Let's Talk About A Mental Health Day
With all the conversations going on about mental health I wanted to talk today about taking a mental health day. I'm a big advocate for mental health days. I think it is so important to take a second and check in with yourself. No one can ever know how you are feeling or what you need as much as you.
Before I start, I want to emphasize that I am not a licensed psychologist or anything so I cannot recommend anything or provide advice, rather I'm just sharing my experience.
In my opinion there are two types of mental health days, at least two types that I like to partake in. The first is a time out day and the second is a make me happy/self-care day. Let's break them down:
Time out day
This is literally a time out from life, a pause. Normally these days come when I hit burnout and I just can't do anything mental or physically - it's like I'm mush. On these days, I just sleep as much as I need, I don't change out of PJs and I just stay inside and watch movies or TV all day. I normally ignore my phone and literally just push pause on life and do nothing. It may sound lazy but for me (an over thinker), being able to turn of my mind and just become the mush that I feel like really helps recharge me and gives my mental battery the much needed rest it deserves. I typically have this type of day once a month or once every other month depending on how busy life is.
Make me happy/self-care day
This day is different. It's not necessarily an unproductive day, but it's not a super productive day in the traditional sense. I don't spend all day in bed watching TV but it's also not a catch up day. I don't do laundry or cleaning or errands, rather I do the activities that make me the happiest and help me de-stress. Typically this can include exercise, yoga, mediation, reading, writing, making the bed, grocery shopping (seems like an errand but is one of my favorite things to do), cooking a new meal for fun, any beauty treatments (painting my nails, putting coconut oil in my hair, getting waxes, etc.), bible study, journaling, art, etc. -- just a combination of activities that will make me feel happy, fulfilled and more like myself. It helps break up the day-to-day because I'm not just a publicist or a blogger. These days help me remember that I am a whole person and I need outside activities other than a 9-5 to make me feel fulfilled. I typically have these days once or twice a year because it helps me prevent burn out and refocus on myself. It's almost like a company doing their annual planning - I'm the company and I'm rechecking on my organization, my mission and my future growth.
I'm not sure what you do for your mental health days, but that's the beauty of them - they are days that are just for you. So take a moment, plan a day and just take what you need. It's important to care for yourself every once in a while. Wanna talk more about mental health? Contact me, I'm always down to have these insightful conversations.
If you are struggling, please reach out to a licensed therapist, friend or family member. If you, or someone you know, are contemplating suicide call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you are a friend and know someone struggles, reach out to them. Sometimes they can't do the reaching out themselves.