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Hello. My name is Shontel Cargill and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Thriveworks located at the Cumming office in Georgia. So the online question is, “Is it okay to take a mental health day during COVID-19?”

My immediate response to this question is absolutely. Mental health days are very important in general because they allow for time for you to reset, recharge, and take a pause from the everyday hustle and bustle. I believe that this pandemic has taken a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual toll on many of us impacting our overall wellbeing.

I want to remind you all that it is totally normal to feel higher levels of stress and anxiety during times of uncertainty and taking a mental health day can be vital in improving your mental wellbeing. Before you can determine how you would like to utilize this day, I believe that you first must know what your needs are.

Take a moment and reflect on how you can benefit from taking this mental health day. It is also important to note here that taking a mental health day in advance is ideal so that you can properly repair mentally and professionally. So here are a few tips on how you can take an effective mental health day depending on what your needs are for that day.

Take time to rest. Feeling anxious can be very exhausting and can negatively impact your work-life balance. Rest gives your mind and body a break and can reduce high levels of stress you may be experiencing during this time. Rest can also be helpful if you feel like you are headed towards a burnout at work.

Use the day to relax. Taking the day to relax is another great way to use your mental health day. Creating a spa day at home, taking a mindful walk, practicing meditation, unplugging from social media or doing absolutely nothing are great ways to destress and holistically reset.

Establish a self-care plan. Establishing a self-care plan can be useful to make a long-term impact on your whole health and wellness. This plan can include incorporating daily activities that tend to your professional, physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual health and relationships. Remember, this is your plan, so choosing activities that are for you is very important as well as putting that plan into action.

Have fun. Take the day to participate in activities that are fun and enjoyable for you. This could be watching movies, chatting with friends, having zoom dates and other activities you love to do or haven’t done in a while.

As always, if you continue to feel overwhelmed with feelings such as stress and anxiety, even after taking a mental health day, remember, we are here at Thriveworks to help. Thank you all for listening and please be well.