Sanity Check

sanity check

We live in a high-pitched, fast-paced world that can sometimes become overwhelming. Chronic stress, relationship strife, and feelings of despair are common issues that can impact daily life. If your mental health is suffering, it’s time for a sanity check to remind you how to care for yourself.

Things that Impact Your Sanity

Human beings are complex and unique individuals. Something that might trigger anxiety in one person may roll off the back of another. Why is that?

Each of us has our own personal biology, personality traits, and history. Some people may have well developed coping skills while others are less resilient when facing stressors. These nuances play out in daily life in the way we handle the challenges we encounter.

Some of the situations that can cause us mental strife might include:

  1. Relentless stress. Stress is one of the most debilitating risk factors for mental health. If a job or relationship is causing chronic stress for an extended period, it is time to make some changes. If not, the high stress levels can result in both mental and physical health problems.
  2. Negative mindset. Our minds are very powerful and have the ability to color the way we see and react to the world. Walking around with a negative attitude will surely cultivate a dark worldview, which can result in depression.
  3. Unresolved trauma. Do you have a history of trauma and are highly triggered when you encounter something that reminds you of it? If the trauma occurred more than a month ago, you probably have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
  4. Untreated mental health disorder. Any one of a wide range of unaddressed mental health issues can cause our sanity to slip. Whether it is undiagnosed ADHD that is causing anxiety at work or recent onset of bipolar disorder, getting help for the problem is essential.

Staying Sane in an Insane World: A Sanity Checklist

It is easy to become wrapped up in the chaos and never-ending strife of daily life. Sometimes it helps to have a simple tool to check in on your sanity from time to time.

Consider this handy sanity checklist:

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  • Self-care. Nothing says, “I care for my wellbeing” like taking regular self-care actions. One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to access relaxation techniques on a weekly if not daily basis. Focused breathwork, yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture, and mindfulness are excellent self-care activities that will make a real difference in your overall wellness.
  • Exercise. Getting regular daily exercise is the absolute best thing you can do to relieve stress while also toning muscles and increasing stamina. Physical activity provides immense mental health benefits. These include the production of the feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins and dopamine. Exercise also increases production of serotonin and norepinephrine, which reduce stress.
  • Nutrition. When you find yourself jumpy, grouchy, or fatigued, the culprit may very well be your diet. Too much caffeine can make you irritable and jumpy and result in boomerang fatigue. Processed foods and sugary treats can contribute to low energy and overall nutritional deficiencies, which also impact mood.
  • Sleep quality. Be mindful of your natural circadian rhythm, the hours that our bodies and minds are at rest. When we skimp on sleep or keep an inconsistent sleep schedule, the sleep cycle is disrupted and mental health suffers. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and avoid caffeine after mid-afternoon.
  • Smartphone apps. To assist with improved mental health, you should access the technology tools available right at your fingertips. There are several smartphone apps that are designed to aid in meditation and deep-breathing techniques.

Signs Your Sanity is in Jeopardy

If you have been struggling with mental distress, you may be feeling like you need a sanity check. You might wonder if you are having a mental breakdown, are just stressed out, or are possibly losing touch with reality.

Here are some of the signs that your mental health is in need of professional support:

  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Changes in eating habits, leading to rapid weight gain or loss
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Loss of interest in life
  • Intense feelings of fear or dread
  • Extreme irritability
  • Emotional detachment or numbness
  • Neglecting personal hygiene
  • Self-harm
  • Symptoms of psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Impaired functioning
  • Violent behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts

What to Do If Your Sanity Slips

If you become aware that you are showing the signs of being mentally unwell, it is important to act. Have you performed a sanity check and tried those helpful tips? If so, you may want to give it a couple of weeks to resolve. However, do not ignore the signs of distress any longer than that.

Here are some actions to take if your sanity seems to be slipping:

  1. See your doctor. A health exam is always the first stop if you become mentally unwell. You may have an underlying health problem that is causing the symptoms, or the symptoms may be from a medication. If no medical problem is present, proceed to the next step.
  2. Meet with a mental health professional. Discuss your symptoms with a mental health expert, such as a psychotherapist or psychiatrist. They will conduct an interview and have you complete some mental health questionnaires, then recommend therapy and/or medication. If, after a few months you are still struggling, consider the next options.
  3. Enroll in a mental health retreat. A mental health retreat is a three or four day intensive program that is typically located in a beautiful location. These retreats feature holistic therapies as well as group and individual psychotherapy.
  4. Enroll in an intensive outpatient program. An IOP offers a 3-6 month program that involves meeting for about nine hours per week. Treatment involves individual therapy, group therapy, life skills, and holistic activities. The IOP can also be a step-down program after completing inpatient treatment.
  5. Enroll in a residential treatment program. The residential mental health treatment program offers a more intensive schedule of treatment elements. By living at the treatment center for a month or more, you are able to remove yourself from daily triggers and address your mental health in a serious way.

Keeping your sanity in check using these helpful tips should be a top priority. However, if your sanity seems to be slipping, do not hesitate to reach out for help today.

Mental Health Hope Can Guide You Towards Sanity

Mental Health Hope is a free online resource that offers guidance and information about mental health conditions and treatment options. If you have done a sanity check and find you need to seek a mental health treatment program, reach out to us at 888-575-2057

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