Daily Mental Health Checklist ©
Bert Pepper MD
Review these activities at bedtime. How many did you do today ?
Have Fun. Did you laugh at a joke? Thrill to music? Enjoy a film, or dinner with a friend? If not, why not?
Tackle a Hard Task. Did you work at something unpleasant but necessary, for at least a few minutes? If not, burdens accumulate – laundry, unpaid bills, unfiled papers, unanswered phone calls – causing stress, feeling overwhelmed.
Help Someone. Were you kind, generous, helpful to anyone outside of your job? If not, a day has gone by with not one soul being happy that you are alive.
Work Up a Sweat. Did you run, walk, swim, bike, or work out? Remember, you are an animal with a body, as well as a person with a mind and soul. Our muscles, including heart muscle, say, “Use me or lose me.”
Contact Nature. Did you notice a beautiful cloud, tree, lake, rabbit, mountain or flower? Note a warm breeze or chill wind on your cheek? Feel close to nature?
Feel Close to Someone. Were you in contact with someone you feel close to and care about? We each need intimacy with someone, every day.
Learn Something New. If you did not, it wasn't an excellent day.
Use your thinking to override a negative emotion. Walk past the ice cream store. Don’t say something harsh to an irritating person.
These eight items are not magic – they are mine. Edit the list. Add things that are important to you. Delete the unimportant. How does your life plan compare with your actual life?
If you live to 70, you get 25,000 days. How many have you left? Treat each day as precious and irreplaceable.
Look to this day, for it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the realities and verities of existence.
The bliss of growth, the splendor of action, the glory of power.
For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision,
but today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow, a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day. – A Sanskrit Proverb
My life has been varied, interesting, and challenging. When young I gave direct, simple explanations for why I did what I did, why you did what you did., and why others did what they did. Over time many inconsistencies challenged those direct, simple but wrong explanations. A deeper exploration and understanding of motivations became one of my challenges: what made me, you, my friends, my patients, do things that in hindsight were doomed from the beginning? Read more
Bert Pepper, MD
Psychiatrist & Author
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