Sunday, 14 August 2016

Taking Mental Health Days

More and more we hear about "Mental health days" but what exactly does this mean?
A mental health day is a day where you give yourself a break, you give your brain and body a break from all the stresses that life throws at you and you do things that make you happy. Mental health days are typically days taken off from work or school in order to recuperate.

My first ever mental health day was given to me by a teacher when I was 18. Sixth form was incredibly stressful and I was going through a period of insomnia, so I was incredibly exhausted whilst in school. One day I was called in by my head of year where after being asked a couple of questions I broke into tears. This is where I was told to have a day off, a "mental health day" in order to get some sleep and to rest. At first I refused because I was (and still am) stubborn  but did cash in this "authorised day off" a couple of weeks later. It is now, more than a year later, that actually I have realised the importance of taking a day to myself where nothing is expected of me. We live in a very fast paced society which doesn't sleep and so taking a complete day off from time to time is needed, by everyone.  

Important steps for a mental health day 

1. Turn off social media. Social media is a huge part of our day to day lives but it drains us and just the simple fact of taking a break from it can really help our mental state.

2. Food! A mental health day also means ignoring any diet you may be following and just letting yourself eat whatever it is that you crave for 24 hours. So stock up on plenty of chocolate, anyway its made from coco beans which comes from a plant so technically its a fruit!

3. Turn off the news. The news can be very depressing so stick to happy films and programmes or if you feel like having a good cry then put on a soppy rom com. 

Things to do on a Mental Health Day 

1. Watch a film. My personal favourite and my pick me up movie is Street Dance. Every time I watch it I can be sure to be left in a great mood. 

2. Paint your nails, have a bath and do a face mask. Self care is incredibly important, something we forget to do when we are in the midst of our busy lives,so it is key to take time to care for yourself. 

3. Sleep. Its important to rest and sometimes this is all that your body needs however be careful with the amount of time you spend in bed as spending days on end in bed may lead you to feeling more lathargic, unmotivated and depressed. "The more you do the more you want to do"
4. Take a walk and breathe in the fresh air. 

5. Clean. Sometimes your surrounding environment can get very messy and it can really help to clear your head if you clear your surroundings. 

There is no shame in taking a mental health day and it is important to take one if you feel it can be beneficial. It is for sure better to take one day off and recuperate than to keep going and to run yourself into the ground.

Take care

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