Mental Health: Why It's OK to Take a Day Off from Adulting.

April 16, 2018

Happy Monday guys! Today I took a much needed Mental Health day.  Have you heard of that before?  It is a day you take off from work not to tend to errands, doctors appointments or housework,.  It isn't a day where you say to your team, "I'll be on email or my cell if you need me." It isn't a day you surprise your husband with lunch at work or you prepare a meal for when everyone gets home from their day.  It isn't a day to meet with a friend who might need someone to talk to or lean on.  And it isn't a day to help someone with their deadlines or projects.  It isn't a day where you cake on makeup and head out to conquer the world.  It isn't any of those things.  A mental health day is your day.  It is a day to lounge around in your pjs with your hair in a messy bun and your fresh clean face caked in some argan oil, between your bed and your couch, reading, writing or watching t.v. without feeling guilty or lazy or anything else you might feel when you aren't filling up your time with endless to-do's for others.

I know this might seem shocking and dare I say, "selfish" and "scandalous".  But that is where you need to change your thinking.  Have you ever heard the saying, "you can't pour from an empty glass?"  Well that has been my mantra for the last year.  These last few weeks have been non-stop with work and work events, late nights, meet-ups and catch-ups with friends, family events, home repairs and the list can go on forever.  I was getting burned out and running low on patience and energy.  I decided I was long over due for a mental health day, actually my entire team at work will be taking a day this week to recover from work/life obligations.  I have got a great team at work and an even better teammate at home.  My husband went off to work this morning and I woke up to a text that read, "Enjoy your rainy day in bed catching up on your lifetime movies. I love you." (Isn't he the best???!) I am very lucky to be surrounded by such supportive and caring people, I know this.  But they were never the issue.  I was the one with the issue.
Growing up, I hardly ever saw my mother relax and when she did my father would make a sly remark.  Both of my parents were very hard workers but also very unhappy, I can't help but think their exhaustion and lack of personal care was at the heart of their discontent.  That example and being a single mother responsible for another living person since I was 20 years old made it nearly impossible for me to take a day for myself without feeling guilty.  Instead,  I would burn myself out and wait for my body to decide it was time to take a break, which usually came as a cold or some other virus that would leave me bedridden for two days.  I know, not the best way to take care of myself.  The truth is when I was younger I had something to prove, not anymore.  I know who I am and I know what I bring.  There is a certain calm in occupying space like that.

I realize I am in a certain position where I have paid time off and seniority at my organization and this might not be the case for everyone.  Not everyone can just take an entire day off for themselves.  Fair enough.  How about half a day when it is slow?  Or a Saturday morning, maybe you can get a friend or a family member to watch the kids and just stay in bed and disconnect for a few hours?   I promise you it is just as important as keeping up with your doctor's appointments.  You owe it to your family, your friends, your coworkers but most of all you owe it to yourself.

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By the time my husband came home I felt refreshed and recharged.  He noticed the difference in my mood and my overall body language.  Having this day off allows me to return to work and "adulting" tomorrow ready to conquer the week.

Show yourself some kindness and care tonight.  Repeat this out loud to yourself: You are smart.  You are beautiful. You are important and valuable.  You, as you are, right now are and always have been ENOUGH.

Love always, 

LifeStyledbyErica 👄  

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