I’ve started using a period tracker. I know, ew gross. The female anatomy. ‘Kay, now that we have that over with, I have discovered that using one of these apps is actually super helpful, and not just to “avoid being pregnant”, which is basically the only option the app gives that doesn’t involve already being pregnant or wanting to be pregnant. They need an option that says, “Single and not wanting to bleed on her underwear”. But I digress.
This app is additionally helpful for tracking other things, like your weight, stress levels, and emotions. At first I was just ignoring the option to log my emotions for the day — how much effort do they want from me? — but when I decided to give it a shot, I started to notice some recurring emotions. Below, I have provided a list of the times I’ve remembered to track my emotions:
Log: I feel Frustrated and Tired
Log: I feel Frustrated, Happy, and Tired
Log: I feel Anxious, Emotional, Excited, and Tired
Log: I feel Calm, Depressed, Frustrated, Neutral, Sad, and Tired
Log: I feel Focused, Frustrated, and Tired
Log: I feel Anxious, Happy, Motivated, and Tired
Log: I feel Anxious, Energetic, Excited, and Happy
The app I’m using is not terribly efficient at mapping out my emotions, or showing anything other than the day that I’m currently looking at. Maybe there are some better apps that people know of. But it is really helpful for me to sift through and see some common themes in my emotional state. Usually I will only log emotions that stand out to me — if they weren’t strong enough to last more than a minute or two, then I don’t count that. I think of these logs as extremes. If I felt slightly sad while thinking about a sad event, I probably won’t log that emotion. If I felt happy when I laughed at a joke a coworker said, I probably won’t log that. I will, however, log any time that I felt happy or sad or whatever emotion for any stretch of time.
Which really goes to show that I feel frustrated a lot. I feel anxious a lot, though not as often as I’d expected. I feel tired a lot. And looking back on these logs, I notice that the only time I log that I’m happy is when I am hanging out with friends — not meeting, or practicing, even if I’m with friends — when I’m hanging out with friends. Just allowing myself to be with people brings me joy. It’s a good thing to be mindful of as I’m planning my time in the future.
That is, ironically, the best thing that this period tracking app has done for me: it has made me more mindful. It is an incredibly powerful thing to be mindful of the feelings you have throughout the day, even if you don’t know what to do with them. To know when you are upset, or relaxed, or angry, or any range of emotions, and to be able to look for patterns, is kind of awesome. I don’t know how long it will be before my excitement at this app fizzles out and I stop using it, but for now, it has been a refreshing peek into my subconscious.