mental health dayWe have all either been there or are fast approaching that moment when taking a break from the day to day hustle becomes an absolute must. Our need to get away from it all has actually been made formal. World Mental Health Day for 2016 is October 10th. In case you missed it, know that you don’t need an excuse to take care of your emotional needs. In fact, there are very good reasons to do so.

According to research, a large majority of the average person’s stress comes from work. This is true no matter how much you love what you do. Here’s a clue: if you feel anxiety tugging at your gut when you walk into your office, you need a day off. Research also shows that, when we do unplug as needed to lower our stress levels, we return to work more productive. One last bit of research . . . The American Psychological Association reports that nearly half of American adults (42%) are not taking steps to manage stress.

How to Tackle your Mental Health Day
We do a lot of talking about training and why it matters, but unwinding is equally as important, especially for those who consistently provide care for others. While it can be tempting to take a day off here and there to check off some items on your personal to-do list, that is somewhat counterproductive to the intent of this mode of self-care. Here are some ways that you can get the most from your mental health day.

  1. Get a nature wash. If you haven’t heard of forest bathing, you’re missing out. The idea that nature is nourishing extends beyond the forest and all the way to the coast. Any time spent outdoors is not a waste of time. Just remember to turn off your mobile device.
  2. Get pampered. Indulgence in some type of pampering can be completely invigorating. It could be a pedicure, a facial, or a hot stone massage. It could be all three! Pampering is not a luxury; it is a necessity for the stressed-out individual.
  3. Indulgence doesn’t always have to be a day at the spa. It can be anything that you do not normally allow yourself. Whether that is sleeping in or a mid-day nap, or that hot fudge sundae, revel in some sweet indulgence to renew your professional commitment.

Stress can quickly lead to overwhelm if we focus too much on professional development and forget that we have emotional needs, as well. Engaging in the occasional mental health day could become an integral part of your wellness plan!