Unwind and Unplug: Mental Health Day
Happy Sunday Everyone!
I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing weekend before gearing up for the start of the week again. Today I wanted to take the time to discuss the importance of taking a mental health day. There are so many benefits to just having a day to yourself, and when I say a day to yourself I mean only to yourself with no cellphones, tv, and computers. In this day and age we cannot live without the internet, and the internet is fantastic, but I believe that sometimes we need to give our eyes a rest from all the screens. Have some time to relax and destress from your week. A day away from my gadgets helps me feel reenergized, and I tend to be more inspired to start work on my projects the next day.
Here are some of the activities I do on a mental health day:
Recently I have really began to appreciate yoga. Yin yoga is especially great for those who are new or those who really want to get a nice deep stretch. The poses that you hold in yin yoga really help you focus on the moment and on your breath. It may sound very simple but with all that goes through our day many people forget to connect with their breath. This connecting with your inner breath really helps to focus on the current moment. Yoga also helps to stretch out areas where our bodies hold tension without us realizing it. Your shoulders, neck, and back get so affected from sitting at a desk of driving that those areas need stretching most of all. The best part is how relaxed you feel after a session.
Yoga is also very convenient and basically all you need is a mat. There are many yoga studios and gyms that provide gym classes, but if you don't want to go that route then you can do it at home. You will need some space and a mat. I try to do yoga at least four times a week and not all of those are classes. Half the time I will do classes at my local yoga studio, but the other half I will do at home. There are so many youtube videos that you can turn on to follow (I know I said no gadgets but you won't be looking at the screen the entire time). Here are a few youtube links (yoga with Adrienne is really good):
I know cleaning just sounds like work, but I find it to be very soothing. Instead of thinking of it like a chore think of it as rearranging your current situation. When I am really stressed I actually love to clean, especially while playing music! I believe that if you live in a cluttered environment it causes some mayhem in your head as well. I personally have a very hard time getting anything done if I'm in a messy environment. Organizing and decorating really help me be in the moment and I find it invigorating. I also love sitting down at the end of a long day of cleaning because everything seems so peaceful.
It is also a great time to try out a new idea from pinterest or something you saw off of instagram. Personally I always think it's best to come up with your own idea and have your own creativity. Your house and your space is your artistic expression so do what feels like you--whether that be minimalistic, colorful, retro, etc. Here's my laundry area and my little art area:
3. Adult Coloring Books
I will admit that one of my obsessions is collecting adult coloring books. As a kid I loved to draw, paint, and color whenever I could, but as I grew up I lost connection to that side. I rediscovered coloring books made for adults two years ago and I instantly fell in love. The change from coloring as a kid to as an adult, for me, was that there was more creativity. Now I could use glitter in a classy way, my color schemes were more mature, and I didn't have to color everything there was in a picture. There are so many benefits to taking the time to just be a kid and color a coloring book.
Coloring books help to reduce anxiety and help to focus on the moment. All the activities that I will talk about today really are a way to help focus on the moment and help get you out of your head. Coloring books really are a good way to destress as they really help you hone into one area and really focus. It's fun and I love to take the time to complete a page or two.
You can purchase these books anywhere--from tj maxx, costco, amazon.
Another way to really destress is by cooking. Cooking will have two benefits: you will be more present and mindful AND you will have food: win-win. Try a new recipe or make your go-to dish, but really focus on the process. You can even meal prep for the next few days and that way you don't have to worry about your meals later on.
There are a lot of steps to cooking, but they all require attention and help you bring your attention to the matter at hand instead of having your brain run through a million thoughts. You have to prep the ingredients, cook, and then clean up. Cooking takes a lot of time but it can very soothing and like I said, you will have a nice meal at the end! Here are a few dishes I've made at home:
- Reading a book
- Going out for a long walk
- Pottery making classes
Benefits of a mental health day:
To wrap up this post remember that it is extremely important to take a break somedays and really focus on yourself. For those who have kids and can't take the time to be away an entire day--try to find an hour or two if you can. There are so many things in life that bring stress that it is important to indulge in little moments while you color or while you hold a pose during yoga. For the benefits of a mental health day provide increased creativity and more motivation. I feel more relaxed and if something is bothering me I can think of the problem in a different way.
I hope you found this helpful and try some of these tips! What are some of your ways to destress?