Today I took a mental health day. Ever had one? They’re lovely. The best of all the days off. It’s a day off for “no particular reason” other than “I’m really trying not to throat punch everyone I work with and my kids can’t finish their homework without putting their feet in my face and I don’t wanna lose ma shat on the world so I need to do absolutely NOTHING of substance”.
How would one know if one needs a mental health day? You know that look that Hillary Clinton gets on her face where her face says, “I’m smiling” but you can tell she’s really trying not to throw a tantrum like a 3 year old (cuz, let’s be honest, 3 is waaaay worse than 2)? When I’ve had more than 3 days with that look on my face I know I need a mental health day.
Here are the crucial steps necessary for a successful mental health day:
- Request time off from your employer. I mean, you could NOT but then you’d have more like a mental health year. Or a mental health “forever”, depending on how long it takes you to find a replacement job which may be a worse set up than you have now so let’s not do that.
- Turn on your “out-of-office” message in your email. Make it sound good. You want to be vague but you also want people to think that you’ll be in the same neighborhood as that lost Amazonian tribe in Brazil that has never had any interaction with the civilized world. Long story short: cell service is spotty.
- DON’T TELL YOUR KIDS. Ever. They’ll know. And you’ll get a call from the clinic. When that doesn’t work you’ll get a call from the principal. All because the kids know you’re home and they wanna be home, too. Kids see their school like you see work. And if you get a day off, they think they should, too. They are wrong.
- If you have a fun significant other, tell them. If not, DON’T. If fun, this is a great time to coordinate mental health days. For example, my husband and I spent all day today pretending we were childless. We went to the gym together, we went shopping together, we had a nice lunch together, we even “cuddled” (YEAH, BABY!). If I had a crappy husband, I would NOT have told him. I would have followed the same routine as usual, left the house, waited for it to clear out and come back home. Then done NOTHING. Sometimes spouses are mistaken about the nature of your day off and get excited about the things around the house that “will” get done. Don’t let them have that opportunity for disappointment when they return home from a long day at work and you have your sweats on, wet toe nails, a mud mask on your face, an empty Dorito’s bag on the couch, your dog on the chair she isn’t allowed on, and an empty bottle of wine on the floor. Ma bad! Don’t get your hopes up!
- DO NOTHING OF IMPORTANCE. If you do, it will continue to deplete your mojo. You need to get it back. The only way to do that is to be lazy and let your mind go blank. Like for real.
There you have it, my pretty posse. Five steps to get your groove back. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on winning the lotto. Cuz I am NOT ready to go back to work tomorrow. But at least now I have some fun memories to think about tomorrow when Throat Punch comes a callin’.
What do you do on your mental health days???