October 5, 2017
Quick question: Have you ever really needed a break?
And no, I’m not JUST talking about the rest day in between a week of workouts. But the kind that allows your mind to relax – a mental health break. You know, a day to fully give yourself permission to just be.
Mental health is just as important as your physical health. Let me repeat that: Mental health is JUST AS IMPORTANT as your physical health.
We spend so much time talking about fitness, what to eat and all these ways to best take care of our bodies. And that’s all great! But if you neglect your mental health, it doesn’t matter how many vegetables you eat or how many burpees you do. Being mentally unhealthy can create a very dangerous situation.
I like to think of the body and mind as a team. They rely on each other. They support each other. If one of the team members is struggling, the other one will notice a difference too. And sometimes, one of the team members needs some help.
There’s NO SHAME in recognizing you need to take a break. Or asking for help. Or just telling someone you’re having a hard time! Did you know that 18.2 % of the total adult population in the United States suffers from some type of mental illness?
And I know, the word “illness” is a weird one that immediately puts people on guard. I even hesitated writing it because it’s a touchy subject. But the thing is, if you fall into that percentage, you’re NOT alone! And being able to talk about it and reassure others that it’s okay to recognize when things are difficult is a GOOD THING!
I’m not an expert. I’m not a psychologist or a therapist. But I know so many people, AMAZING people, who have dealt with mental health issues. These are strong people! These are brilliant people! These are creative and inspirational people! And making sure we keep communication open and flowing is one of the things we can do to fight back against the stigma.
Mental health days are nothing to be ashamed of. They aren’t something to hide or feel like you can’t talk about. And if today is one of those days when you are hurting, I want you to know I see you. And I hear you. And I am always, always rooting for you.
So, go ahead, take a day to check in with yourself. Slow down. Step off of social media. Turn off your phone notifications. (I actually have my phone on “do not disturb” at all times.) Listen to what your body wants. Do what feels good. Whether this means getting a massage, going shopping, hiking with your friends, indulging in a book, or literally whatever “relaxing” means to you – do it! And do it to the max!
Do you ever take mental health breaks? What do you like to do? Do you have a self-care process?