When I was in elementary school my mother introduced my sister and I to “mental health days”. Mental health days were granted to us from my mother when we needed to take a break from school. Sick days are for those who are too ill (and too contagious) to be around others, whereas mental health is when you recognize you need some breathing space and time to reflect. Sounds pretty deep for elementary school, right? Yet, those days were the most cleansing and clarifying I can remember. They gave us the time to rejuvenate ourselves so we could face another day.
A “mental health day” is a practice I believe all of us should carry with us—being so in tune to your spiritual needs that you recognize when you need an emotional break.
Just recently I spent a week in what author Sylvia Plath referred to as “the bell jar”—bottled up, losing oxygen and will. It felt like the walls were closing in and that all the progress that I thought I had been making professionally was for naught. These are the days I dread and the ones that if you allow them will suck you dry of the energy you need in order to grow your passion and stand in your truth. How can you stand in your truth when you are exhausted and hiding under the covers?
We’ve learned in our microwavable society that there is no time to stop. We are at once chatting on g-chat, drinking espresso, sending a text, and reading a blog—where is the room to rest, let alone breathe?
Although we can’t seem to get away from the endless array of commercials that tell us to pop a pill in order to feel better. We rarely have conversations about preserving our mental health. Mental health is a topic we discuss in the negative, after a tragedy when we are questioning someone’s mental health in response to horrific behavior. I believe we should be questioning our mental health daily not just in the midst of disaster. Becoming in tune to ourselves and our deeper needs may not allow us to divert tragedy but offer us the skill necessary to deal with issues once they arrive.
We are so busy doing and reacting in these fast paced times that it’s rare to take a moment to just be.
It’s time that we give ourselves permission to take a moment of solace—a moment, a day, an hour, that is free from judgment where we can connect to our purpose and restore our spirit. Your soul will thank you.
How will you become in tune to your mental health? Let us know in the comment section below.