From the moment you wake up, to the moment you drift off to sleep, making time for your personal wellbeing is a decision we all struggle with. This is our love letter in defense of the “Mental Health Day” – a day on which you advocate for your health and focus solely on YOU.
It is no secret, we have a long way to go before mental health is treated with the same urgency as physical health. Too often conversations around mental health neglect to reiterate that what happens in the mind greatly effects the body. At times mental wellbeing seems like a mythical concept that we struggle to understand and treat, and that makes it an invisible illness with way too much stigma attached. Whether your depression or anxiety happens to be circumstantial, seasonal, or a life-long battle, you and your health matter. When we struggle, feel fatigued, and just plain have no hope, the experience is a lonely one. It is important to remember that you are not alone. There are people out there with their own mental health struggles and they are likely feeling and experiencing the same things you are. 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. Burnout is even more common, and it is on the rise. A recent report from Indeed found that 52% of all workers are feeling burned out. The fact is that when left untreated; burnout, acute stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders, begin to manifest themselves in short and long term physical health problems.
This means filling your cup first with self-love, plenty of rest, or activities that lift the mood. This could mean taking the day to schedule an emergency therapy session, or spending the day taking a stroll through the park. We don’t judge. We say, take a day if you need to. You can’t pour from an empty cup. That’s a fact. Remember: You matter! You matter! You matter!
Here are some ways we like to unwind during our mental health day.
Experience bliss with three potent ingredients from the Ayurvedic tradition.
On days when even one day at a time seems too scary, try one small step at a time. Try Ashwagandha, the powerful whole system balancer and adaptogenic remedy for anyone looking to keep calm and carry on. aThis ingredient has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, and when combined with holy basil, coriander and Himalayan pink salt, it helps balance the immune system, alleviate stress, improve memory, promote restful sleep and support the nervous system. Since we got to know Moodbeli’s Holy Ashwagandha, we just can’t stop putting it in our evening tea or mixing it in frothed milk. We’re not saying it cures anxiety, but it certainly calms the nerves. Moodbeli does recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, especially if you are taking medication.
Spend the day soaking in a bath
According to scientific studies, being near water is good for our mental health. The next best thing to the sea, is a bath soak. The benefits of water therapy are endless (better sleep, blood circulation, heart health, muscle pain relief, better mood, and more). It is no wonder that soothing the mind and body with a tranquil bath is one of the top ways to practice self-care. When it comes to at-home spa products, we know what we are talking about, and OLVERUM Bath Oil makes the cut for the best of the best of bath products. This special brand has a rich history of wellness. The Founders of OLVERUM, Franz and Edith Klein, understood the therapeutic effects of spa and using spa products. Their original creation, the bath oil, gained a cult following, and once you try it, it is easy to see why. The Bath Oil smells like a herbal remedy. Putting it in your bath is sure to restore and calm you, helping you can feel like yourself again.
Things are always better in the morning
“Sleep on it” is not just a saying, it is a good way to boost your health and mood, allowing you to make smarter decisions. Most medical professionals recommend eight hours per night, but it is often easier said than done. If you find yourself doing all the right things for your sleep hygiene, like exercising, keeping your room the right temperature, and shutting down all electronics, but still cannot get to sleep, try The Patch Brand. The Sleep patch is a far better alternative to sleep gummies or tablets. Place it on a hair-free part of the body (like the inner wrist) one or two hours before you got to bed, and fall asleep faster. The patch is infused with a bedtime blend of ingredients that are known to have sleep-inducing effects: Valerian Root, Passionflower, Hops, and Melatonin. The patch absorb in minutes, and the best part is – no grogginess.
Seek Comfort In Your Sacred Space
Depression is exhausting. According to the National Library of Medicine, depression is closely linked to physical pain. If you ever experienced chronic back pain, headaches, insomnia, joint pain, and appetite changes during your depression spells, you should ask your doctor about it. There is no shame in wanting to stay in bed for the day. A few days might mean you should reach out for help, but know that your mental health day is meant for rest. If you hold stress and tension in your body, make sure your bedroom becomes your sacred comfort space. Simply clearing the space of any clutter has positive effects. Take it a step further and invest in a good pillow and blanket. When we lay down and want to feel zen we reach for a weighted blanket. In fact, it was a weighted blanket that helped with us with our restless legs (but that’s a story for another time). Weighted blankets can weight anywhere from 5 to 35 pounds. The pressure feels like a hug and puts your autonomic nervous system into rest mode. Our current favorite is from LuuF, and it has saved us from sleep deprivation on more occasions than we can count.
We also tested the Headleveler by OrthoCerv, and their made-to-measure experience for shoulder and neck pain, better sleep, even for a better sitting posture during meditation. The difference from our regular pillow was unparalleled. Imagine laying down on a hypo-allergenic pillow that is custom-made to your sleep and relaxation needs. Sleep plays one of the most important factors in your mental health and that makes the Headleveler worth your investment. The Headleveler website helps you figure out the ideal pillow for you: depending on your height, weight, mattress type and preferred sleeping positions.
Invite Pleasure Into Your Me-Time
Healthy sex life and masturbation are a natural part of life, yet it is rarely described as self-care. With the right partner, sex can improve your health – physically and emotionally. It is a real mood elevator, and so is masturbation. This is why when we found out PlusOne brings affordable and quality toys to the masses (available at Target, Walmart and on Amazon), we had to put it on the list. Their simple, yet effective, soft body safe silicone line of products will not only wow you but might help you realize how sexual wellness plays a role in your overall wellbeing. We always say that the pleasure of spas and wellness should not be a luxury, reserved for a privileged few. We feel the same way about different kinds of pleasure. What better way to spend your me-time than with a personal massager. Looking for your first toy without wanting to spend a lot? Try the Personal Massager, Vibrating Bullet or Dual Vibrating Massager. Did we mention they are waterproof? Now you can bathe and reach for more self-care at the same time.
Massage combines the power of touch, aromatherapy, and at times sound: everything you need to stay present and calm
We know that massages reduce stress and even have the power to improve your health, but we often think of massages as an expensive splurge. You should know that all types of massages, whether done by your partner, yourself, or with a vibrating tool have the power to reduce anxiety. In fact, in some culture massages are part of regular daily routine. Dare to take your mental health day to the next level by pampering yourself to a therapeutic self-massage. All you need is your hands and an oil containing a opulent scent. Lola’s Apothecary makes some of the most magnificent body and massage oils. They are unlike anything else we ever tried. Monsoon Paradise is our favorite, containing citrus, amyris, lisylang heart and jasmine, but you might be on a different scent journey. All the oils are handmade in England from potent botanical essences, moisturize and protect the skin, and come in gorgeous packaging. For a beneficial self-massage move your hands in circular motions, staying present, and paying attention to how your body feels.
The hands and feet can be especially easy to massage, and if you press certain points (look up reflexology) you might find yourself reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. For knots, try using a ball (size of a tennis ball), or a foam roller, and roll it over the painful areas before putting on any oil.
Hydrate, hydration, hydration
When you forget to hydrate, your body cannot work properly. This is especially true for anyone with a weak immune system or depression. The fact is that dehydration can cause stress, and stress can cause dehydration. This makes it even more vital to find hydration liquids you enjoy, and keep them near. We are not saying it will decrease your stress levels, or even help with depression, but a stronger body has a higher chance of fighting with the monster. For on-the-go type of mental health days or car trips, we love using a bottle that can keep our hands free and the liquid fresh. MyBevi makes double wall vacuum insulated hydration bottles. We took it on a trip with us and our lemon water remained cold for two days. It has a rope at the top, which allows you to keep your hands almost free (all you need is a finger).
NOTE: As always, seek out a professional doctor for your mental and physical health needs. None of these opinions or suggestions are meant to be used as medical advice. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can always speak to someone: 1-800-273-8255.