When was the last time you really took a moment to just breathe? And not just a slow, deep inhale . . . but a life breather. Really, when was your last mental health break?
If you can’t answer this question, you’re most likely about to hit a wall. Because when you won’t slow yourself down, life slows things down for you.
But, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with your very own 7-day wellness guide so you can take a mental health break for yourself.
How Do You Know When You Need a Mental Health Break?
It starts out with the things that usually bring you joy start to feel draining. You have a lack of interest in your job. Even if you feel like you are serving your purpose and fulfilling your passions, you’re just too damn tired to do it!
It can look like isolation and going too long without connecting to family and friends. Sometimes, the personal train is moving so fast, months will go by and you don’t even realize you haven’t checked in.
And most of all, you haven’t checked in on yourself. You’ve moved at a million miles per hour and now you have no gas in the middle of nowhere. Your personal love tank cannot possibly be full, because you’ve done little to nothing to pour into it.
Now let me ask you another question. This one won’t be so hard.
If you have nothing to give yourself, how can you possibly give anything away to others?
Recharging is essential because it fuels our channels. In turn, we gain the ability to be more giving.
Our gifts are not for ourselves and we are meant to abundantly spread joy and love through our passions. However, this is not to be done at your own expense.
Have you considered taking a week off from all your responsibilities?
It’s tough when you feel super overwhelmed and you may feel like the world would topple over without you (highly unlikely – but all feelings are valid!).
Truth is . . . the world will continue on with or without you, but can you continue on without you?
Take a Mental Health Break With This Day-by-Day Wellness Guide
Maybe it’s time for some TIME OFF! And this is not taking a few of your vacation days out of guilt because you feel obligated or scheduling yourself to do another task that is equally draining on your vacation days.
This means a full-on TIME THE EFF OUT!
We could go in circles about how the Western world has created and propagated an unfair and unbalanced work/life obligation, but that would take the focus off of you. This is all about what you need to do, for YOU!
It is our own personal work to create these boundaries in our lives. Even with the pressure to keep going and the guilt that comes with taking a day off, it is yours to take. There is no penalty for not taking them.
Remember that your time is valuable. Spend it where it counts.
Have you noticed that? You get penalized when you take too many, but if you don’t take the days, you just lose them. So, use them honey!
Take off at least one full week as often as your life, budget, and schedule can allow. That may mean only once a year right now, but have trust – once you get a taste, you will never want to stop indulging.
And we won’t leave you to fend for yourself during your mental health break! We’ve got you covered with a full day-by-day wellness guide to maximize your time off with soul-enriching activities (and stillness!).
Follow This 7-Day Wellness Guide for Your Much-Deserved Mental Health Break:
Have you considered what you would do if you didn’t have anything to do for a whole week? What old hobbies would creep back in? What habits would you notice are supportive or unsupportive? What would you choose for yourself?
No matter how it goes down, you will return to the world much brighter and more open.
Like all things, you may be wondering where to even start. So here is a day-by-day wellness guide for how to spend your mental health break.
Day 1: Turn Your Phone Off
Yes, off off – not just “do not disturb.” And – I say this with love – someone or something will throw you off course if you do not release the attachment of your phone.
Here is a personal example. Day one of my week off, I woke up to an email about an invoice I submitted that had a mistake. The sender received my notification that I was on a “mental health break” but found their needs to be more pertinent than mine.
In all actuality, it could have waited. However, the anxiety alone from just seeing it completely controlled my thoughts. I had to respond and fix it.
So, for this reason, you deserve the release that comes for ZERO to NO obligations. Find what else you have room for when you are not attached to your phone.
Day 2: Put Away Your Electronics
On this day, my phone was still off. Great news, the world did not end! Nothing urgent occurred.
Beforehand, I informed my family and close friends that I was taking some time for my mental health and if I was needed, they could find me at home. Luckily, there were no knocks on my door.
My need and desire for space and time was respected. You can choose this time for you and still be respectful and considerate of those who love you.
Also, it is not selfish to take a week to be with yourself. If anything, you are contributing to the greater good by checking in with yourself to ensure that you can truly be present and show up in other areas of your life.
It is not selfish to take a week to be with yourself.
So much seeps into our psyche and energy through entertainment technology. What happens when you remove this factor?
I used this time to clean my home – a major stress reliever for me. I feel that I deserve to live in a clean, beautiful space. It opens up my energy and creates a feeling of fullness when I am in tune with my physical space.
I baked some recipes that I had saved on Pinterest. They did not all make my personal cookbook stash, but cheers to having time to experiment.
A key question of this wellness guide is: What will become available for you when technology is no longer a factor?
Day 3: Love on Your Soul
I made contact with one friend and one friend only who feeds my soul. I continued with no technology and very little phone interactions. I went for a drive and ran some errands. I also upped my self-care and had a spa day.
Take that bath you’ve been dreaming of but always get too tired and conk out before you can even fill the tub.
Spread some flower petals, Epsom or Himalayan pink salt, and mix in some of your favorite essential oils like lavender or frankincense and myrrh. Speak some of your favorite affirmations into the atmosphere, like “I am loved. I am all. I am enough.”
Free your mind by writing, reading, or listening to music. To take it a step further, sit in silence and experience what your soul has to say. Without all that extra chatter that surrounds you daily, you may be surprised by what you hear.
Day 4: Reconnect With Loved Ones
We get so caught up in our day-to-day that we forget how valuable and precious our time is with others.
On day four, I went to an online yoga class with a studio that I love even though I haven’t made it to class in months.
It was so beautiful to catch up, hear voices of love, and see familiar faces. I also made calls to friends I had not seen or spoken to for a while.
Part of your self-love journey is learning how to better communicate. Since we receive so much love through communication, to shut out this area leads to longing and pain.
You may feel at times that you are moving through the world alone. Especially when things get busy. Open up that Heart Chakra, my love!
Reconnect with those who make your heart dance, be honest with them about how you’ve been feeling, and what you’ve been experiencing.
Days 5 + 6: Spend Quality Time
Extra emphasis on “quality.”
As part of my personal wellness guide, that involved seeing my family. I stayed with my mom for two nights in my childhood home. I always find the energy there to be grounding.
We watched movie after movie while snuggling up on the couch and eating our favorite foods. It felt like time was still. There were no worries.
It could be going for a sushi date or a walk in the park to chat. It could be an overdue phone call, FaceTime, or Zoom session. Whatever it is, remember that your time is valuable. Spend it where it counts.
Day 7: Self-Reflect
You did it! Seven days of no obligations to anyone or anything but yourself. Take this day to journal or reflect in the way that serves you on what you have learned.
Consider deeply how this week felt when you started versus how you feel now.
Ask yourself, are you excited to return to your daily obligations? If yes, wonderful! If not, what needs to be changed so you will be?
With each answer, reflect on why you feel that way. It will help you set the new boundaries you need to continue in a more healthy, fruitful way.
You Deserve a Mental Health Break – Create Your Own Wellness Guide and Indulge!
For me, I realized that I wasn’t actually as stressed as I thought. I felt more appreciative of all the things that once felt like they were bogging me down.
The big takeaway was that I needed this time to be with myself. It wasn’t about not liking my job or feeling overwhelmed. It was my realization that in all that I do, I feed everyone and everything but myself. My sweet soul could no longer allow me to continue in this way.
Through my mental health break, I was able to create new habits and boundaries to support myself daily. So take whatever you find and set an action plan to move forward in a healthy way in your life.
If we can begin the dialogue, we become one step closer to normalizing mental health breaks.
It could look like setting more boundaries such as, “I close my computer at 5pm.” You could begin new habits like self-care Sunday or doing one of your favorite hobbies each Wednesday.
It could look like more date nights with yourself or scheduling more quality time with those you love.
This was a joyous journey for me and now it’s your turn! Let us know how your 7-day mental health break goes and what you learn. If we can begin the dialogue, we become one step closer to normalizing mental health breaks.