Live Life on Purpose

Take a Mental Health Day

When was the last time you had a mental health day? Maybe you take time off each quarter. Perhaps you feel guilty about staying home unless you have a fever or a sore throat.

You may be surprised to hear that the World Health Organization designated October 10 as the official World Mental Health Day. It’s part of a campaign for education, awareness, and advocacy. But you do not have to wait until October before you decide ‘I need a break!’

Give Mum a Break

Kids, you won’t even notice the stress your Mum is probably experiencing, but believe me, being a Mum is like juggling 10 balls in the air all day long.  So, it’s up to you kids to give her a break now and again.

MOTHERS, you need to do Your bit by taking a break when you need it.  Stop trying to be a martyr by pushing yourself to the limitBoundaries are the limits you set every day.  Remember, if you get sick, the whole system falters so you owe it to yourself and your family to take time out and relax.  Take a chill pill once a week and ensure you get that ME time.

Try these suggestions for planning a day off that will help you regain your balance and protect your wellbeing.

Tips for a Relaxing Mental Health Day

Each of us needs downtime regularly, but how you decide to do that depends on your situation.  You do have to consider your responsibilities if you work, have small babies, look after things/people etc.  But everyone can organise 30 minutes or an hour every few days to regroup mentally and physically, you may just have to become creative.

Try these easy and relaxing activities:

  1. Pamper yourself. Beauty treatments do more than make you look pretty. Your skin is an organ that needs care. Arrange a spa day at home or book a professional massage.
  2. Reflect and pray. Explore your spirituality. Start your personal retreat with some time observing your thoughts. Read inspirational texts and contemplate their meaning.
  3. Do stretching exercises. Borrow a book or video about beneficial stretching exercises from your local library or find some online resources to give you ideas.
  4. Make art. Express your creativity. Set up an easel outdoors where you can paint trees and buildings. Look in a mirror and sketch a portrait of your face. Visit a pottery studio to make a coffee cup or a pair of earrings.
  5. Read a book. Studies have found that reducing your TV time can increase your physical activity and overall well-being.   So switch off the TV and pick up a book instead. Read anything that interests you, from novels to French cooking.   Try travel books to stimulate the get-up and go factor.
  6. Play music. Your favourite songs can have a dramatic impact on your mood. Put together a soundtrack that will soothe your soul or cheer you up.
  7. Take a Power Nap.    More than one-third of adults in Australia get less than 7 hours of sleep each night. If this is you, you need to catch up on your rest.  Schedule a ‘power’ nap around midday so that it won’t interfere with your regular schedule.

Tips for an Energizing Mental Health Day

On the other hand, you may feel bored and looking for stimulation.

Break out of your usual routines with a variety of new and interesting activities:
  1. Plant a tree. Search online for reforestation and tree planting programs in your local area or add a tree to your backyard. Plant a garden for easy vegetables like lettuce and squash if you want to start with something smaller.
  2. Do chores. If you enjoy cleaning, tidy up your home. You could also tackle a single day home improvement project like painting a room or updating a window treatment.
  3. Be social. Invite a friend or family member to join you. Pack a picnic lunch to take to a park. Visit a science museum or attend a matinee performance at a community theatre.
  4. Volunteer your services. Giving back to your community and helping others in need will make your mental health day more memorable. Walk dogs at an animal shelter or sort cans at a food kitchen.

Mental health days are a great way to recharge, but it’s essential to invest in yourself the rest of the year too. Make your time off part of a wholesome lifestyle that will keep you happy and healthy.

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