Do you need a mental health day?Tuesday, July 20, 2021
By Vanessa James
Considering that our world turned topsy turvy in March 2020, it is no surprise that we need a break- just a day- to recuperate and get back to our best selves. For those who are stuck in the rut of wake up, commute, work, home, sleep and repeat; and those working from home, confined to the four walls and the computer screen; and when you finally get to go out, the constant reminder to sanitise, physical distance and wear your mask, it is understandable that life has become too exhausting and it might be time for a break- a mental health day.
But how do you know that you are in need of such a day? Mental health advocate, Angelique Cohen shared that there are signs that one can look for that may be indicators that you are on the brink, and a break is needed.
“A mental health day in terms of resting your mind is just as important as when you need to rest your body because they go hand in hand,” she shared, “If you are behaving out of character, for example experiencing irritability, and overwhelmed by simple tasks, you may be in need of a break.”
Cohen also share other signs which include:
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling withdrawn when you are usually a friendly, extroverted individual
- No longer find joy or zeal in the things you enjoyed before
- As a neat and organised person if your surrounding is messy this could be an indicator as your environment is typically a reflection of what is happening in your mind.
- Lack of motivation to go anywhere or do anything
Cohen stated that needing a mental health day does not indicate laziness and reminded us that it is necessary.
“It [mental health day] reduces stress, anxiety, burn-out which allows you to be more effective and productive for the next day. Personally, it should be priority for all of us to take a mental health day whenever we need it,” she said.
Taking a mental health day does not have to be extravagant or expensive, it is a personal thing, so all you have to do is answer the question 'What do I want?'
Here are a few ideas:
- Stay in bed all day
- Embrace nature (go on a hike, beach, river)
- Be a couch potato and catch up on your favourite series
- Ignore outside contact
- Treat yourself to something nice from a piece of cake to a pair of shoes
- Take yourself on date
- Take chances
- Bring out your inner child
- Play music and sing aloud
- If you tend to internalize things then you can use that day to unpack it all with your therapist, or a friend
“When I think of mental health day, I think of self-preservation and self-care so the possibilities are endless,” Cohen noted, adding “Just take the day to be yourself and rejuvenate. It doesn't have to be cliché, it is all about what makes you happy as an individual.”
Now that you are more informed, when is your next mental health day?
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