Self-care is important.
Lately I will admit I haven’t been great at it. I’ve been running nonstop and not checking in with myself. But I’m trying be better at this!
I like to check three things when I’m assessing how I’m doing: sleep, energy, and mood. Let me walk you through how I check in on each one:
How’s my sleep?
Am I getting the amount of sleep I need each night to wake up rested and ready to tackle a new day? Have I experienced any bouts of insomnia? Am I restless during the night?
It may sound extra, but ideally I need at least eight hours of sleep each night to feel fully refreshed for the next day. Sure, I technically can run on less, but it is not good for me or my mental health to do so.
What’s my energy?
Similar but not the same to sleep, I like to assess where my energy is at. Is it high or low? Do I feel like I’m bouncing off the walls? Do I feel like no matter how much rest I get, I can still barely lift my head up? Am I skipping around the gym? Or am I dragging my feet?
Ideally, I want my energy to be a healthy balance in-between high and low. An energy that’s too high might suggest I am feeling hypomanic (which is a less severe form of mania), and an energy that’s too low might suggest I’m having an off or depressed day.
What’s my mood?
How have I been feeling lately? Am I happy, sad, or mad? Do I feel excited or anxious or grumpy? Do I feel a mix of several emotions? Do I feel nothing?
Through lots of time and therapy, I have learned (and am constantly re-learning) there is no ideal emotion. Feelings are just feelings, and we are all created to feel things.
As someone who has battled bipolar disorder, I have not faced the stereotypical mood swings that many do. My moods are often somewhat steady and may dip or increase over days, not within hours or moments. But changing and unstable moods are something I still need to monitor.
Another lesson that has come through time and therapy is the importance of allowing myself to feel my feelings: to just sit and soak in whatever I’m feeling. Usually I like to journal or pray or pause and reflect. It helps me validate my feelings, assess how I am feeling and why I am feeling that way.
I hope you take care of yourself.
I hope this little breakdown assists you in monitoring your self-care, too. If you ever have any questions about self-care or self-check-ins, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to help you!