Often, when we think about mental health awareness, we think about our loved ones, and how to notice and support them when they’re struggling. However, in a world that often feels like it moves too fast to stop and check in with ourselves, often it’s hard to notice when our own mental health is slipping. We’ve put together a mental health checklist to help you check in with yourself and offer some ways you can be supported

  1. Are you eating?

When we’re busy it can be easy to lose track of regular eating schedules, which often can create drops in energy and irritability. This can be a sign that you’re overwhelmed and beginning to struggle with your day-to-day routine. One way you can help with this is setting a kai schedule, and doing your best to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet with fruit and veggies for fibre and vitamins, protein for strength, and fat and carbs for energy.

  • Are you sleeping?

When our bodies are stressed, they can find it hard to relax, which can affect our sleep. A regular sleep schedule is one of the most important tools to keep your mental health stable. If you’re finding your sleep schedule starting to slip, it might be a sign to step back from some mahi, or to spend a little extra effort making sure you’re rested and ready for sleep at bedtime. Cutting out screens for an hour before bed is a great way to do this!

  • Are you hanging out with your friends?

It can be hard to see your friends and whānau when life gets busy, but if it’s been a long time since you have, , it could be a sign of you emotionally isolating – sometimes without realising that’s what’s happening. Reach out to a friend, grab a coffee, have a zoom party, or go see some whānau.

  • Are you having fun?

We all have things we love to do – art, sport, video games, crafts, or even just watching a comfort movie or tv show. If the hobbies you usually enjoy start to lose the appeal, and you start to feel like there are few things that make you happy, it’s likely that your mental health is suffering, and could be a symptom of depression. It can feel like there’s nothing you can do to make yourself feel better, but while you may not be able to do it alone, reach out to someone you trust who can support you with  talking to your GP about what you’re going through.

If one or more things on this checklist feel like they’re hitting a little close to home, it’s possible that you’ve been struggling with your mental health, even if you didn’t notice at first. If this sounds like you, it’s really important to reach out for support; talk to your supervisor or lecturers about how you might be able to reduce stress from mahi, talk to your friends and whānau about what you’re going through, talk to your GP or reach out to mental health services. You deserve to be happy and healthy, a tīnana, a wairua hoki.

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Shine (domestic violence) – 0508 744 633
Women’s Refuge – 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
Alcohol and Drug Helpline – 0800 787 797 or online chat
Are You OK (family violence helpline) – 0800 456 450
Rape Crisis – 0800 883 300 (for support after rape or sexual assault)


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