I am planning to take a mental health week. I try to at least take one mental health day for my birthday. It’s not really a vacation. It’s an energy reset.
“It’s time for a mental health day. So conjugate this. I cut class. You cut class. He/She/It cuts class.” – Melinda Sordino, Speak
- Taking a mental health day is all about getting away from it all. You have to leave your house. Sure, you can call your Lazy Day a Mental Health Day but I refuse to. This is about experiencing something while also resetting your energy.
- It should be a “flying by the seat of your pants” situation. Sure, you planned that on this specific day, you’re going to take a Mental Health Day but do you know what you’re going to do yet? You can plan that massage, but what are you going to do before or after? Maybe you check out a shop by the massage business or that new coffee place you’d been meaning to try. Try to let the moment take you instead of taking the moment.
- Bring along a book, a notebook (and pen!), your headphones, and camera. I know that we all have cameras on our phones, but if you have any film type of camera, try to capture the moments that you stumble upon. I’m normally very against having headphones on my mental health days because I like listening to what is around me, but to each their own. I’ve had Mental Health Days in museums and been struck by a piece of art that moves me into writing. That’s the moment you’ll be happy you have your notebook.
- If you can, take public transit or walk! This way, you don’t really have to pay attention to your driving. You’re free to look around and notice things you might not think of. Plus, you don’t have to worry about parking issues. I’ve also found some of the coolest things because my BART stop was closed or there was some sort of stall so I got off to walk.
- Try to unplug. Number 3 is also important in case you go to a restaurant or cafe. You automatically have something to do without having to use your phone. Having a notebook helps you unplug so that you can get your ideas or problems out on paper. Try not to get distracted by social media.
- Avoid communication with people that are not in front of you. Make connections.
- Decide before taking this Mental Health Day, if you’re spending this alone or with someone else. I used to have strict rules about not spending time with others if you’re taking a Mental Health Day but those have been lifted. I’ve taken many Mental Health Days with friends. I’d suggest only one other person and ensuring that that other person is on the same page as you are.
- Take your time! Make this a day where you know you can be out most of the day. Soak it all up. You don’t know when you can do this again.
- Go to a bookstore! I have to insist on this one. You might not be a book person but do it anyway.