Do you remember how you slept last week? Or when you were stressed?

Our daily patterns of sleep, nutrition, emotions and stress are vital to our overall health and wellness.  Too many things happen during a day, week or month for us to remember. Keeping a health journal is a great solution. You can easily rate things on a scale of 1 to 10 to help you keep track. A score of 1 is excellent and a score of 10 is a challenge.

Writing things down each day can help you uncover patterns in your lifestyle.

Stress is a big determinant of our level of health. An acute event that generates significant stress such as an argument or car accident is easy to remember. But what about the daily events that stress you out that you don’t remember? Your stress levels could be much higher than you know. Establish a baseline of your relaxed state. When are you relaxed during the day? This will tell you when you’re stressed. You can use a rating system of your stress level from 1 to 10. Look back in your journal for days that were above a 5. If you’re hitting 10’s regularly you have a stressful life and you may need to take corrective steps. If you don’t write it down, you won’t remember.

Sleep is very important to a healthy life. We sleep every night and we assume we’re sleeping well. Are we going to remember a bad night’s sleep? Write down your sleeping habits in your journal.  Each morning when you wake, take a few minutes to jot down how you slept.  How many hours and how restful the sleep was are important. Again, use a scale of 1 to 10. You’re not going to score a 1 every night but hopefully you aren’t scoring 10’s either.

Your diet is an important thing to track. You don’t have to write down everything you eat unless you really want to. Keep track of your overall nutrition. It’s easier to track things like the number of meals you’ve eaten or number of beers you’ve had. If you’ve eaten snacks or desserts, you can add them into your score. Give yourself a 1 through 10 score for the quality of your diet each day. The lower the score the better you’re eating.

Keep track of your activities and your exercise.  If you workout 4 days a week, its easy to think you never miss a workout. Sometimes you do and you don’t remember. Also, no two workouts are the same.  You could be in a rut and not know it. By writing your workouts down in your journal you’re able to see what you’re doing and when you’ve been doing it. You can also write down your other activities. How many steps you take each day is a good thing to track. Even shopping at the mall is a physical activity from all the walking you do.  Put it in your journal. By keeping a journal you will ultimately have a better idea of what areas need work and where you are excelling.