In case you need to be reminded, you are not a robot.
I know, youre probably like, Girl, I knew that already. Last period I checked, my body wasnt made of metal, and I can feel emotions and have thoughts and stuff.
Well, if you youre not a robot, you should probably stop acting like one.
In 2015, over half of American workers left part of their vacation time unused, adding up to a total of 658 million unused days.
Yeah, let that shit sink in for a moment.
Clearly, somewhere along the way, weve managed to normalize the idea of not taking time off for ourselves, even though we have the ability to do so.
Dr. Adam Perlman, executive director of Duke Integrative Medicine, told CNN,
We try to convince ourselves that feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and not having time to take a day off is normal but its not normal.
Its just your reality at that moment.
If you didnt already know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. So what better is high time to take a mental health day than literally right now?
If you do decide to take one, here are 10 ways to induce the most of your mental health day.
1. Turn off any notifications pertaining to work.
I dont know about you, but even when I take a well-deserved mental health day, a little part of me continues to feel guilty about it, and that guilt is usually triggered by something as mundane as a work-related email.
As long as youre planning your mental health days at least somewhat in advance, you can make sure youre not taking time off during a critical time at work, when your absence might send co-workers into a panic.
This time is for. The world will not stop turning just because you took 24 hours to respond to a work email.
2. Investigate your neighborhood.
Chances are, “youre supposed to” dont know very much about the area you live in.
Or, at the very least, there are places in your neighborhood youve always wanted to visit, but simply never had the time to do so.
Im talking a park youve never been to before( bonus phases if its a dog park ), an antique store, a thrift store, a small, privately owned bookstore, or that hole-in-the-wall restaurant that emanates a delicious, drool-worthy stench every time you walk past it.
The world is literally your oyster on a mental health day.
3. Clean your apartment.
I know this one doesnt sound fun atfirst, but hear me out.
First of all, isnt it more annoying to try to squeezing cleaning time in on the weekends, or in the few hours you have to yourself after a long day at work?
Second of all, when you take a mental health day in the middle of the week, youre most likely going to have the house to yourself.
Strip down to your underwear, crank your favorite music up as loud as you want and get to work.
I promise you, cleaning is a billion times more fun when you can pretend youre also performing onstage with Beyonc at the same time.
4. Run to an adoption shelter, just because.
Pet all the furry newborns you want, even if you have no intention of adopting a pet anytime soon.
But, who knows? Even if you dont necessarily walk into the shelter with a plan to adopt, perhaps youll actually walk out of there with a new little forever friend.
5. Read something for pleasure.
Whether its a publication you like, a novel you havent gotten around to, or even some interesting articles that have been collecting dust in your Bookmarks tab , nows the time to treat your brain with something you actually to read.
6. Clean out your music library.
Were all guilty of skipping song after song after anthem when we have our music libraries on shuffle.
It may not seem like it at first, but taking the time to organize your music feelings beyond amazing.
Plus, you can finally take your time crafting some perfect, much-needed playlists.
7. Cook something you ordinarily wouldnt.
Personally, I love to cook, but I dislike how long the process can take, especially after a long day at work.
If youve been itching to tackle a tough recipe for awhile now, go out to the grocery store, pick up all the ingredients youll want and get to it.
I actually recommend cooking something, if youre as preoccupied with desserts as I am. Banana chocolate chip muffins are perfectly delicious, and theyre super easy to make.
8. Visit someone you havent seen in awhile.
It could be a relative who lives nearby, or an old college friend who happens to live only a subway stop away from you.
I have tons of friends who mostly freelance for work, so our work/ weekend schedules almost never line up. A mental health day is the perfect time to finally go and catch up a little.
9. Avoid social media as much as possible.
It is easy to get sucked into a social media vortex when you have nothing else to do all day.
Sure, you can scroll through your Instagram feed every few hours or so, but dont let yourself get into that soul-sucking habit of switching between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and repeat.
If you have to, you can even turn your telephone off for a few hours at a time to cut down on the temptation.
10. Write a letter to your past self.
It sounds cheesy, but I candidly swear by this.
Ive done it a few hours myself, and its a great style to gain some view on where youve been, where you are now and where youll be going.