Taking Personal Days As Self-Care Days
Have you ever been so exhausted with your life that even simple everyday tasks feel like a burden? How often have you felt that the entirety of your life is just plain lackluster? I think in this day and age we’ve all been there, maybe some more often than others, and trust me, it is exhausting! Have you ever seen the comic strip where this being of darkness and – what I assume is depression, drags itself out of bed and puts its human suit on and attacks the day? Imagine doing that every day for years, social gatherings, and other interactions? Everything from work to parties and everything in between is excruciatingly exhausting, right? But, lucky for us, self-care is in style and personal days are the holy grail of them all.
It’s hard to really talk about how you’re truly feeling and to come to terms with what is taking a toll on your mental health. Living in today’s society, I feel, is more exhausting than it needs to be and that’s the tea. Pairing everyday nuances with school, work, home, and family life is a recipe for constant stress, anxiety, and possible depression. Getting up and going becomes more of a chore daily to the point where you just don’t want to anymore.
Being in this cycle can be detrimental to one’s mental and physical health. Mental health gurus all over the internet are quick to propose one way or another that is sure to relief you of all this stress. Personally, the only method that I’ve seen recommended a lot online that really makes a difference are “self-care days”. I’m yet to experience anything more therapeutic than spending uninterrupted time with yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be constantly pouring into people without replenishing your own energy, sorting through your emotions and taking a few minutes to enjoy a cup of tea and read your favorite magazine.
Not Just Candles + Face Masks
Many articles on this subject of self-care days make mention of lighting candles and doing face masks, but I’m here to tell you that, though those may be therapeutic, it’s not really holistically beneficial. You can’t face mask your anxieties away, and the scent of the candles won’t overpower your depression. Self-care requires a little more than that. Many persons might find self-care days difficult because they’ve spent most of their lives around people, pleasing and catering to them. This leads to an incapability of unwinding. Others have spent all their lives running from their emotions, filling their days from start to end with activities, so they don’t have to face their feelings.
I, along with a few of you reading this, might be especially guilty of the last one. Here is where self-care days come to save you from drowning yourself in mundane chores and people-pleasing. To get the full effect of your self-care day, you need to clear the day, yes – one whole sixteen plus hours of just you, yourself, and you! This might be scary if you’ve been running, and you might be very tempted to fill your day with people or catching up on tasks, but honestly; downtime is absolutely necessary. Since my great depression of 2018, I’ve started taking my mental health a little more seriously, and with that came mandatory self-care days every week until I started feeling whole again, then cuttting it down to every two weeks. There is no right or wrong way to do your self-care day, but there are methods that are more holistically beneficial than others.
A How-To Guide For Self-Care Days
- Clear the day! – I attend university so my self-care days are heavily centered around my time-table so what I do at the beginning of the semester is ensure I have at least one free day, or one day with a single class early in the morning. If you work it’s not going to be as simple, so your self-care day might have to be self-care hours but do it nonetheless.
- You know when you were younger your parents used to try to get you to timetable your afternoons and weekend days? Well, now Is the time to put that skill into effect. Plan out your day – I do this by journaling. If for the past week I felt emotionally exhausted, I write down my feelings and create a list of activities that help to replenish my spirit.
- Allow yourself to be there: it’s pretty easy to stop being by yourself when you’re used to people all the time. But time away from people is necessary. People are constantly at you, their emotions, their days, them them them. When do you get to feel your own emotions? When do you figure out what’s wrong with you? Here’s your downtime to help your uptime.
- Your self-care day doesn’t necessarily have to be inside, it can be a trip to your therapist, having lunch/brunch by yourself, walking in the park, sitting in the library and reading, anything really as long as it’s about you and you’re doing it by yourself!
The most important part of self-care is centering it around yourself. You’re allowed to be selfish, you’re allowed to say no, and you’re allowed to lay in bed all day and do nothing.
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