Monitoring your mental health can be a pain in the ass. Actually monitoring anything for that matter can be a pain in the ass. And we would rather not do it given the choice.
Our instincts are to want to get on with whatever it is we need to get on with and to some extent forget about what has happened.
I’m all for sticking with our instincts majority of the time. Dwelling on the past can be costly and moving forward is the priority rather than living in the past.
However, monitoring certain things in life can be beneficial especially when there is a problem. Not monitoring a problem in the hope it will go away is a bad idea.
At some point, that problem is going to catch up with you. You will then be forced to deal with the said problem in a much worse situation which is even more costly in terms of your wellbeing, money and time.
I have been there with my mental health and the consequences have been quite devastating.
Monitoring your mental health, of course, isn’t something which on its own is going to magically make your mental health great. But adding it into the mix will add benefit to the other help you may be getting also.
I started properly monitoring my health February of 2018 and I am so glad I did. Now when I visit a new doctor or therapist I no longer have to try and remember how I have been from memory, I can check the apps I use to monitor my mental health.
Not only that but it is a great reference for me look back at to see how far I have come. I am able to compare how I have been month to month by looking at charts and data. I can also show them to my therapist and check them before appointments to see if there are certain things I need to talk about.
Below are the 3 apps I use to monitor my mental health;
eMoods: Bipolar mood tracker
eMoods is a free Mood Tracker app that lets you easily chart your daily highs and lows, sleep, medications, and other symptoms related to common mood disorders.
Don’t let the ‘bipolar’ in the name turn you off. If you have bipolar or not this app is great for monitoring your mental health. The app itself is really simple to use. It has a slider to select how many hours sleep you got. There are options to track your symptoms of depression/anxiety/irritability/elevated mood and psychosis from none to severe. The ones you don’t want to track you can turn off in settings. I personally only track my depression and anxiety.
The other things you can track are talk therapy with a yes or no. And then you can track medications by inputting them along with anything else you want to track like exercise, supplements, meditation etc. Finally, there is a section to add notes to each day.
Once you’ve input your data there is then a calendar which you can navigate to, to quickly select different days which also gives you a small overview of what data was inputted. As well as a calendar there is a graph page which puts all your data into a nice monthly graph so you can see an overview of your data. You can then scroll back through different months to check and compare your progress month to month and see how certain things have affected you if you are making changes to your mental health and life.
The app is free to free to download to use, however, you can be a patron to help support the developers and unlock some additional features like adding your own symptoms.
Lastly, the app also has a resource page, the ability to back up your data and also send reports to those you need to send them to as you may want to share this information with your therapist, psychiatrist or whoever else.
Worry Time is a new app I’ve recently started using. What this app enables you to do is write down your worries when they arise. The idea is to write them down and not dwell on them at the time. Then at a time selected you are notified to start “worry time”. This is when you do your worrying for an allotted period of time. The time and how long you worry are selected within the app and can be changed at any point.
During worry time each worry is presented on a piece of paper on your devices screen. The worries can be swiped through if you wish to keep and revisit them. Also, notes can be added to each individual worry. When you are done with a worry you can pinch the screen to scrunch it up and then flick it away to delete it.
The worry time part of the app is locked until the time selected. But if you have the same worry twice or more during the day continue not to dwell on it and instead select the cloud icon in the top right corner and click the worry you are having again. What that will do is add a counter to the worry so you can see how many times each worry has come up. If you have consistent worries then this will help you monitor how often certain worries are coming up each day. On top of that, all your worries are stored in your history which allows you to go back and look at worries you’ve had in the past and remind yourself that you overcame those worries.
Journalling is one of the best things to do to not only monitor your mental health but also help it. Whatever your reason for journalling is stick at it and if you don’t already journal then consider starting.
Day one is an amazing app to journal on the go. Sometimes it can be a pain to carry around notebooks or find a simple and easy way to store journal entries on your device. But Day One makes your journaling hassle-free along with notifying you to journal so you never forget.
The app is free to use, however, there is a premium subscription which gives you additional features such as multiple journals, audio entries, drawing entries and back up and syncing.
The free features aren’t slacking, you can still enter multiple entries each day to a single journal as well as adding photos, syncing your activity and geotagging from where your entries were added.
The app also has a media page to see all your media quickly and easily. There is a map page to see where journal entries were added and finally a calendar where you can select each day to add, edit or view journal entries.
In this day and age, your mobile device is never too far away unlike carrying around notebooks and paper journals. This makes it very convenient and easy to go back and view certain days with ease.
I hope you find these apps useful and can help you with your own mental health. Using these apps are much more convenient but forming the habit of updating them every day and monitoring your mental health is the key.
Let me know of any apps you use or how you monitor your mental health in the comments below.