← Back

5 Ways to Create the Perfect DIY Mental Health Day

By Aisha Beau Johnson

We receive so many messages on what self-care should be or look like, when in actuality, it’s determined by your specific needs. And it’s much more assessable than we’re often led to believe.

With Bebe Moore Campbell Minority Mental Health Month coming to a close, now more than ever, it’s time to treat yourself to a mental health day in the comfort of your own home. Here are some simple steps you can take to decompress for a day to honor your mind and body this month and beyond:

Speak Up

It’s important to be transparent with your boss about needing a mental health day. That way, you can truly feel at ease. You don’t have to go into specific details on why, but by letting them know, there will be one less stressor as you treat yourself to a break.

Same with family and friends. If you live with a roommate, spouse, or family members, fill them in ahead of time about your upcoming mental health day. That way, they’ll know to give you the space you deserve.

Sleep In

This isn’t the time for alarm clocks and getting up to see the sunrise (unless, of course, that’s truly your thing). It’s a time to catch up on some extra rest and relaxation. Allow yourself the space to lay in bed a little longer than normal, instead of rushing to get the day started. Ease into things by allowing your body to dictate when it’s ready to get moving.

Get Out

Speaking of movement, treat yourself to some quality time in nature by taking a walk. Whether it’s around the block or at the park, breath in some fresh air and get your blood flowing with a casual stroll. Increasing epidemiological research shows that exposing ourselves to nature and the outdoors has positive benefits on our overall health and well-being. It helps boost our immune system, lowers blood pressure, and could be what you need to realign.

Unplug

Though our phones provide us with an immense amount of necessary information, they can also play a large role in our anxiety and day-to-day stress. By putting your phone away or on silent, you’ll no longer be burdened by constant notifications and need to respond right away. Check your phone on your own time and take a break from pouring into others.

Unwind

What helps you to get out of your head and truly relax? Is it a warm bath or shower? Bingeing your favorite reality T.V. shows? Cooking? Whatever it may be, prioritize that during your mental health day, without judgement. Often times when we have “time off” we feel the need to be productive and catch up on specific tasks, but this is a time to indulge in what brings you true comfort and joy.

Aisha Beau Johnson is a blogger and speaker specializing in self-care for women of color. She hosts the self-love focused Re-Written Podcast.