Here at Cork Mental Health, we work with and support people with various mental health issues. Everyone is unique and needs different support systems, but the power of checking in on your mental health on a regular basis should not be underestimated, even if you think you feel fine. Not sure what a DIY mental health checkup is? Not to worry, we will break it down into simple, easy-to-follow steps so that you can start incorporating these checkups into your everyday life. 

Knowing when to reach out and ask for help is something that many struggle with, but having the skills to understand and notice when you feel yourself falling down a slippery slope can help you to stay on track with your mental health in a proactive and healthy way. If you find yourself putting off seeking help for an issue that is mental health related, just know that the sooner you see someone and discuss the struggles you have been facing, the faster you can get it under control.  

Doing a DIY mental health checkup can be a good way to gauge how you feel but should not seek professional help! These tips on how to check up on yourself are something that should be done, just like feeding yourself when you are hungry. It is great to be aware of your feelings and how to navigate them in a safe and healthy way.  

So, with that in mind, here are some DIY mental health checkup strategies to put into practice today; 

#1: Try Journalling 

Keeping a record of your feelings is a great way to track how you are feeling, mood patterns and overall mental health. There are no rules when it comes to journalling, you can write what you like; here are some popular ideas from NAMI that many like to use for inspiration: 

  • Describe your perfect day. 
  • Discuss 5 things you wish others knew about you. 
  • Write one paragraph about what made you happy today. 
  • Identify three short-term goals and one long-term goal. 
  • What is a self-care strategy you've always been curious about trying? 
  • What inspires you? 
  • Make a list of 15 things that make you happy. 

Again, remember that there is no wrong and right answer when it comes to journaling; you can simply write an account of your day if you wish, it’s completely up to you! Although some find it daunting at the beginning, it can become freeing to leave your thoughts and opinions out on paper. Why not give it a go!?  


#2: Notice How you Feel Physically 

Emotions and feelings can often become physical symptoms, so it is important to note how your body feels, as sometimes, pains or aches may be connected to your mental health. Maybe you have had the same throbbing headache for days, or your appetite has changed for example, these, in fact, are often signs of stress and anxiety, so it’s important to never dismiss how your body feels. Always check in with a professional if you are concerned. 


#3: 10 Questions to Ask 

Digging a little deeper into how you feel is a good way to understand where you are in terms of your mental health. There are a number of different questions you can ask yourself to gain insights into how you feel. Here is an example of some questions which you might find helpful;  

  1. Have I been getting quality sleep with regular bedtimes and getting up times? 
  2. Have I been isolating myself from others at work, friends, or family? 
  3. Do I have more worries or anxiety than usual?  Maybe use a scale of 1-10. 
  4. Have I lost interest in activities and pursuits that usually held my attention? 
  5. Have I felt more sad than happy lately? 
  6. Do I feel at ease with myself and my surroundings? 
  7. Do you feel that your life is appropriately balanced between work, fun, friends, family, self-care, exercise, and other meaningful pursuits? 
  8. Do you have trouble concentrating? 
  9. Have you been experiencing significant mood swings, crying, or thoughts of suicide? 
  10. Are you overly fatigued or tired at the end of the day?  How about at the end of the week? 

The answers to these questions may reveal a lot about your mental state and can aid you in deciding what your next steps should be. Whether you just need a good night's sleep or access to professional services, there is no problem too big or too small to be resolved.  

Here at Cork Mental Health, we offer a safe space for people to come and chat, engage in fun activities, and access other services. If you would like to contact us for more information, call us on (021) 451 1100 today!  

If you would like to donate to us to help us continue our work, we would appreciate your support. Your donations aid us in providing help to people suffering from mental health issues in Cork, and we wouldn’t be where we are without your help. Donate here today!