A Mental Health Day

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Every few months, I need a mental health day. Not a weekend, not a holiday, not a day where anything special is happening...I need a nothing day.

I pick a day when my husband is working, and take my kid to daycare at the normal time. I use sick time instead of vacation at work, because it really does affect my physical body to feel this stressed.*

*I talk about stress or anxiety a lot...I do think there is depression mixed in there too, but that is a second wave that I usually don't even realize because the anxiety is the problem I feel the most...if that makes sense. 

I completely get that this is a privilege, to be able to do so. But if you can, in any way, I highly recommend it.

I don't have to do anything on my mental health days. If I lay in bed all day and watch reruns of Dr. Who, that's okay. It's my day.

Usually I end up doing something, because just the act of giving myself some freedom from my normal schedule gives me motivation and energy to do more.

Last night, I also skipped Babycake's swim lessons. Hubs took her solo, and I got more done in that hour than I probably had in two days.

I don't know why, but I've always felt more productive when I'm left alone. Only child syndrome? Perfectionist tendency (if someone is around, they can judge how I'm doing)? Either way, sometimes I just need a fuckin' break.

So I'm taking it. Because I have to do what works for me...no one is going to do it for me. And it's hard to convince myself sometimes that it's truly necessary and okay and acceptable because my brain too often wants to make everything in the world my personal responsibility and possible catastrophe.

But anxiety and depression and stress lie. They tell you that you have to keep going in one specific direction or do one specific thing and that breaking that pattern will be the end of the world (okay, or maybe that's just me). And once you know something that helps, even just a little, you absolutely have the right to do use that knowledge and take care of yourself.

2 comments

  1. hell yes to mental health days; we all need to unplug and do NOTHING to rejuvenate ourselves

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  2. I'm thinking that in the no-school portion of August, I'll take a mon and fri off of work, if I have the PTO available so I can have a 4 day weekend. Teh German can go to work and I can sleep in and enjoy being all.by.myself doing whatever I wawnt with, as you, no judgement. When someone else is around, there's an expectation (from myself or others) that I should be doing SOMETHING. Something productive, something on the never ending list of to-dos. SOMETHING. But I always feel the best after days when I've done whatever I wawnted, then napped, and had a relaxed evening with husband.

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