Mental health is not something that should be discussed only on ‘Mental Health Day’ once a year but it requires constant work. During the Lockdown period due to Coronavirus, Mental Health is something that everyone is taking care of very seriously.
All of us are well aware of that feeling at the end of a long week when all you want to do is to curl up in bed and sleep for 16 hours straight. If that feeling does not vanish by Monday it is called a ‘burnout’. It is a storm of mental fatigue, physical exhaustion, and emotional disaster because of stress and overactivity. It is not something to be proud of.
Depression, autoimmune conditions, and digestive problems are all linked to stress and burnout. When you know you are caught in the clutches of a burnout, you need to pull the plug. So, here is a specially designed ‘Mental Health Day’ just for you. It can work wonders for your entire being.
Just let things be and take the day off saying no to anything stressful.
1) Sleep blissfully
A sound sleep heals you. It restores the brain’s chemistry, regulates insulin and boosts immunity. Insufficient sleep can shorten your lifespan. With insufficient sleep, you cannot have a mental health day. So, draw the curtains of your room, take a bath, have a cup of hot tea and get a minimum of 7 to 8 hours uninterrupted slumber. Use the day to inculcate better sleep habits.
2) Move around
Do some light exercise to get your blood flowing. Exercising reduces stress hormones and produces the ones that make us feel good. It is recommended that you do 30 mins of aerobic activity a day. On your mental health day, go for a walk if you can’t run. If you cannot go to yoga class, just pull up a YouTube video and try doing asanas right at your home.
All of us are spending most of our time glued to the computer screen rather than heading outdoors. Our lifestyle has taken such a turn that visiting Mother Nature is always on the back-burner. This should be your first priority on your mental health day! Apart from de-stressing or relaxing your brain, research shows that time spent in nature can reduce the risk of depression, asthma, heart disease, diabetes and migraines. Sit on the grass and walk among the trees. Nature heals you!
4) Maintain a diary
Burnout occurs when we overload ourselves with to-do lists, goals and tasks. We get so busy in getting it all done that there is no time to reflect upon what is happening in our lives. To see where you are going, just maintain a diary. Keeping a written record will help you also focus on your journey and not just the destination. Those are regularly jotted down their feelings are able to cope up with their stress more effectively. Try doing this on your mental health day.
Take home message
The above suggestions are not difficult or time-consuming. Also, they don’t cost you a penny. Yet most people say things like, ‘We’ll do this when we have more time’. You will never have extra time if you keep yourself entangled in the daily humdrum. Come out of it for a while. Make yourself the No.1 priority of your life. Listen to what your body says and check in with your spirit. Take a day off for yourself when you need one.