I took a mental health day yesterday, and when I say it was the BEST THING EVER! It all started Wednesday morning when I was feeling just a tad bit depleted. I emailed my admin assistant and asked her if she could clear my schedule for the next day because a sista needed a break BADLY! It was as if my brain could not handle sitting through another therapy session or writing another note without taking a moment to pause and reset. I’m so glad that I listened to my mind, body, and spirit and took some time away yesterday.
As a therapist (and as a human being, in general), the past few months have been HEAVY! I honestly feel like I’ve been going non-stop since late May/early June, so I was long overdue for a break. Providing therapy in the midst of two pandemics (that of racism and COVID-19) is particularly complex and challenging. As a Black woman who is also a therapist, I am dealing with my own fears related to COVID-19 and racial trauma while helping my clients navigate their fears and trauma. Needless to say, it’s a lot. But on a positive note, I have mastered listening to my body, mind, and spirit and practicing nourishing self-care. I know it sounds cliché, but no one (and I mean no one) can pour from an empty cup. There is such a thing as giving more to others than you give to yourself, and that behavior will always leave you with a deficit--of energy, of mental space, of peace, of joy, of a lot of things. And who wants to live in a constant state of depletion? Not me!
During my mental health day yesterday, I ate yummy food, read a good book, completed a nourishing skincare regimen, took a detox bath, meditated, listened to some podcasts (I think “The Daily Shine” is one of my new faves!), exercised, and ate some more yummy food. Can you tell I like eating?
And at the end of my mental health day yesterday, I took some time to reflect on why I love mental health days and why they are so important. Here are three of those reasons:
1. Mental health days give me a chance to reset and recalibrate. Y’all I was tired (or “tawd”, as the old folks say). Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. I needed rest. We all need rest. (Side note: Isn't this baby super adorbs?)
2. Mental health days help me to feel refreshed. As you can see from my mental health day list of activities above, I did a lot of things yesterday, but all of the activities I engaged in helped me to feel refreshed. I was able to unplug, take some time away from my computer (because telehealth sessions cause a whole different type of fatigue for therapists, let’s be honest), and spend more time being and less time doing.
3. I feel more focused and productive when I decide to tackle my to-do list again after a mental health day. Today when I opened my computer again to finish some notes and take care of a few other things before heading into the weekend, I felt rested and in a much better space mentally to get work done.
Do any of these reasons resonate with you? What would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments.
And in case you haven’t heard, I did a thing recently! Yep, I authored an e-book-- “Write It Out! A 10-Day Guided Journal for Reflecting, Releasing, and Restoring”. If you’re planning to take a mental health day soon (and even if you're not planning to), this would be a great tool for you to use in your mental health journey. Here is the link to where you can get your copy today.
Take care of yourself, and take your mental health days.
Sending love and light,