Why Mental Health Days Are a Must

Modern day life can feel…hectic, at best. Busy, if we’re being extra generous. But I prefer the phrase, “crazier than heck.”

But it’s way past time for us as individuals to recognize that this isn’t a healthy, sustainable way to live. We, as humans, must take time outs to be by ourselves, practice self-care, and focus on how we’re doing mentally. If we don’t, we run the risk of not just ending up feeling burnt out, but we could be impacting our mental and physical health down the road.

I’ve been reading “Slow Beauty,” by Shel Pink, which includes advice, rituals and recipes ‘to nourish the body and feed the soul.’ I love how the author highlights the importance of adopting health practices that are sustainable, that you can work on over time. She also talks about how its important to follow whatever you know is right for you, even if its not society says is ‘normal.’

For example, many companies are starting to recognize the importance of mental health, and work in mental health days into their employees benefits. That said, if your company isn’t quite on board yet, then you’re forced to use vacation days, personal days, or sick days. While using vacation or personal days is ideal for this, it can feel weird calling in sick if your sickness isn’t physically visible. That’s why I think it’s important to find a healthy practice that you can follow any day and every day if you want, so you don’t have to spend one of your hard-earned free days just to mentally recuperate.

But a mental health day doesn’t have to mean a day off from work or your life in general. It can mean canceling plans so you have a free weekend to recharge your batteries and manage anxiety. It can mean planning a night by yourself at the coffee shop, doing what you want to do. It means doing whatever you want that feels restorative to you, without fear of missing out on something else. A beautiful truth of life is that, 99.9% of the time, the world will not burn down if you disconnect from it for a night, a day, or probably even a week if we’re being honest.

On my mental health days/nights, I like to put my phone on the other side of the room from where I am so I’m not as tempted to check it. Even though I’m not always successful, I’m trying bit-by-bit to train myself to rely less on technology.

I’m starting to learn that mental health is a process, and that I’ll likely be trying to better it for the rest of my life. And I’m okay with that, because after mental health days, I always feel pretty good.

Here’s a short list of Mental Health day rituals that always make me feel refreshed:

  • Using a sheet mask and kicking my feet up
  • Doing a workout that I normally wouldn’t have time to do during the week
  • practicing meditation, even if I can only do it for 5 minutes
  • exploring town with no agenda
  • catching up on a book or watching one of my favorite Disney movies
  • cooking a recipe from scratch while drinking tea

Start your own mental health practice today!


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