This is the internet weblog of Bix Frankonis.

Mood Tracking For April 2018

Mid-month, I posted an early comparison of how my daily average moods were working out between March, the final month at my six-month job placement which I left due to the psychological damage it was doing, and April, my first post-job month.

Since the end of February I’ve been using an app called Daylio to track changes in my mood during each day, or changes in the activities in which I was engaged which could have an impact on my mood. Each entry gives me five mood options: Awful, Bad, Meh, Good, and Great. I’ve never actually used the latter, and the former I reserved for actual emotional breakdowns of the type I’d never before experienced prior to this job placement.

Now that April is over, I wanted to come back and offer my first comparison between two complete and successive months.

In both the calendar view (above) and chart view (below), Daylio is listing the average mood experienced on each day. Over the course of March, I very much did had a number of Awful moods but since Daylio averages each day, no single day gets listed as Awful overall. Typically, days with Awful incidents have a signficant amount of Bad moments as well as some Meh, which together tend therefore to average those days into being “merely” Bad.

These averages shouldn’t suggest that I didn’t have any Awful moments; my breakdowns tend to last no more than half an hour, and usually they’ve lasted “only” for maybe fifteen minutes (I had one in April that only last maybe five minutes), with the rest of day then passing as a string of Bad moods across the various remaining activities of that day. Still, the daily averages are instructive, as both the calendar and chart views show pretty clearly.

My primary mood remains Meh, but I still don’t consider that a problem. The important bit is that Bad moods dropped significantly (that’s tough to see in these charts because of the daily averaging), while Good ones rose noticably — seven Good days for all of March but eleven for April. Since I begin using the app, I’ve never listed a Great moment, but that doesn’t bother me as long as I’m avoiding Awful moments.

As I said in the mid-month look, I’m maybe more after a middling stability than worrying about having intermittent joy.

I find the chart view more easily-illustrative of the differences. It’s evident that April on average was much more stable, and far less dramatic in its fluctuations. I do wonder if the wilder swings in March themselves become a kind of additional stress, which is lessened when the changes in average daily moods are a bit more gradual.

I continue to think that the next couple of months will prove instructive, as a number of fairly disruptive and therefore potentially stressful transitions will be happening at once: my nonprofit will undergo a major relocation; I myself might be moving to accommodate that relocation; and I’ll need to be making some decisions about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance versus returning to Vocational Rehabilitation to try again.

There may or may not be another interim check-in comparison in mid-May, but I’ll definitely come back for a month-to-month comparison at the start of June.