We all need one every now and then—a self-proclaimed mental health day to pull back from the daily grind and recuperate. No matter how much you love your job, family, or life, sometimes you simply need a break from it all. In fact, taking a mental health day from time to time may be just the thing you need to kickstart your productivity and ensure you’re presenting your best self, day after day.
If you’re feeling burned out, it can be tempting to use the day to stay in bed and catch up on shows and movies. That’s your prerogative! But lounging around all day is more likely to leave you feeling lethargic than rejuvenated. When the stars finally align and you’re able to take your next mental health day, make it count. Here’s how:
1. Take back your morning
Source: Tessa Barton
Turn off your alarm and sleep in, letting the light wake you naturally.
Today, your day can start any way you want it to.
Or, wake up early and spend your morning meditating, reading, jogging, enjoying a big breakfast, or anything you feel will prepare you for a great day ahead. How your morning begins can affect your mindset throughout the day.
So often, our mornings are frantic or routine. We are online as soon as we wake up, already thinking about the day’s to-dos as we drag ourselves out of bed, into the shower, and out the door. Today, your day can start any way you want it to.
2. Get outside
How much of your life do you spend indoors, breathing in the same, stale office air day after day? Do you get enough sun and fresh air, or do you find yourself gazing longingly out of every window you pass while at work? If the weather is nice, take some time to be outside when you might normally be stuck at a desk. Bring a book to read or journal to write in, have a picnic, or bring a camera along to capture shots of the world around you. Or, just bring yourself and enjoy wandering outside without the stress of a timed lunch or rushed commute. Remember the bigger picture—there is more to life than the various sets of four walls you operate within on a regular basis.
3. Catch up on the ‘for pleasure’ stacks
Source: The Everygirl
Do you have a list of books or articles you’ve been saving to read or podcasts you’ve been meaning to listen to? Take some time to catch up on all the things you’ve been interested in but haven’t had the time to explore–articles you’ve come across on Facebook, books recommended by friends, podcasts that have piqued your curiosity. Usually after work all we have energy for is dinner with a heaping helping of Netflix and shows that allow us to zone out for a few hours. Today, catch up on those things that will help you feel better informed and aware.
Source: A Fabulous Fete
Ask yourself these questions—Am I happy? Am I doing what I want to be doing? Is there something that’s bothering me more than I previously realized?
I don’t know about you, but when I find myself most in need of a mental health day is about the same time I realize I haven’t checked in with myself in a while. The days start to blend together. We spend so much of ourselves focusing on the work that needs to be done or people who need to be tended to that we push our own thoughts and feelings to the side.
One of the most important benefits of a mental health day is that it gives us back time to remedy this. Draw a bath or pull out a journal and ask yourself these questions—Am I happy? Am I doing what I want to be doing? Is there something that’s bothering me more than I previously realized? It is important to set aside time to ask yourself specific questions, and writing down your honest responses will help you work through your current state of mind at a given moment. Count your blessings. Express gratitude. Feel yourself come alive again.
5. Pamper yourself
What mental health day would be complete without a little pick-me-up? Choose at least one special thing you can do for yourself on this day that you wouldn’t normally do. Maybe you cook all the time and want to go out or order in instead; or, maybe you never have time to cook and want to make yourself a fresh meal. You could get a massage, take yourself to a movie, book a home-cleaning service—the options are limitless. Weave in a treat or activity that will boost your happiness and relaxation vibes, allowing you to hit the reset button and feel fully charged before you resume your typical day-to-day.