Nowadays, overworking is being romanticized so much that its consequence—burnout syndrome—has officially been considered as a psychological disorder by the World Health Organization in 2019. This perspective toward working is associated with long hours, non-existent work-life balance, and being a workaholic.
Burning out is the result of an unhealthy way of thinking that you have to sacrifice your personal health and sanity to achieve professional success. More and more people choose to work in their free time rather than hang out with friends or suffer when others are enjoying.
However, having such a perspective is detrimental to a person’s physical health and mental state. When you don’t allow your mind to breathe away from work or learning, you’re forcing it to work through the exhaustion.
So before you get to the point of burning out, you should know that it’s okay to take mental health days when you feel like it. Wanting to take a break from the routine of work and responsibilities is okay. In fact, here is a recipe for the perfect day as you rest your mind and body guilt-free:
Begin Your Day by Sleeping In
The first thing that you should do during your mental health day is nothing. Yes, you read that right. You don’t have to anything, so get back under the covers and sleep some more. Don’t even bother setting an alarm clock the night before this because you deserve to sleep without distractions.
In fact, the only acceptable time to get up is after lunch or when you feel your stomach rumbling. Spend the entire morning in bed or lounging on the sofa because you really don’t have to do anything. You haven’t been getting enough time for sleep because of your hectic daily schedule, and that’s understandable.
Between arriving at your workplace on time and dealing with the flurry of people during rush hour commutes, there’s not enough time to breathe. Or sleep eight hours a day, for that matter. So during this day, take every opportunity to sleep because you deserve it.
Treat Yourself to Good Food
A lunch break is not long enough to eat proper meals that are both fulfilling and nutritious. And after a long day at work, you no longer have the energy to prepare your own food, so you choose to get takeout. It’s just quicker and easier that way.
But your mental health day is not the day to do that. Treat yourself to your favorite food because this is your chance to splurge on yourself for a change. Put some of that money you’re earning through hard work and dedication to good use: yourself.
If you still don’t have the energy to cook your own food, then there’s no shame in admitting that. Surely you can find an establishment that has what you’re craving. There are so many options to choose from, such as an online-delivery European café or an Italian restaurant. Do yourself a favor and stay away from fast food this time.
Find a Relaxing Activity to Do
With all that time in your hands, the possibilities of what you can do are limitless. This is the perfect time to do what you want without guilt following it soon after. Think about everything that you’ve been pushing off for later, and then do them.
For instance, you can make a list of all the movies or shows that you want to watch and turn it into a marathon. Binge-watch your day away without having to be guilty that you’re not doing anything “productive.” You’re relieving stress and allowing your mind to take a break; that in itself is productive.
If you’re not a fan of watching for hours on end, then you can play some video games, create art, or do whatever you want to just because. During this day, you don’t have responsibilities which means that you have the freedom to do what you love without the guilt.
Cap off Your Evening with a Drink
The best way to end your mental health day is by celebrating it with your choice of drink. You can pour yourself a cold beer, pop that champagne you’ve been saving for a special event, open that bottle of red wine sitting in your cupboard, or make yourself a steaming cup of hot chocolate.
There’s no right or wrong choice of drink to cap your evening off. What matters is that you will feel fulfilled that you spent your day doing nothing and everything as you take that first sip. The important thing is that you become relaxed and unbothered by your daily responsibilities, even for just a day.
Besides, not doing anything “productive” is worthy of a celebration mainly because it took you great self-control to actually do nothing and feel no guilt. That is when you will know that you are successful in this journey.
Self-care and prioritizing mental health should be more normalized. This society is filled with overworking adults who keep sacrificing their well-being to chase after success. But success is not a tangible thing that they can hold in their hands; it’s something that can only be defined by the individual aiming to achieve it.