The media has been paying a lot of attention to mental health recently, most of the comments coming across rather negative due to the strong stigma that is attached to mental illness. Quite a few of my readers are mental health sufferers themselves and often don’t know how to deal with it. Something I find really relaxes and distresses me is to take a mental health day.
I’m currently suffering from anxiety and depression, as well as recovering from anorexia nervosa, so I understand that mental illness can leave you feeling drained. I have spent the past few weeks studying for hours on end, working on assignments and all the other projects I am taking part in. I had no real time to focus on myself and my life was becoming a blur. I felt trapped in a routine that wasn’t bringing me any happiness and it seemed like my anxiety was getting worse.
So, what did I do? I took a few days off.
Taking a few days off is so beneficial, especially if you are a student like me. Trying to work when my anxiety is playing up is pretty much impossible and a waste of time, so giving yourself a day or two to focus on your mental health is one of the best things you can do. A lot of people, unfortunately, don’t agree with this, working until they get incredibly sick. Education is very important to me but your health should always be a top priority as it not only affects you, it also affects your family and friends. I don’t want to worry the people I love as that’ll cause me even more stress. Taking time off will be a lot better in the long run.
What you do on your day/s off really depends on you as a person. For some people, catching up on sleep will immediately make them feel better but, for others, something more therapeutic will be a lot more beneficial. A few ideas of what I do on my mental health days is to watch a few films, do a face mask, eat some ice cream, read some of my favourite blogs etc. I love hanging out with my close friends when I’m feeling down but I’m trying hard to focus more on myself on my off days, allowing myself to learn how to keep myself happy without depending on other people.
After taking a few days off, my once-scrambled brain feels a lot more relaxed and positive. I feel more confident in my abilities to tackle my workload, and I definitely understand why taking breaks while studying is important. I’m hoping to have a day to myself each week, focusing on writing and anything else that makes me happy. I need to be strict in terms of studying, limiting myself to maybe four or five hours a day and reserving my evenings for other things. I need to maintain a balance of work and play in order to allow myself to stay in a positive mindset. I’m also trying hard to start eating more healthily, working towards creating a better relationship with food and overcoming my past issues.
What do you do on your mental health day?