I am a big fan of taking a mental health day, whether that means taking a day off from work or just a day off from everyday life. When things feel like they are starting to get a bit much and you feel your mental health start to suffer, a day of looking after yourself can do wonders.
For me, these days differ depending on where my mental health is at. Sometimes they involve doing lots of proactive things to help me feel set up for the days ahead – exercise, cleaning, food shopping. All the boring but necessary adulting.
And sometimes, when my mental health is really bad, my mental health days involve doing very little at all – usually eating chocolate and binge watching movies, but who’s judging? Basically, anything that gives my brain a bit of a break.
Wherever your head is at, here are ten ideas for things to do on your next mental health day.
Have a Movie Marathon
Perfect for those times when you just need to sit and completely switch off. A movie marathon is a great way to spend a chilled day hiding away from the World and it’s also something I rarely have time to do. Gather together all of your favourite feel-good movies, some snacks, some tea and enjoy having nothing else to do.
Go for a Massage
I absolutely love getting a massage and not just because they are indulgent and relaxing. In fact, I often go for strong Thai massages that are anything but relaxing. But massages are a great way of practising self care for your body that doesn’t revolve around food or exercise.
Take a Day Trip Somewhere New (Or Somewhere Old)
Get away from it all by taking a day trip somewhere completely new or act like a tourist in your own town. Switch off your phone, take yourself out for lunch, wander the streets of the city or the countryside. Try to stay present and in the moment and simply enjoy exploring and taking it all in.
Go for a Long Hike
Similar to the above, I find a long hike a great way to blow away the cobwebs and clear my head.
Do Something Creative
Doing something creative is always very beneficial to my mental health. Particularly as I spend large parts of my day sat in an office staring at spreadsheets. Doing something creative that you enjoy is a great way to practise mindfulness and focus your mind on something other than your own thoughts for a while.
Plus it’s a super relaxing way to spend a few hours.
Read a Good Book
Reading is another great way of relaxing and forgetting about the World for a little while. And it’s often something that can be difficult to fit in to your usual day. However, it can sometimes be difficult for people with depression to focus on reading. There are certainly times when my mind is too turbulent to even think about reading. On those days, you can try my suggestion above and do something creative instead.
READ MORE: What’s on My Spring Reading List
Have a DIY Spa Day
I always feel better when I am taking care of my body. Even just a few hours here and there spent scrubbing, moisturising and painting my nails can make me feel like a new woman. Yes…it is a bit of a self care cliche. But when you feel good in yourself physically you are much more likely to feel good in yourself
Do Some Exercise
Exercise is really great for your mental health. In fact, some studies have shown exercise to be as effective in managing mental health as antidepressants. If you’re up to it, try to incorporate some exercise into your mental health day, even if it’s something small like a short walk.
READ MORE: How CBT Got Me Exercising Again
Cook a New Recipe
Cooking is another great way of practising self care. I love it and find it quite therapeutic to just spend an hour or so chopping and stirring. And of course, there’s the (hopefully) delicious meal to eat at the end of it.
Catch up on Sleep
Perhaps you’re just feeling exhausted and need to take a day off to recover. It’s perfectly fine to just spend the day catching up on sleep if that’s what you need. A few extra hours of sleep can make a huge difference to your mood.
If you have any more ideas on how to spend a perfect mental health day, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!