Mental Health Day

Yesterday, I got up and got started on my day as I normally do. But as I dove into the writing for the day, I recognized the fact that I wasn’t really getting a great deal done. I was having a hard time really stringing two or three thoughts together in a row. I’m a writer for a living and some of us who are writers can forget that we really do work every day of the week. As some of you may know, I write a great deal here at families.com, but I also write elsewhere. On average, I generate 10,000 words a day.

Yesterday, I was having trouble getting to a 1,000 words. Around lunchtime, I took a long break and said – that’s it for the day. I shut the computer down and walked away. I spent time with my daughter, with my husband and with my family. We sorted through three boxes of old family photos. We worked on making dinner together. We laughed. We played. We had a good time. This isn’t all that unusual except that normally I work in and around all of this and go back to work after my daughter goes to bed.

Yesterday, I took a Mental Health Day. We all need them. We all need to take a break from our normal work routines and we need to let our mind’s rest and refresh. Mental health days are about alleviating stress and refreshing our work. A mental health is important to your overall physical fitness.

Planning a Mental Health Day

Many companies actually recognize the need for a mental health day and accept that almost every employee will take a sick day at some point just for a mental health break. As parents or people who work from home, we have the same needs and it’s important to recognize that working at your home doesn’t mean you are stress free or that you will never need a mental health day.

It’s important to remember that when you take a mental health day there are a few rules that you should follow:

  • The first rule is no working – this means no house work, no work, no gardening, none unless you actually enjoy doing them and relax when you do it
  • The second rule is remembering how to play – go and do something you enjoy, get outside in the sunshine, watch a favorite program on television, just go and play with the kids – work on an art project that’s been sitting around waiting for you to have some time
  • The third rule is eliminating guilt from the occasion – don’t feel bad about not working, don’t feel bad that it isn’t getting done today. You will do the work tomorrow, but you need to rest today and to let your mind have a break – you will feel better overall and when you are ready to go back to work – you’ll likely enjoy your work more for having given your mind a rest

When was your last mental health day?

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.

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