National Suicide and Awareness Day was September 10th! It's a day that I try to honor even after it's over. It's what we champion here at Unbelievably Human. In the past we have walked for awareness with Out of the Darkness Community Walk, created award winning art, and this year took a much needed Mental Health day.
Mental Health Days should be on your calendar! It's the best thing ever, really; you have the opportunity to simply take a day off for your mental health and sanity, like you would if you'd caught a 25hr bug. If you're a student you can miss one day of class scott free and if you are an employee it's usually built into your benefits. It's called personal time. Not to be mistaken with leave time or sick leave. Research it and see if your company has "personal time" it's the same time you'd use to go to the doctor.
What to do on a mental health day?
1. How Do I know when I need to take a mental health day?
Knowing when to take a Mental Health Day is much like knowing when you don't feel physically well and you stay home from work or school. Symptoms of mental exhaustion AKA Burnout can be , but are not limited to: frequent headaches, sleepless nights, short patience, inability to concentrate, muscle pain, or situational anxiety. If we are not attentive to the initial signs, things can develop into physical pain as talked about in this E-how article that discusses the symptoms of Mental exhaustion or burnout.
The biggest take away here is that we are all human and can't mentally go at 110% all the time without taking time to recenter and truly rest one of our largest muscles - the mind. The exciting thing about this sort rest is that it's totally up to you how you choose to savor this free day of #mentalhealth !
2. Do what you want as long as the "pressure" impact on you is minimal!
Once you've gotten the day off from work solely for the purposes of your mental health it is now time for the day to begin. The question that I get asked A LOT is, what do you do on your Mental Health Day? If you search the #MentalHealthDay on Instagram you will find all sorts of things to do! I've seen some people go to Disney Land while others power watch a show on Netflix and everything in between. The great thing is, it all counts as long as you are doing what you want to do with minimal pressure.
I always try to do something that gets me in touch with my inner child to have the feeling of having no care in the world! So I bought myself a kiddie pool and filled it with water and a whole bunch of floats to keep me company! I had music playing, drinks, and a cooler! I was the party, all by myself!
3. What do I think about during my Mental Health Day?
This is going to sound like a paradox but the objective of a Mental Health day is to give your mind a brake. Much like you would a sore or over worked muscle. You have to give it time to rest. It's no different with your mind. If you're sleeping this is pretty easy for some. But what about when you areawake? I'm probably the queen of staring at blank walls aimlessly, and if you've ever done that that's kinda your goal on a mental health day - a blank mind.
If you plan to power watch Netflix I wouldn't watch a whole host of documentaries, I'd watch something that doesn't even engage my mind to think. I would list a few shows but I think that you know exactly the ones that do this for you, because they are probably your "guilty" pleasures! So enjoy those and ABOVE ALL ELSE REST YOUR MIND.
I learned about Mental Health Days from the movie Juno! It was the scene in the movie where Juno goes over to the house of her "baby daddy" and he's at home and she ask why and he says very casually "Mental Health Day". I thought wow, I need those in my life! It made total sense especially everything that they had going on!
I hope that my tips have helped you and that you'll try taking a mental health day and strictly abide by the guidelines above. Meanwhile I'll be pool side thinking about nothing!
As always you are Unbelievably Human, so be Unbelievably YOU!
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