May is indeed Mental Health Awareness Month. The question is, then, how aware are you of your own mental health? A friend of mine and I would check in like this via phone: “Hey, how’s it going?, Good, How’s life? Good, How’s work? Family?…How’s your mental?”
That question gave us permission to do an inventory on ourselves to check in with how we were feeling and what we were thinking. It would signal me to check in with my head and my body. I assessed if I had physical symptoms of stress (headaches, body aches, nausea, fidgetiness). It also gave me a pause to reflect and check in with my emotions, seeing if anything came up. Had I been sad over the last few days, had I exhibited anger, was there so much going on that I didn’t know my head from a hole in wall and was experiencing overwhelm? Was I feeling particularly tired, or angsty?
That’s our check in. For us, it’s less touchy-feely than, “how are you feeling?” Sometimes, out of the therapy space, the response for that phrase gets the automatic “fine (with a shoulder shrug).” Whereas, “How’s your mental” signals me to take a real inventory on my mental health.
So, I ask you the same question…How’s your mental?