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The Importance of Taking a Mental Health Day

"Mental Health Matters" on a black letter board.

The Importance of Taking a Mental Health Day

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

~Buddha

Self-Care Sunday With Gabby

Hi everyone. I hope that you are all doing good. I just got back from the AFB (American Foundation for the Blind) Leadership Conference. I finally got to meet Steph as well as my other amazing friends. It was such a great conference, but now I am back and I am ready to write again.

I also want to inform you all that I just got hired to work with AFB. It is an apprenticeship through AFB’s Talent Lab and I am so excited. I am not sure if I mentioned it in my previous post, but I just graduated. The ceremony is in a few weeks. Let me know how you are all doing on social media. Check out my Instagram and Twitter. Let’s have a conversation. If there is a topic that you would like for me to discuss please reach out to me and let me know. ~Gabby

What Is A Mental Health Day?

Woman having fun in the water at the beach. On shore are 2 empty beach chairs, towels, sun hat, etc. In the distance mountains can be seen.

So, you are probably wondering, what is a mental health day? Well my friends, I’ve always said that a mental health day is a day where you take off of work or school, and you take care of yourself. This is the time when you check in with yourself, catch up on sleep, do something fun and just practice some self-care. While it is important to practice self-care regularly, sometimes we just get too busy to think about our mental health. So, in this post I will walk you through some things that you can do for yourself on your mental health day. Keep in mind that you can reframe these to best fit you.

  1. Journal. Have you been feeling stressed and haven’t had a lot of time to journal? This is a perfect time to take out your journal and start writing. You can search for journal prompts or just simply write down everything that you are feeling.
  2. Practice some self-care. So, you’ve taken the day off from work or school and now you have some time to do whatever you want. Practice some self-care. This could mean you go for a walk, or treat yourself to a nice meal. What are the things that you enjoy doing? Make a list of those things and go through the list throughout the day.
  3. Pamper yourself. Similarly to the previous tip, pampering yourself is a really nice way to relax and destress. Ladies, you can go get your nails done, or meet up with a friend for coffee or lunch. You can take a bubble bath or read a book. I know that since I have been traveling a lot lately, I haven’t really made the time for myself. Pampering yourself is not selfish.
  4. Meditate. This is a big one. Have you recently started meditating? Do you feel like you don’t know where to start? Taking some time to meditate can help you destress. Download Headspace here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/headspace-mindful-meditation
Young black woman doing yoga while her dog lays on the mat next to her.

I love using Headspace for many reasons. The app is super accessible, you can find millions of guided meditations, they have music that you can listen to if you are studying or just relaxing. I highly recommend it.

5. Schedule that therapy session. Therapy is so important. If you are going through a lot and you need someone to speak to, be sure to schedule a therapy session. If you can’t find a therapist there are many online options. Such as:

If online therapy doesn’t seem like your cup of tea you can also check with your insurance and health care providers to find the best options for you. Please keep in mind that therapy takes time, you won’t find the right therapist for you right away. Please be sure to do your research and communicate with your therapist if you would like to switch to another therapist.

Young white woman sleeping woman while wearing an eye mask.

6. Catch up on sleep. This is a big one for me because sleep is very important. I don’t have the best sleep schedule or sleep patterns, but none the less, I always try and make sure that I get enough sleep. Sometimes when you are super busy with school, work and everything else that you are trying to manage, your sleep schedule can impact your mood throughout the day.

According to the CDC, about 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. Lack of sleep is associated with injuries, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, poor quality of life and well-being, increased health care costs, and lost work productivity. A third of US adults report that they get less than the recommended amount of sleep. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html

Conclusion:

Taking care of our mental health is so necessary. Taking a day to decompress is perfectly okay, but just remember that you should care for your mental health regularly. We need to have more conversations about mental health, just like blindness, there is a stigma surrounding mental health and I hope that anyone that comes across this post will help to educate the people that they interact with.

We all have our own journeys with our mental health and none of us approach the topic in the same way, but we can still talk about it and Destigmatize mental health. Be sure to take care of yourselves. The world needs more love and kindness and it can start with you. Please remember that you are not alone in your struggle. Sending you all so much love and I hope you enjoy your #SelfCareSunday.😊

Below you will find some mental health resources for you or your loved ones.

By Gabby Mendonca

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About The Author

An evening outdoor glamour shot of Gabby standing with her hand on her hip in a black gown. Her long dark loosely curled tresses are flowing over her right shoulder and down her back.
Gabby Mendonca

Gabby is a recent college graduate. She studied communications in digital media. When she isn’t busy with school, Gabby enjoys filming videos for her YouTube. She is very passionate about the performing arts, music, and acting. Gabby is also very passionate about advocacy and inclusion.

Image Descriptions:
  • The header has “Mental Health Matters” on a black letter board.
  • Woman having fun in the water at the beach. On shore are 2 empty beach chairs, towels, sun hat, etc. In the distance mountains can be seen.
  • Young black woman doing yoga while her dog lays on the mat next to her.
  • Young white woman sleeping woman while wearing an eye mask.
  • The author’s photo is an evening outdoor glamour shot of Gabby standing with her hand on her hip in a black gown. Her long dark loosely curled tresses are flowing over her right shoulder and down her back.
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