Let’s face it, as if dealing with the stresses and strains of mental illness aren’t hard enough – the last thing you might want or need is a really arduous mood chart when you are already stressed, depressed or anxious.
It takes time and it can be a real hassle. Worse still, it reminds you every day that “You have a mental problem”. I’m not sure about you but most of the time I like to forget about that or at least try my hardest to push it the background.
So now I have well and truly put you off downloading our FREE printable Mood Pack (self sabotage at its finest) I shall now give you a list of reasons as to why actually, it could be one of the best things you could ever do for yourself!
The Mood Charts
If you have (or think you may have) bipolar disorder, or are coping with another type of mood disorder, our daily mood chart will allow you to record your highs and lows over the course of a month. It’s a great way to keep track of treatment changes and see if your new medication/exercise regime or psychotherapy are having positive impacts on your recovery. Sometimes, it’s actually easier to hand a mood chart over to your Doctor as there simply isn’t enough time to detail your every mood drop/manic moment/depressive episode in your 10 minute slot. A mood chart can really sum it all up ensuring your Doctor is able to give you the best ways of moving forward. It’s also a great way to detect patterns in your behavior that may otherwise be hard to identify. Are your downs actually preceded by little ups? Is it connected to your menstrual cycle? Exercise? Decreasing alcohol? Decreasing sugar? Visits to places that cause you stress? etc.
During the month of February I finally received an official diagnosis that I was in fact dealing with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Anxiety and Depression. Great. Well, at least I understand myself a little better and can stop beating myself over being so self-obsessed to the point of feeling suicidal right? Right. But my medication was going to take a huge jump from 50mg’s Sertraline to 200mg’s so I really needed to keep an eye on my progress with that, my moods and generally take note of how I’m feeling over the course of a month.
Here’s an example of how I used the chart to observe my mood.
As you can see, due to the lack of printer at the moment – I actually created a new layer in Photoshop and filled this in digitally which weirdly, I preferred. Feel free to do the same thing if it’s better for you! I will print off my completed months once I’ve reached the summer, just so I can keep a log and flick through my progress.
The charts in the pack come blank, so you can pick the colours you use to fill in the chart. Don’t forget to make a note of which month it is. As you can see from the pic above, I’ve marked out the individual dates in the top right hand corner of each box and written the month/year at the top left of the entire grid.
Along the bottom you will see your moods. If you’d like to be more specific or put in your own variations, we have included an additional download where you can fill this in yourself.
I found it more useful to colour my moods in vertical lines with the highest indicating the severity and shorter ones being the moments that weren’t so intense for me. I then continued to add the colours suiting what I felt throughout the day, roughly summarizing the intensity at the end of each day. It’s clear from my chart that I need to find more balance, do things that make me happy and implement things that could help me achieve this. It’s also clear how bad February was for me, it’s actually quite empowering to look at it as a whole and say to myself “OK, I’m not doing so great but that’s because I haven’t really left my house and I should probably make steps into leaving to do more things I love etc etc” – easier said than done but for me, sometimes I need that visual to remind me that I need to help myself more.
This brings me to the second design entitled ‘Gratitude for Days’ because, well, why not! This chart is a small aid in addition to your mood chart that will hopefully help your mind focus on the things that you are grateful for, no matter how small.
There are SO many benefits to practicing gratitude. It’s a really great opportunity for self reflection and gratitude needn’t be reserved for momentous occasions only, of course, feel free to give thanks for that promotion you just bagged yourself but you can also be thankful for something as simple as a refreshing walk in the park or that amazing piece of cake you just ate.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
If you are anything like us, you’ll get REALLY into this and a few months later realise you only practiced gratitude for three solid days when you just printed the sheet off. It’s OK. If you are really serious about grasping this, its imperative you factor it into a routine, and give yourself a bit of ‘me’ structure. Dedicate ten minutes each morning to loving yourself. Drink water, breathe, be grateful for another day and write your three tasks for the day in our ‘You Can Do It’ list.
The ‘You Can Do It’ List
The final addition to our little Mood Pack comes in the form of a simple ‘3 tasks a day’ list.
I for one cannot function without a list. One of the greatest pieces of advice given to me was actually very simple but has so far been a complete game changer for me and the way in which I work. Thanks to the lovely designer Zeena Shah, who once told me that writing lists each day helped her achieve her goals, I’m now a lady who lists… everything (probably too much list making but hey)! It takes a lot to positively impact my life so I’m most grateful for her words and have lived by the list making rule ever since. Good news for you guys, it really works!
This is perfect for giving your day a little structure. Your task can be as simple as making a cup of tea, getting out of the house for 5 minutes or finishing that blog post that has been sitting in drafts for 3 months. Whatever it is, write it down and make it happen. Once you’ve completed all three, you can reward yourself with a nice healthy sized tick in the right hand side. If you can’t manage to complete all three tasks you’ve set yourself, its good to review it and see if you need to put less pressure on yourself, start small and be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over not completing tasks, at the end of the day – it’s just a piece of paper that can be thrown at the end of each week! No biggy!
So there you have it! Hopefully you will enjoy our free download and it can benefit you in one way or another. It’s also a great idea to print it off for a friend who might need it or better still, work through it with a family member, friend or partner. If you feel like you could benefit from this but can’t quite cope with it all, ask someone to keep a hold of it and get them to make notes on your behaviour/moods etc.
As always, we’d love your feedback! If you can help us to improve or add to these designs – please let us know! You can also let us know what might help you – and we can have a go at designing it! Drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet or Instagram DM and tell us your thoughts!