This is What Mental Health Days Should Look Like

Here is a great Truth I’ve learned:

Mental health days are utterly necessary every now and then to prevent sickness, to get yourself back on track, and to fend off a lingering case of the blues.

Here’s another great Truth I’ve learned:

To truly have the fullest potential for restoring mental sanity, mental health days CANNOT just be spent lounging around doing absolutely nothing productive or worthwhile (even though sometimes that’s what we think we need).

A true “mental health day” needs the waking hours to be spent approximately in the following ratios (more or less):

1/3 day = work on “productive” activities that may or may not be naturally fulfilling (cleaning the house, putting a load of laundry in, exercising, cooking)

1/3 day = worthwhile activities that are, by their very nature, fulfilling and enjoyable (spending time with loved ones, reading, working on hobbies, going out in nature)

1/3 day = so-called “time wasters” (watching t.v. and/or movies, surfing the Internet, playing Candy Crush)

I have found that the only way to truly give my inner self the breath of fresh air it craves, I need to spend time working (in order to enjoy the leisure time), in worthwhile activities (that remind me that these kinds of things are what life is all about), and wasting time (to assure myself that I don’t have to be all-productive, all the time).

Do you agree with my ratio?

As for what actually happened on the mental health day I took off of work last Friday, I think I did a pretty decent job finding a balance among the 3 components:
*I woke up early (but not too early) and went on an 8-mile run
*I took a long, hot shower and relished in the fact that I was in  no hurry to get ready
*I had a leisurely breakfast of Greek yogurt and pears by a sunny window
*I did the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, and hung up stray clothes that were lying around the bedroom (after making the bed first)

*Since it was Valentine’s Day that I took off of work, I got a little V-day gift ready for Matt (a new sci-fi novel and a “man movie”)

*I enjoyed the Valentine’s Day gift Matt had bought for me (pictured above) by eating about 20 chocolates throughout the day

*I completed Friday’s blog post and read through my blog feed that I’d been neglecting for weeks

*I played Candy Crush for a non-shameless amount of time (that will still remain undisclosed because honestly, I don’t even know)

*I caught up on some reading, including the latest newspaper (I just subscribed to the Deseret News’s new weekly publication that focuses on trends in education, religion, community, and the nation at large) and two other books that I’m reading (one on running, the other is off of one of my book lists)
*I prepared the no-bake cheesecake trifles pictured above for a little Valentine’s Day treat (recipe found here)
*I got ready to go out on a hot date with Matt
*I picked Matt up from school and we went on that hot date (which included an early dinner at The Coppermill restaurant in Logan to beat the crowds, which coincidentally put us out with every senior citizen in the county, seeing as it was only 4 PM)

And that friends, is a pretty perfect mental health day–it made me feel *almost* ready to go back to work tomorrow.

Gotta love four day weekends.

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