This I Believe

Brittany - Seattle, Washington
Entered on January 11, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: pleasure

Imagine this: you have a project due this Friday for school. You’ve had a month to work on it and it counts for at least 50% of your grade, maybe more. There is so much pressure around doing well on this project that for the past month you haven’t relaxed at all, instead spending every spare moment on it. How do you feel? Stressed? Strained? Irritable? That’s not good for you.

I believe in mental health days. Days where I forget work, projects, and anything else that has been bugging me. A day where I can just relax, leave, go out with friends, to a movie, the mall, anywhere that I can relax. Clear my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a big difference between a mental health day and slacking off. When you slack off it’s because you have time you just don’t feel like doing it. A mental health day is a day you take off either during the project after the project so that the stress doesn’t overpower and control your life.

So next time you have something big and stressful in your life, take a mental health day. Relax, hang out with friends, go to a movie, and just clear your mind. It definitely isn’t a good idea to drive yourself crazy about this, especially if a presentation is involved. The heavier the blanket of stress is over your mind, the harder to see and think clearly it will be. This could result in a worse grade, lack of judgment, or both.

So next time, take this day to relax, or you could end up like I have a couple of times breaking down the day before the oh-so-important project is due. Step away from all stress, go to bed earlier, get up late, sit back and relax, breath! Just take some time to not think about anything any harder than what toppings you want on your pizza or which drink you want to get to go with your meal. Don’t over-analyze things either because that just adds to the stress you’re trying to avoid. Just go with the flow. After a day like this pay attention to how you feel later and notice how much easier it is to think, how loose your body feels and how much easier it is to move. Then, when you get up in front of people, notice how smooth your words flow when you are relaxed compared to when you are as tense or as tight as a pair of jeans 2 sizes too small. I think a mental health day is a major necessity is everyone’s lives.