When I see clients, assessments for anger, depression, anxiety, the unexpected, self-care, and the past proceed continually. Sometimes it is helpful to have a constant visual to remind us of the essentials of our mental and emotional health. If you are like me, you drive every day. We often spend hours in our cars and other vehicles every week. For what it is worth, here is a brief overview of how your car dash can remind you of the essentials of emotional health?
- Speedometer – How fast am I going in life? Should I slow down a bit or do I need to pick it up in an area?
- Heat gauge – How are my anger levels? I need capacity for anger for courage, but is it getting a little too hot in here? If so, how can I be cool on the inside – to be emotionally regulated?
- RPM’s – How is my anxiety level? Anxiety can be good, I need capacity for anxiety for essential tasks and deadlines. Is my “engine” revving into the red more days than not? If so, that may be a danger zone.
- Gas gauge – How is my self-care? Am I running on empty? Should I ‘pull over’ and fill back up? If so, how do I fill up? What is meaningful to me? How can I reconnect to beauty? If I am neglecting my spiritual life, what can I do to replenish it?
- Check engine light/warning lights – Life happens! What unexpected things should I address? Do I need to seek professional help to make sense of, or find meaning in, the unexpected?
- Rearview mirrors – Though I keep my eyes on the road 99% of the time, I need to remain aware of what is behind me. Is there anything from my past I need to turn my attention to so it does not sneak up on me?
- Odometer – My mileage. Remember Raiders of the Lost Ark? Marion says to Indiana Jones, “You’re not the man I knew ten years ago.” Indy replies “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.” Absolutely true! How’s my ‘wear and tear?’ Am I taking care of my body by eating healthy, with proper exercise, taking my medication as prescribed, and getting adequate sleep?
This is just a brief, fun and easy way to remind ourselves of some essentials of emotional and mental health. What would you add? Leave a comment below and let’s learn from each other. Thanks for reading!