Taking a Mental Health Day

We all need to take a day off from classes or work to maintain positive mental health every now and then. Taking a day off can help reduce stress, relax, and return to school or work with a refreshed mind. However, sometimes it can feel like taking a break doesn’t help or leaves us feeling more stressed. Making a plan for a mental health day can help anyone reap the benefits of a much needed break. Here are some activities to include on your day off to improve mental health:

  1. 1. Exercise

    Some light exercise can help you feel productive and relaxed at the same time. The key is to find an activity that is enjoyable and requires just enough effort to not be stressful. Taking a walk or beginner yoga are great examples, but pick an activity that suits you best. 

    Sitting around can feel unproductive, and it doesn’t do much to relieve the stress that many look to reduce when taking a mental health day. Going outside to exercise can also help reduce anxiety and stress. A change of scenery can be relaxing. Remember to not overwork yourself though!

  2. 2. Cook something for yourself

    What we eat can have a heavy impact on how we feel mentally. Cooking can help boost the feeling of productivity while staying away from school or work. Try looking up a new recipe or making one of your favorite homemade meals.

    Cooking your own meals can actually lead to a healthier diet, according to new research. Eating healthier can lead to overall improved mental health. When one’s body is well-nourished, it’s better at going back to work when the mental health day is over.

  3. 3. Reflect on how you’re feeling

    Think about what made you need a mental health day in the first place. Is it stress? Feelings of sadness? Maybe you just couldn’t seem to focus? Try writing in a journal to reflect on yourself and how those thoughts can be reframed for a better outlook. Understanding your own mental health can help face problems in the future.

    Reflecting on your mindset is an investment into your future mental health. It is hard to improve something when you don’t understand what is wrong. Instead, identify the problem, so you can prepare solutions and healthy coping mechanisms.

  4. 4. Talk to friends or family

    Whether it’s hanging out with a friend or calling family, connecting with others can help us feel less alone and unproductive. Especially during the pandemic and working from home, people can easily become isolated which can lead to poor mental health. If this is a possible reason why you need a mental health day, take part of it to reconnect.

    Ask yourself how much time with others you need to feel healthy. It can be different for everyone. Staying alone working inside though can be hard on our ability to focus.

The goal of a mental health day is to be ready to get back to school or work when it’s over, so taking steps to get there can always be helpful. Always seek help from a licensed professional if you feel you need it.


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Photos: Her Campus Media