10 things to do during a mental health day

Mental health days are a relatively new concept for some people, but they’re just as valid as a sick day that you would take for the flu. A buildup of stress in your life can increase depression and anxiety, lower productivity, and lead to burnout. If you’re finding yourself feeling this way, try taking a day off and following a few of these tips.

1. Eat a healthy breakfast.

Your usual weekday routine might be grabbing a donut and coffee on the run, but you’ve got time today.

2. Disconnect from electronics.

If you absolutely have to check your messages during the day, set one or two specific times to check your email and stick to them. If you need to keep your phone nearby due to family or friends, go into your settings and disable your social media accounts for the day.

3. Listen to music.

Play what you love, whether it’s classical or country. Sing along.

4. Pamper yourself.

If you’re in a position to go out, try a massage or a manicure. If you’d rather stay home, take a long bath.

5. Exercise.

If you’re usually on your feet all day, you can try a light workout like stretching or yoga. If you work at a desk or another stationary job, take a walk.

6. Take a nap.

Short naps are great ways to top up on sleep. Stick to 20-30 minutes; any longer may interfere with your normal sleep schedule.

7. Be creative.

If you want to take up a hobby like painting or knitting, you may be able to find a club that offers classes and workspace. If you’d rather do it on your own, you can find supplies from a craft store and instructional videos on Youtube. If you like cooking, you could also try a new recipe.

8. Read a book.

Read a book or magazine. You can also listen to an audiobook if you’re tired of reading.

9. Watch a movie.

Find that movie you’ve been meaning to see or a few episodes of your favorite TV show.

10. Prepare for the next day.

Lay out clothes, pack your lunch, and do anything else necessary to make sure you won’t be rushed in the morning.

At the end of the day, you should feel recharged and refreshed. If you feel the need to take a step back from your stresses, don’t hesitate. A mental health day can help you be your best self.