Measuring own mental health

We are not like avatars in a game where we have imaginary bars hanging above or beside us to measure our health status (physical and mental). We don’t have beeps that tell us we need to recharge, get a life or warn us of impending danger.

Mindfulness is perhaps the most IN thing mental health advocates in recent years to at least help an individual gather insight into their mental health status. As for myself, I kind of discovered a trend in my lifestyle that serves as hints to power up or take a step back and chill.

My mood tends to be at its most positive at least 2 weeks after my 1st day in the menstrual cycle. During this moment, I tend to feel like I can conquer the world. It can be quite dangerous as I’d tend to say ‘yes’ to any projects that come my way, only to regret it later in the cycle. Haha. However, I realized that the surge of emotions and motivation is experienced rarely nowadays. It is because I haven’t been shopping for good food and kept up with the cleaning of the house.

Stocking fruit and vegetables in my fridge is an indicator that my mental health is at its optimum level. There was once I went without this food group for weeks. Meaning I still eat them by buying them outside (in small portions) but I don’t get some for home meals and snacks. The fridge was an awful sight. There were no green, leafy vegetables. Just desserts and leftovers.

Another indicator of good mental health status for me is laundry. If there are too many piles to fold, that means I need to start getting my tasks in order. Usually, my husband would pick up the chore and start folding. Eventhough his method is a bit different, I’d close one eye just so we could clear the pile.

Other indicators of my mental health dwindling

  • bathroom sinks need scrubbing – meaning I haven’t scrubbed them off toothpaste debris and whatnot for quite a while
  • out of facial cotton pads – applying toner with hands only, and not keeping up with my skincare regime. This needs to be addressed quickly as it will lead to a vicious cycle of acne laden face
  • social withdrawal – not joining others for lunch, going back home beeline in front of the thumbprint machine, not chipping in thoughts etc.
  • the work desk is a mess -an unorganized working space
  • procrastinating on studying
  • too much online shopping – there’s a need to fulfil an unexplained emotional void with stuff I buy online

Once the boxes of these indicators are ticked too much, I’d usually be unwell. Or acne starts showing up. It would take a major cognitive shift to just buck up and settle the problem. The shift either occurs after a movie with a significant impact or some drastic social event in life.

On second thought, maybe I should exercise more often or do some gardening every evening, to keep the endorphin levels high.


Ikhlas …. No?

I once told myself that working in the emergency unit or anaesthesia is the best discipline to be if you want to self-test on the virtue of Ikhlas. 

It’s because patients often forget the first responders or gatekeepers  who detects a particular abnormality and contemplate on whether the person needs a referral or next visit or safely discharged. Or the doctor who puts you to sleep and ease you of your pain while the other more important doctor fixes your leg or bowels or deliver your baby.

While Ikhlas have been going strong for the past few months – the spirit I feel is waning over time. I’m not quite sure whether I have that ounce of Ikhlas in my soul anymore. I just don’t feel like helping people that much.


Perhaps this is what people refer to as burnout. Where everything you do is just on auto-pilot. You think less, you care even less. Every patient that walks through the door has an agenda against you! They want to viral you on Facebook or pick a fight.

But of course these negative emotions tend to wither away after a few encounters with feeble old ladies with electrolyte imbalance or old grumpy men with asthma attacks – they are really sick after all.

I am looking forward to November – I have a few #BurnoutBasher projects up my sleeve. InsyaAllah … 

*menuju keikhlasan*