The strides made in mental health awareness over the last decade have been resounding, and we hope that shows no signs of slowing down soon. Moving forward and developing our lives is, of course, the task of a lifetime, and it’s okay to admit that sometimes, we might not feel up to the task. While it’s also important to consider mental health as much more than simply feeling sad (such as accepting some people really do suffer with actual conditions, and self-diagnosing is never a good idea), everyone, despite the afflictions they may or may not face, can benefit from doing their best to maintain their own mental health if they can.
Sometimes, this may mean taking time to enjoy a ‘mental health day,’ and understanding how to do that in the first place. If you can achieve this process, then you’re much more likely to integrate yourself into a happier and healthier lifestyle. But how do you take one, and what should you even do when this is possible? Let’s consider that below:
Book It Well In Advance
Knowing that you have a ‘mental health day’ coming up can help you plan for that day, and also, of course, can keep you maintained without having to drop out of a necessary workday or pull a ‘sick day’ in which you’re not actually sick, as this can erode trust.
That said, booking in advance can also help maximize your days off. For instance, you might decide to book a day off after a three day weekend which includes a public holiday, because then you get three days to enjoy that which you hope to do, and a day off to reflect and feel comfortable, returning to work or your regular responsibilities with care afterwards.
Plan Something Productive For The Day
Plan something productive can help you make the most of a mental health day. Of course, our definition of ‘productive’ is actually wider here. You don’t have to sit down and work on your novel for six hours, or feel that you have to get all of your laundry done to make the most of this day. Actually, that can leave you feeling less pampered than you may be otherwise, especially if you pathologize it.
However, planning something productive can involve plenty of considerations going forward, without feeling like work. For instance, you might decide to wake up at a certain time (to avoid sleeping in until the afternoon), and fix yourself a great, indulgent breakfast. Then you might head to the gym, or work out at home. You might walk through the park with your dog and an audiobook playing in your headphones. You might walk through a local art museum and spend time reading every label and speaking to a tour guide. Little productive and interesting tasks like this can help you squeeze the most of your day at a leisurely pace, without feeling as though you have nothing to offer or to do. That can be a tremendous way forward.
Pamper Yourself With A Schedule
Pampering yourself with a schedule can help you enjoy all of the little indulgences you may wish to have during your day of relaxation without wasting time. For instance, you might book a spa day for you and a friend. You arrive at 9am, and spend the first hour in the pool. Then you enjoy the jacuzzi and spa, and then a massage. Perhaps you’ll go for a nice meal together afterwards at a cheap but healthy street food place. Then, you thank each other, part ways, and relax while reading for the rest of the day.
That sounds thoroughly restorative, but it’s also productive. You’ve been out, you’ve talked things through, you’ve been pampered. You haven’t laid in bed until 1pm, felt terrible, and spent the day watching television. As you can see, even in relaxation and care, a little discipline can be healthy. Don’t be afraid to steward it.
Consider A Nourishing Act
A nourishing act, done for its own sake, and enjoyed with those closest to you, can be a great way of enjoying a mental health day. You might, for instance, spend some of the afternoon cooking cuisine you’ve wanted to try for ages and enjoying a romantic dinner with your partner when they get home.
Or, you might decide to consider these five steps for hosting a fantastic kitty party, celebrating your pets in good, wholesome fun. A little event you can enjoy because it’s great fun and that you wouldn’t usually do during your regular life planning can help you think out of the box a little bit, and ultimately enjoy the process of doing that more.
Give Yourself Some Credit
While thinking overly about work, your life plans or ambitions during a mental health day isn’t always the best way forward, it can be nice to take stock of what’s good in life and enjoy the little things.
Simply spending an hour in the garden during the sunny weather, fixing yourself a nice iced tea, and thinking about all the hard work you’ve put in over the last year gives you some time to process your emotions and come back feeling stable. It can also help you take stock of yourself and feel more confident.
You may have heard that sometimes people feel ‘a kind of tired sleep doesn’t fix.’ This can be defined by the general wear and tear many of us experience in life, and the often quite difficult and strained response we may have for it. Taking a mental health day, as described, may help you feel better about your approach and just what you can take from it. When you’ve done the work to give yourself time to think, and you’ve spent some time doing nothing overly productive in particular, these healthy thoughts usually come and nourish you.
With this advice, we hope you can take that mental health day you deserve to.