7 Ways To Take Your (Much Needed) Mental Health Day Off Of Work

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Why Taking A Mental Health Day Will Make You WAY Happier

We are the enemies to our own happiness.

"I'd really like to take time off, but I feel guilty."

"I just can't get motivated or stay focused."

"Life has been overwhelming."

Have you ever said any of those things? If the answer is yes, then you'll need this article to integrate more happiness in your life. "We try to convince ourselves that feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and not having time to take a day off is NORMAL — but it's NOT," says Dr. Adam Perlman, executive director of Duke Integrative Medicine. "It's just your reality at the MOMENT."

Unfortunately, we live in a workaholic culture. We must always be doing something to feel productive and useful — but THIS is the reason so many of us don't feel good. While you could be planning a vacation, a three-day weekend, or just incorporate more breaks into your day (at the very least).

Remember, as human beings we are not computers we need to take time to recharge ourselves. This is known as taking a mental health day.

We've all been there. That one coworker that comes into the office with a cold and even though everyone insists she stay home, she doesn't. 

Feeling mentally or emotionally down isn't any different than coming down with a cold. In fact, it's a totally legitimate reason to take a day off.

If you don't take a day to recharge yourself both mentally and physically, you're more likely to react to stresses in ways you wouldn't normally. You may not remember the last time you felt happy or excited, or wish you never had to get out of bed. All of these thoughts and feelings can be damaging to your relationships and to yourself. 

The simple truth is, we all need to schedule special time to unwind and de-stress every once in a while. Here are 7 mental health days you should plan on taking:

1. Get a head start on your weekend. 

Yes, you CAN plan your day off. Why not take it on a Friday or a Monday? Then you can have three consecutive days off. Go somewhere fun or relaxing and unplug your electronic gadgets.

2. Learn what it means to say "Namaste". 

You can go to a yoga class or stay at home and watch some yoga videos. Yoga has a great mind and body connection, and can help you re-center yourself before you head back to work.

3. Take some time to enjoy the quiet outdoors. 

Nature is good for us. Studies have even shown that nature is good for the brain. Taking a hike is a great way to see some beautiful scenery and recharge the batteries.

4. Get excited about something for a day.

Even on a day off, it's okay to get out of the house. If you like baseball, go to a baseball game. Treat yourself to your favorite seats and invite a friend. Getting excited about something that has NOTHING to do with your career can be just what the doctor ordered.

5. Let someone else work their magic. 

Spa days are one of my favorite strategies to revamping my mind and body. Get a massage or a facial (or both!) Spend the day there trying new things. You'll be so glad you did!

6. Get in some retail therapy.

Shopping therapy is COMPLETELY justified. It's okay to finally get those new shoes you've had your eye on, or that new blouse you can't stop thinking about. Stop putting yourself off and take the time you need to TREAT yourself.

7. Completely "veg out" on the couch. ALL. DAY.

You really don't need to feel guilty about this one. Try to make sure you're the only one home, so you won't be interrupted. It's YOUR time to watch your favorite movie or reality shows as LONG as you want.

And if you just CAN'T take a whole day to yourself, start to incorporate relaxation into your life on a DAILY basis. Remember to set aside 30 minutes a day doing something you enjoy. For example, it can be listening to soothing music, painting, coloring drawing, or taking a bubble bath; simply these can insure a better mental health.

Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has 14 years of experience in the field and loves her work. For more help, please visit


This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.