Taking time for yourself has be a priority which is why I believe in taking mental healthy days. This is why…
Everyone has their own way of adopting self-care and focusing on their mental health and wellness, but it’s important to point out that no one way of tackling it is the same. Some people crave distance and solitude while others need community, some light candles and others may require the smell of the outdoors – whatever your fancy, guard that time and make sure you’re taking it to reset.
Now I’m no expert on practicing mental health, I still struggle with bouts of depressive moments, days and even weeks, but I do make it point to try and alleviate any mental cloudiness with days where I can recharge and reflect. Sometimes those days fall on weekends with the family, and other times those days are taken during the work week. In fact, on Friday I’m taking a mental health day for myself.
After the last few years of battling depression, I know that mental health days are necessary for me to refresh and fill my tank up with positive energy. I thought it would be fun to share a few things I’ll be doing on Friday to put my best foot forward for the next few weeks.
5 Things I do on my Mental Health Days
1// Prioritize Sleep. The first step in taking care of your mental wellness is making sure you’re getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Just because I have the following day off doesn’t mean I’m going to bed any later. On my mental health days, I stick to my 9:30pm bedtime and just switch off my alarm for the next morning. I usually don’t sleep in past 7am but I’m still getting a solid 9.5 hours of sleep so the next day I’m feeling hella refreshed!
2// Get Physical. Just because I have the day off doesn’t mean I skip my workout! Sure, I move my exercise time from 5am to 8am but the sweat sesh still gets done. For me, physical fitness is a must in order to push out feelings of anxiety, unworthiness, depression, you name it – I need to sweat it out in order to feel inner calm. This may not work for everyone but it sure works for me.
3// Get Ready. Again, I may not be going into work but in order to feel my best self, I have to shower and get ready for the day. Showering, applying my makeup, picking out my outfit – those are things that bring me joy so getting them done is a must! Plus, the whole getting ready routine is a great way to feel rejuvenated for the day!
4// Make a Meal & Set Goals. If I have the time, which today thankfully I do, I make it a note to enjoy the process of making a real hardy breakfast. No cereal or oatmeal but a true meal. Something as simple as an egg white omelette with some chicken sausage and fruit improves my mood and sets me on the right course for productivity.
During the meal making process, I also work on coming up with a few goals for my day. I don’t do well in long bouts of laziness, so setting intentions to my day is necessary. Whether it’s running a few errands, cleaning a specific room in the house, dedicating some time to spend outside and just sit with my thought – having a game plan makes me feel balanced for the day ahead.
5// Set Time to Reflect. I try to make it a note to set aside some time to really think about what’s at the root of any negativity or anxiety I’m facing. Acknowledging the problem is the first step, right? Once I recognize what’s affecting me then I can go about finding ways to relieve the stress those problems may be causing. I may not always find solutions but at least I’m identifying that there’s a problem.
The purpose of my mental health days is to gain focus and clarity – I can’t be a good wife, mom, employee, friend, etc. if I’m overwhelmed and burnt out on life. My work week mental health days may not happen often but when they do, I make sure it’s time well spent, for my mind’s sake;)