How to Have an Effective Mental Health Day

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Finally, a day off. A mental health day. A day JUST for you. 


You sigh deeply and then those pesky gears in your mind start to spin: What will I do with all of this time away from my job? Maybe I should reorganize the kitchen, maybe I’ll Netflix binge on Orange is the New Black, maybe I’ll put up the blackout curtains and sleep until 2pm, maybe I’ll eat Oreo’s for breakfast and Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream for lunch!

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Whatever your vision of what a mental health day is, it’s probably totally acceptable, unless that vision actually causes you stress. After all, a mental health day is intended to repair all of that stress, not to add more! Here are 3 simple steps you can follow to ensure an effective and relaxing mental health day.


Plan It In Advance


You wake up late and think that it’s the right time to take a mental health day. You’re probably not wrong in thinking that, but imagine the stress of calling into work, of thinking to yourself about anything you should have done to make the day off go smoothly for your co workers, of phone calls asking where you are and if you’re okay. That does not sound mentally relaxing at all! Throw on a chunky sweater with a messy bun and head to the office. When you get there, march directly to (or log into) HR and put in for the next day off. Now you have the perfect opportunity to tie up loose ends at work so you can fully enjoy a well-deserved day off.


Do What YOU Need


You are the only one who can decide what your mental health day should be for. Most mental health days are taken for stress relief and if that’s the reason you’ve scheduled this day, you should be sure to maximize your day for mental relaxation. Manicures and pedicures are a popular choice, either at the salon or on the couch. Meditation is also a good mental health day choice, the app Headspace offers a free trial of guided meditations that are good enough to put you to sleep! Some mental health days are needed for a break from the mundane work week–these days are for fun! Take a small road trip to explore a new area, schedule your day off with your significant other or best friend, spend time doing something creative, your options are endless!


Savor Every Minute


A day can go past in the blink of an eye. If sleeping is important to you, be sure to get to bed early the night before and to let your body wake up naturally. If there are things you feel that you “need” to do before your relaxing can begin, get them done the night before or as soon as you wake up. This way, you can fully enjoy the day ahead of you without any nagging concerns.


Go ahead, enjoy your mental health day on your terms. You deserve it!


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