Download our guides Your Next Career Accommodation Money and banking Cost of living Visas Employment Health and safety Language Life in Australia Studying Getting around Travel Advertise

6 Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day

This article is sponsored by Scape

At times, you might feel as if you’re running low on energy and enthusiasm. You may be overwhelmed and depleted, unmotivated and lethargic, and feeling like you don’t have much time to yourself. And sometimes, you may not even realise it until you’ve burned out.

These are some of the signs that you may need a break. If that’s the case, a mental health day could just be the perfect way to help yourself recuperate.

What is a mental health day?

A mental health day is simply a day off to prioritise your mental health and wellbeing. Think of a mental health day as a necessity, not a reward. It can be pretty essential to performing your job efficiently, avoiding burnout and relieving stress. 

You might want to take a mental health day as sick leave from your job. If you’d prefer not to take a mental health day off work, you could nominate a day or the entire weekend as a mental health day. 

Is it OK to take a day off to have a mental health day?

Absolutely! Mental health days are incredibly important, and are becoming more and more accepted. Awareness of mental health issues has increased, especially given the fact that the pandemic has triggered extra uncertainty and distress. Work can be stressful too, and personal issues can be overwhelming. So, there’s absolutely no shame in focusing on your wellbeing by taking a day off.

If you’re looking for ways to spend your mental health day, we’ve put together six ideas to inspire you.

1. Decide what you need out of your mental health day

Firstly, it’s a good idea to think about what you want to get out of your mental health day. Are you exhausted and need to rest? Do you want to break the monotony of everyday life and do something fun? Or, do you want to indulge in some self-care

You don’t have to create an extensive plan. It’s just worthwhile being aware of your needs so you can approach your day off accordingly.

2. Simply have a day off at home

Taking a day off doesn’t have to mean catching up on chores, such as laundry or cleaning. Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is rest. Luckily, a mental health day can help you achieve this. 

It’s absolutely OK to spend a day at home enjoying a sleep-in, getting food delivered, and binging TV shows or movies in your pyjamas. Your mental health day can also involve doing nothing and just relaxing, or undertaking cool indoor activities.

3. Choose a specific hobby

You could also spend your day doing activities that boost your physical and mental wellbeing.

Choose a hobby you love, or perhaps an activity you’ve been wanting to try for a long time. The key here is to find something that will help you unwind. You could indulge in something artistic like painting or colouring, cooking creatively, doing exercise like hiking or swimming, or immersing yourself in a good book.

4. Spend time with your loved ones

Some people prefer to spend their mental health day alone, but others may enjoy company. If you haven’t seen a family member or friend in a long time, you could reach out and catch up with them over a cup of coffee or a meal. 

You could also enjoy a day or night out with your partner. To help you plan a date with your loved one, we’ve put in the hard yards and come up with five date night ideas. Choose a favourite activity to do together, create new memories and boost your happy hormones.

5. Do an activity that brings you peace

Doing mindfulness activities that promote calm and peace is another fantastic way to spend your mental health day. This means things like meditating, deep breathing, appreciating nature, practising acceptance and expressing gratitude. 

Simple acts include lighting incense or a candle, having a bath with essential oils, putting your phone down, and observing your thoughts, emotions and feelings.

6. Re-evaluate your goals and priorities

Reflecting on your life can help you ask yourself meaningful questions. This means you can assess your current priorities, change what’s not worthwhile and set goals for your future. 

There may be a personal issue you need to work through, or aspects of your life that need attention and development. Sometimes, self-reflection can also make you aware of your progress and remind you to celebrate your achievements, big or small.

World Mental Health Day 2021 is on Sunday, 10 October. You can check out some helpful tips on the “Look after your mental health, Australia” website or visit our Health & Wellness Hub for more advice.

At Scape, you’ll have everything you need to feel safe, calm, and at home while also feeling challenged, clued up, and plugged in to new ideas in a new city. With brilliant buildings set in unbeatable locations, you’ll be joining a student community that looks out for one another, with everything you need to create a year that lasts a lifetime. Learn more here!

Promo offer ends 31 October 2021.