Take a Mental Health Break: Here’s How

by Apoorva Malhotra
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Every individual has different ways to cope with stress and other negative emotions. Dealing with these becomes even more difficult if you have conditions like depression and anxiety. However, if you feel that everything around you is overwhelming and taking a toll on your mental and physical health, it may be time to take a mental health break!

In this post, we will discuss everything about mental health break and how to make the most of it. So let’s check it out!

What is a Mental Health Day?

A Mental Health Break or a Mental Health Day is pretty self-explanatory. You take a break from the stresses in your life, be it work or regular stuff, and relax. Prioritize yourself, your needs, and your mental health, and spend it in ways that suit you best.

The duration of a mental health break varies from person to person. Some may need just a couple of minutes, while others may require a month or more! Eventually, it is all about recharging your batteries and overcoming the burnout that we feel.

Signs That You Need to Take a Mental Health Break

Sadly, mental health issues continue to remain a stigma. For this reason, we may sometimes brush off crippling anxiety or debilitating depression.

Typically, you must take a mental health break when you display the following signs:

  • Inability to focus on the work at hand.
  • Poor interpersonal relationships with friends, colleagues, or family.
  • Physical manifestation of stress in the form of tremors, palpitations, etc.
  • You do not have a self-care or self-love routine.
  • You feel constantly fatigued as if you are empty.
  • Decreased productivity and performance with lower energy levels.

The above signs and symptoms indicate burnout, which is the primary reason why you must take a mental health break. Experiencing burnout is unhealthy and unsustainable.

Why You Must Take a Mental Health Break

When you take a mental health break, you get the opportunity to:

  • Destress
  • Evaluate your life, your dreams/aspirations, and other goals
  • Reset your outlook towards things/people/situations
  • Rest
  • Care for self
  • Relax
  • Be in control of your emotions

After refreshing your mind through a mental health break, you can gain a fresh perspective to a problem at hand.

What to do During Your Mental Health Day

Once you have managed to take a mental health break, you may wonder, “what should I even do now?”

Well, the answer largely depends on what state you are in currently, and what you wish to enter after your mental health day. A mental health day is primarily about listening to your emotional, mental, and physical needs and meeting them.

We have classified the various activities that you can indulge in, based on the output that you expect.

To Relax

One of the primary reasons why people take a mental health break is because they want to take the time to relax. For some individuals, it could mean decluttering the kitchen, while for someone it could mean spending the day in your jammies and Netflix and chilling. As long as you are not stuck in your regular routine, you are relaxing.

Here are a few activities that you can try:

  • Taking a (socially distant) walk in the park or go hiking in the woods.
  • Practice a few yoga exercises.
  • At-home exercises or a spa day to pamper yourself.
  • Digitally exploring a site or a landmark.
  • Building a pillow fort and watching a movie inside it.

To Enjoy

If you want to distract your mind from the stress of work or crave a change of scenery, it would be great to take a mental health break. Spend some time to participate in activities that you thoroughly enjoy and what makes you happy.

Some enjoyable activities include:

  • Cycling around the neighborhood.
  • Planning a picnic on your terrace along with board games.
  • Randomly choosing a movie off IMDb and watching it.
  • Talk to strangers and make new friends. Alternatively, you can reconnect with the old ones.
  • Start a new hobby that you have been putting off for long.

To Make a Change

If the purpose of your mental health break is to improve on yourself, you can achieve it through self-reflection and evaluation. It also offers you an insight into what could be the possible stressors that may hamper with your mental health.

Here’s what you can try if you wish to make a change:

  • Assess the tasks or activities that leave you feeling drained and exhausted.
  • Reading self-help books and guides to overcome personal struggles.
  • Creating a vision board for what you wish to achieve in the future.
  • Practice meditation.
  • Maintain a diary to note your worries and concerns, and how you can address it.

To Get More From the Break

When you take a mental health break, you would obviously want something more from it. If you really wish to add value to your mental health day, try out the tips shared below.

  • You can improve your sleep hygiene and sleep better at night.
  • Enjoy a relaxing staycation with family or just for yourself.
  • Seek help and mental health counseling when you feel that it is too much to handle.
  • Spend time with your family and loved ones and take the time to bond with them.
  • Take a break from digital devices and enjoy an entire day without the internet!

Taking a mental health break is the best way to manage stress and emotions. You have complete and absolute freedom on what you wish to include in your mental health day. You can load it with what you deem to be fit in the given condition.

After you have planned for the mental health day, the next stage would be to prepare for it. Make all the necessary arrangements so that you have to make minimal efforts on the D-day. Finally, don’t forget to eliminate all the surrounding distractions and focus on what truly matters – yourself.

Do you feel the urge to go on a mental health break? What do you plan on doing during your mental health day? Let us know in the comments section below!

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