Mood Tracking for Self-Care

Chronic illness takes a toll on your mental health, even when nothing you have is fatal/terminal. Infertility also takes a toll on your mental health. Both of these things have a dramatic impact on your life, so it’s normal (and expected) for these things to have such a huge impact on your mental health.

Blank wooden scrabble tiles with "Mental Health" spelled out in tiles laid on top.

Chronic illness, and chronic pain, change your life. Suddenly, things you wanted to do with your life either seem out of reach or become out of reach. Sometimes, life feels like it stopped before it even got started. It can be frustrating, isolating, and depressing.

Infertility derails your plans. Even though it’s common, no one teaches you about it growing up. Most people decide to have children and expect to get pregnant almost right away, meaning they’re ready for children to be a part of their life when they start! When it takes longer than expected, especially if it starts taking years, it doesn’t feel fair (it isn’t). You get depressed, upset, angry, and get stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of heartbreak and hope. It’s painful.

Tracking your mood, even just once per day, can give you great insight into how you’re doing. Our default response is “fine,” but how many of us are actually fine? Hint: not many. Tracking your mood can also help you recognize trends and make communicating with your doctor or therapist more efficient.

Various emotional face emojis in the shape of a brain.

The free Health Storylines app has a very easy to use mood tracker. You can sign up for a free Health Storylines profile, here.

If the mood tracker, Daily Moods, wasn’t added to your tools automatically, based on what you filled out when you created your account, click on “add tools” (at the bottom of the pre-selected tools list) and search for “daily moods” in the tool library.

Hand-drawn circle shows the “graphs” area.

When you use the Daily Moods tool, you select a mood and can add notes to your entry. I find that writing down specifics about the mood, things you believe may be influencing your mood, and the type of weather can all be helpful to identify trends.

To look at your records, click on the graph button at the bottom of the app home screen (circled in the image), and navigate to the daily moods tool. There, you can see a graphical representation of your entries. If you click on an entry, it will take you to the detailed view.

Hopefully, this tool will help you identify triggers, and hopefully some helpers! Share what you’re doing for your mental health on social media using the hashtag #FLSSselfcare so we can help each other along!

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