Each and every person on this earth needs time to “recharge their battery”, so to speak. We are all filled with real emotions. Even that one person you know who seems to totally maintain their composure at all times. Deciding to neglect your mental health could be a serious mistake leading to mental exhaustion. The last thing that any of us wants to do is not be able to pay attention during an important meeting because we are stressed about our work. Or maybe being short with a loved one unexpectedly. As the saying goes, everyone wants to put their best foot forward each day and the only way to ensure that happens is to stay on top of your personal mental health.
How to Know You Need a Mental Getaway
You Dread Going Into Work – This could end up being a much larger issue, (maybe you really need a new job) but if your disdain for you work is sudden and changes day by day then you might need some time to yourself. If one day you’re filled with motivation and the next you think you might cry at the mention of working, you may just need to reset your emotional meter.
Your Family/Friends Are Stressing You Out – If you are spending all of your time trying to mend the problems of your family members or friends, it’s time to realign with yourself. Many people out there feel empathy much stronger than others, but emotionally taking on the burden of others is just not the way to live a fulfilled life. A majority of your mental emotional capacity should be spent on your own life.
You Can’t Recall The Last Time You Did Something For Yourself – When was the last time you just sat and painted your nails or built something with your hands? Doing something just because it is what you want to do should be a regular occurrence. Whatever that little treat you like to give yourself shouldn’t be pushed to the side. Even if it is just taking an hour to soak in a bubble bath or read a new book – cherish that time because you deserve it.
You Can’t Seem to Remember What Your Interests Are – We are all guilty of becoming wrapped up in our work or family and friends. However, their interests should never be assumed to be your own. Just because a mother happens to have 3 young children doesn’t mean her passion in life is parenting. I’m sure she loves the time she gets to spend with her family, but she is a well-rounded individual with intimate aspirations.
In Your Free Time You’d Rather Do Nothing – Don’t get me wrong, I frequently love stuffing as much Netflix time as possible into my evening, but I am also a person with interests and desires. I feel accomplished when I finish a project I’ve been tirelessly working on or even just get out of the house for a little while. So, on days when you just cannot be bothered to get out of bed, take a shower, or even feed yourself – know the jig is up. Especially when you can’t seem to shake this feeling for days, it’s time to kick it into mental getaway overdrive.
You Never Call in From Work/Take Vacation Time – It can be so easy to want to work day in and day out, especially if your work follows you home. Financial stability and workplace professionalism are the goals of numerous men and women. Yet, failing to take time to yourself will result in swift occupational fatigue. Setting boundaries with your employer and not accepting more work than you can handle will guarantee your personal time is respected.
You’re Regularly Not Sleeping Well – Not chronic insomnia, but stress induced awful sleep for a short period of time. If some kind of anxiety has recently taken over your mind and won’t allow you to get proper rest, it’s time to take a day off and recover. On your day off, take time to mentally address the issue and shrink it back down to size so you return to everyday activities feeling rejuvenated.
What Makes a Successful Mental Getaway?
Continually indulging yourself when you’re feeling down makes it hard to lift your spirits. So, while binge watching a random TV show or drinking a bottle of wine feels good temporarily, at the end of the day you will have made no progress. By doing this you are pushing your problem to the side, but the worry is still constantly forcing you to lose focus. If you need to have a good cry or scream into a pillow, definitely do so – it always makes me feel better. Then, get up and do something that will clear your mind completely. After you’ve successfully wiped the slate clean and completed your task, allow your issue to resurface itself. Chances are that you’ll be able to address it with a completely fresh outlook.
What Should I Do During My Time Off?
There is some sort of glaring reason that you need a mental getaway. Allow your mind, spirit, and/or body to enjoy something it has been lacking. Avoid anything that will diminish your mental and emotional state even further. The day should be spent lifting yourself back up.
If You Want to Stay Home: Start a project that requires your full attention for several hours or do something you’ve been meaning to get done for a while.
- Organize something that needs it.
- Clean out junk that has built up.
- Deep clean your house.
- Mow the lawn, weed the yard, or start a garden.
- Try a simple DIY project.
- Try something artistic (like drawing, painting, or music).
- Repurpose an old item.
- Try a new (and possibly more complicated) recipe.
If You Want to Literally Getaway: If you’re looking for more of a literal getaway to refresh your mind and senses, planning a day trip might be the best option. Something close by that won’t take too much time or cost a fortune.
- Take a jog or a hike.
- Treat yourself to a spa/manicure/new hairdo day.
- Go on a bike ride.
- Go swimming (even at your local gym)
- Check out a nearby city you’ve wanted to visit.
- Go to a museum or an art gallery.
- Check out local shows, events, or markets.
- Go see a movie you’re interested in.
- Volunteer your time.
Mental getaways should be spent however you feel most comfortable. Your mental and emotional health is never unimportant and should be treated as such. Please keep in mind, all the advice and mental getaways in the world cannot cure a mental health disease. If you find yourself suffering from constant sadness, depression, anxiety, or exhaustion it is time to seek the help of a professional. This information is not meant to cover up any signs of illness or to patch a bigger problem. If you find yourself needing to take many mental getaways frequently, there is most likely a larger problem that needs addressing immediately.
Trisha is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan who promotes an all around healthy lifestyle – including mental health. You can check out her blog thatdangvegan.com or find her on twitter @thatdangvegan.