Not long ago, my counselor talked with me about the idea of making a move based on where you are mentally. In other words, it’s helpful to grade your mood on a scale from 0 to 10 (0= need to call for help; at risk to self or others, 10= back to “yourself”), second by second, minute by minute, and activity to activity. For me, if I feel like I am at a 2.5, it is unrealistic for me to expect or for my support system to expect me to gather up enough energy to go outside, drive around, or run a marathon. It also probably would not be a good idea for me to be bogged down by extra stress of any kind, if I can avoid it, in an attempt to avoid making my mood worse. If my mood is a 6, I have been known to have enough motivation to take a lap around the neighborhood, journal, color, or perform basic to mid-level, mentally stimulating activities without feeling any worse.
According to my counselor, it’s important to have regular “check ins”, even if you are an 8.5 on the scale, to make sure you are not stretching yourself too thin and cause a progression in the wrong direction. It is always helpful to voice to others around you, where you are at on this scale so that they can help you in any way you need it.
I am fighting this illness daily and I know I am not alone in the fight. Let’s stand together, whether you have a mental illness or not, to raise awareness and break the stigma.
If you live in the greater Nashville, TN area and want to help me stand for those with mental illness, their support system, or simply want to become more aware, join me in weekly #activitiestocope.
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