We all have those nights that are almost impossible to get through, or you wake up one day and realize it’s just way too hard to get out of bed. Sometimes you sit down at your laptop, waiting for your fingers to beat out that essay you’ve been trying to write for days.
You try to stay focused but your mind is agonizingly pestering you, reminding you of every wrong thing you’ve said this week, or how everyone must have noticed the coffee stain on your shirt. How are you supposed to calm yourself down or even focus on the important things when your tight schedule is forcing you to be running off to do something else every hour?
While I was deciding whether or not to take a mental health day for myself, I heard the same thing from everyone around me: your mental health should be your priority.
Your priority should be YOU.
We too often believe that school and work are the most important things in our lives, and we are allowed to forget about our well-being. I cannot stress the importance of mental health enough. Every single person deserves a mental health day once in a while.
So, what do you do on your mental health day? First, ensure yourself that you are allowed to have a day to yourself. Don’t feel guilty for skipping class or work or other obligations to focus on what you need. Don’t feel guilty for taking the time to better yourself.
Next, you should relax, and give yourself the time you need and deserve. Take a nap until you are fully rested. Continuous days of stress and anxiety can really tire your body out. My mental health day started with a nice, long shower.
After that, I meditated with soothing music and green tea. Mediating, or even simply practicing deep breathing, is a great way to recharge.
Eat a big, healthy meal to ensure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Fruit really helps to brighten my day. Don’t forget to get moving!
Take a walk or go to the gym- stay away from binge-watching your favorite show. I took the day to stroll around in the rain (and jump in puddles) to clear my head. It works wonders!
I also took care of the responsibilities I had piling up that didn’t relate to my usual load of schoolwork. This included making that counseling appointment I’ve been building the courage to make for three years, without the excuses of time constraints between classes or the stress of having to do homework.
It’s okay to admit you need help. There should be no shame in self-care. Schools and workplaces should regulate the idea of mental health days, as mental health becomes more of a regular topic. You’d be surprised how many people are beginning to treat mental health as any other form of health. Your mental and emotional well-being are staples for your overall happiness.
Practice the act of self-love and understand the importance of mental health days.