.
I keep a journal and think tracking my mental health and wellness is a fantastic idea. I created a page with a list of habits and life events that happen on a regular basis. Not just the good ones, the bad ones too. At the bottom of each day there are squares to also track my general mood, if I felt accomplished/achieved my goals, my family’s general well being, and the weather on that day.
What do I hope to get out of this tracking?
- see the actual patterns and the links between what I am doing each day and how I feel at the end of the day
- see what is keeping me happy and well verses down in the dumps, rather than just guessing
- keep myself motivated to stay on the right track with all the good habits (I already went back upstairs to make my bed this morning when I couldn’t even check the first thing off my list!) and cut back on the bad habits
What am I most concerned about with the tracking?
- not keeping up with it..I’m worried I’ll be great about it for a few days but then life will get in the way and I’ll forget…which is the whole problem I am trying to avoid!!!!
Would you like to join me in tracking your mental wellness? Create a page in your journal and stick with it. If you don’t have a journal use this free printable, fill in your own list, and see what it is that keeps you at the top of your “A” game this month!
I couldn’t wait until October to get started, so I created one for the last few days of September. This is what it will look like as I start to fill in the squares (some will be shaded, some will be smiley faces for good/better/best, some will have dots to count number of times I did something).
Your list can be as simple or as detailed as you like. I am going the super detailed route. This is my list of daily events and habits that I will be tracking. The black items are tasks I would like to continue and do more of, the red items are things I will be trying to cut back on or eliminate:
- make bed
- coffee (how many cups each morning)
- breakfast (whether it was healthy or not)
- other daily chores (whether or not I did even one)
- pushups (how many I do each day – I have a goal of 100 pushups every other day)
- keeping up with emails
- budgeting (did I use Quicken to make sure we are staying within our budget)
- house project (whether or not I worked on one)
- blogging (check mark yes for today!)
- grocery shopping
- non-grocery shopping
- reading (anything)
- sit outside (I feel my better days usually involve at least a few minutes of relaxing on the porch)
- garden work
- yard work
- make-up/hair (did I take the time to put myself together for the day)
- lunch (healthy?)
- sodas (how many)
- tv watching (how many hours)
- menu planning
- jiu jitsu training
- dinner (healthy?)
- walking (my husband have a goal to take a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood each evening)
- harvesting (did I take the time to grab some veggies from the garden)
- knitting (my favorite pastime)
- alcohol (how many glasses)
- sweets (did I eat any)
- water (how many glasses)
- massage (did myself or my husband take a few minutes to rub the other’s shoulders or feet)
- skin care (did I take the time to do this in the evening)
- Boy Scouts (did my son work on his achievements)
- music playing (another favorite pastime for my whole family)
- math studying (my husband is studying for his GRE and I am trying to improve my skills for my job)
- yoga/meditation (even if only for 5 minutes)
- intimacy (yep, I’m tracking how many times we do it…so important in a relationship!)
- bedtime (what time)
- friend activity (are we taking time to socialize)
- family activity (are we spending quality time together)
- husband activity (are we enjoying each other)
- calling friends/family
- sending friends/family mail
- eating out/bar
- medicine (did I have to take any for pain)
- medicine (did I have to take any for my stomach)
Wish me luck! And let me know how your health and mental wellness tracking is going!