bp-ipriority-mental-health-1546123With all of the wonderful things life brings us, it also brings us stress. It is for this reason that I am an avid supporter of mental health days. A mental health day is, in my book, a day that is different from the norm. Something relaxing. Whether it’s a day away from the kids or a day off of work to get some rest, mental health days are imperative in dealing with the fast paced lives we live and our high levels of anxiety.

While it’s never good to ignore responsibilities, sometimes it is good to unplug from the world for a day. We eat healthy and stay active to keep us from getting sick, but sometimes we forget to care for our minds. It is important to try to incorporate self care into our lives and allocate time for activities we enjoy. This helps relieve stress on a daily basis. But every now and then you just need to stay home and take a day to recoup. Sometimes you just need to relax. It’s important to value yourself and your mental health. Our minds and bodies are connected, and when only one is being cared for the other may be suffering.

So, what do you do on a mental health day? The answer is anything you want. Read. Sleep. Clean. Growing up, my brother and I were allowed a few mental health days a year. We would stay home from school and relax. For him it was playing games on the computer, while my days were spend reading or watching TV. My mental health days now consist of picking up around my apartment, cooking a decent meal, and then reading for a few hours. I completely shut off from work or school. To me, this is relaxing. Organizing the clutter that piles up during the week, cooking the meals I don’t have time to cook, and reading the books that I’ve accumulated through Amazon but don’t have time to read.

A mental health day is great, but only if it’s supplemented with self care through the week. From my experience, if self care is not regularly implemented in your week, taking a mental health day is just going to stress you out even more. But when it’s needed, try hard to recognize that and take care of yourself. It will help keep you happy and healthy. A mental health day is NOT a day to avoid life, it is a day to recoup.

Madeline

Madeline Stiers, Mental Health Coach

Hope and Healing Center & Institute