Updated: May 13
This is part 1 of a 3- part-series on mind and body. It is dedicated to monitoring your mental health now and beyond COVID-19. A healthy body is required for good mental health so part 2 discusses checking your physical health.
Read this series to help understand your current mental health status and start the journey towards optimising your mental health.
Part 1 encourages you to use a mood tracker app either by using an online self assessment tool or by app. You will also find trusted information resources to help improve and maintain good mental health.
If you are persistently feeling low, distressed, worried or having symptoms you are worried about get some support or speak to someone:
1. You can refer yourself to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) if you live in England.
2. You can find out more about talking therapies and self help therapies (see the information resources section at the end of the article).
3. You can contact a Psychotherapist or counsellor directly.
4. You can speak to your GP.
*If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about harming yourself, distressed or having difficulty coping get urgent help for mental health from NHS.UK *
If you are pregnant or have had a child within the last year, read our article about Mental Health during the antenatal and postnatal period .
The Mental Health Foundation informs us that "Good mental health is characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil a number of key functions and activities, including:
the ability to learn
the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others
the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty."
Good mental health is achieved by:
Being in the best physical health possible by having sufficient sleep, undertaking regular but simple physical activity, eating nutritious food, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding recreational drugs and smoking, monitoring for health conditions and treating any health conditions.
Practicing self care.
Using social and spiritual support networks such as friends, family, hobby groups, clubs, religious groups, charities.
Obtaining medical support when required.
People with chronic health conditions are more likely to have a mental health problem as a consequence of living with their condition.
To optimise your mental health it's important to focus on the things you can have more control over and can improve. Set some simple goals that include with just 1 or 2 things you want to do and slowly include them in your daily, monthly or annual routine as required.
You can find helpful guidance from the Mental Health Foundation at the end of this article.
The mental health MOT is not intended for people who are undergoing or receiving treatment for a mental health condition.
Checking your mental health by tracking your mood
You can perform regular basic ‘checks’ of your mood which will help you recognise if there is a persistent downward trend or if you need to seek help and therefore enable you to take early action. Use an online assessment tool or you may prefer to us a mood tracking app on your smartphone.