How to Know When You Need to Take a Mental Health Day

With the constant stress and anxiety of being a college student, it’s really easy to forget about taking time for yourself. Most of the time, we are so busy stressing ourselves out about looming deadlines, assignments, work, and, of course, the future, that prioritizing self-care tends to get pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists. Weekly schedules consist of attending classes, making sure all of our homework and assignments are completed on time, interning, going to the gym, and trying to find time to call and hang out with loved ones. And for me, last week it got to the point where I found myself completely spiraling into a dark hole of anxiety when I realized I was in desperate need of a mental health day.

Mental health days are pretty different for everyone - it truly depends on what makes you feel better. I decided that on Sunday, I would take the opportunity to listen to my body and brain and figure out what would help me get back on track. Instead of pressuring myself to get to the library and finish my work for the weekend, I chose to get my homework done from the comfort of my bed, surrounded by things that comfort me most. I did a face mask, took a longer shower than usual, washed my sheets and blankets, and ordered food for dinner. The simple task of relaxing versus forcing myself to be productive and busy was enough to have me feeling back to normal. By the end of the day, I felt much more refreshed and ready to take on the week. I decided that mental health days need to be implemented into my schedule on a weekly basis.

I know my idea of a mental health day isn’t exactly parallel to everyone else’s, and that’s totally okay. I think the importance of taking days off from our packed schedules is following our intuition. Do the things that you love, that will make you feel like yourself, and not the stressed out college students we usually are. I find that after working hard all week, I’m completely deserving and entitled to designating a day to my needs.