Self care is a bit of a buzz word these days, with more and more online magazines, books and websites recommending we take time out of our busy schedules to do something for ourselves for once. But is it really necessary? And is self-care really such a new concept? We’ve been looking at the importance of taking a mental health day for yourself, and we think you might agree that it’s a really good idea.
What is a mental health day?
It’s a relatively new concept, but the idea is that you take a day out for yourself, to concentrate on your own emotional well being and to do something that will make you happy, calm, focused and relaxed. Put like that, it doesn’t seem so new at all. I mean, for centuries we’ve been taking time out to go and get our nails done, or to enjoy a meal out with friends. But have we really been putting aside enough time to focus on our mental health and emotional well-being- and for an entire day?
Taking a mental health day might not mean doing all that much. It might just be switching off from everything that has been on your mind just lately, or it might be getting away for the day just to be by yourself. The fact is that not many of us feel we are able to do this at all. With our busy schedules and the pressures of being a parent, we tend to feel that the best way forward is to simply keep going. It seems selfish to take time out for ourselves, and we prefer to put our own needs on the back burner for a while. So taking a mental health day actually means that we put ourselves first for once. And that can be really hard to do!
Five reasons why you should take a mental health day
- If you’re still not convinced, allow us to give you five reasons why a mental health day might be just the thing that you need right now…It will alleviate stress. Just taking some time out from work, or your busy routine can do wonders for your stress levels, and give you time to figure out better ways to deal with it all too. Sometimes removing ourselves from a situation and giving ourselves a chance to reflect can be empowering and healing just when we need it to be.
- It will increase productivity. A rest is as good as a holiday, and you’re more likely to come back fighting fit if you’ve had a proper break. Sometimes all we need is a few hours to rest and re-charge and we can feel as though we’re ready to take on the world again. Don’t underestimate how much you can get done when you have a renewed energy and a more positive attitude.
- You can get time to cross off things on your to-do list that are for YOU. Concentrating on your own needs for one day every now and then is the best way to show yourself that you matter too. So that book you’ve been meaning to read? Go ahead and read it!
- You can catch up on sleep! Let’s face it, who doesn’t fancy another hour or two when the alarm goes off in the morning? And when you’re busy, you have kids and you have work, sleeps often the one thing we neglect the most. Ironically, when we’re sleep deprived we’re way more prone to low moods and feelings of anxiety and stress, so it makes sense to prioritise rest a little now and then.
- You’re showing everyone else that you matter too. Sometimes it’s easy for us to feel as though we’re taken for granted a little, especially when we’re all busy. But when loved ones see that you care about yourself, and when they realise just how beneficial a mental health day is for your health and well being, they will see the importance of it all. And they’ll be much more likely to tap you on the shoulder when you need another day like this.
Remember that you’re not a robot. Nobody is able to keep on going without a break, so don’t push yourself into a burnout. Only you are able to speak up when you’re struggling, so make sure that you do.