Take a Mental Health Break! Part 1

Life is crazy these days. Between work, family, home responsibilities, and extracurricular events, you barely have time to breathe. Sound familiar … you need a mental health break!

Regardless of all the modern conveniences – which, were designed to make our lives easier, remember? – men and women alike are busier than ever! Each of us play multiple roles as parent, spouse, child, grandchild, sibling, employer and/or employee, co-worker, friend, confidante, volunteer, neighbor, and more!

Just take a look at the list of things you might do in a day and check off how many apply to you:

Preparing meals
Caring for children
Helping aging parents
Laundry
Paying bills and balancing your budget
Carpooling (kids or adults)
Working a part-time or full-time job
Taking care of the lawn, garden, and yard – yours and/or a neighbor’s
Attending classes
Studying and completing homework
Helping kids with homework
Cleaning the house
Maintaining vehicles
Making home improvements and repairs
Volunteering for church or civic groups
Attending committee meetings
Going to church
Attending children’s practices and events
Playing on a league or belonging to a club
Commuting
Shopping
Helping or counseling a friend
Feeding and caring for pets
Babysitting for friends or siblings’ children
Supporting and helping your spouse or significant other

Many of you regularly try to tackle 10 or more of these different things a day! You keep taking on more and more until it seems you just can’t take it anymore, and in the process, you’re running yourself ragged.

It’s too much to ask that the world stop spinning for a short while so you can get off, but sometimes, that’s just exactly what you need. Short of that, what can you do? You need to design your own mental health breaks and take them as needed.

I like to call them mental health breaks because we all need to realize our mental health is every bit as important as our physical health – perhaps even more so. When you are under too much stress and grow weary from all the pressure, your body’s decline is not far behind. In fact, too much stress can weaken your body’s immune system and make you prone to illness. To ensure physical health and well-being, you’ve got to consider your mental health, too.

A mental health break can be short or it can be long. It can be done alone or with others. It can cost thousands of dollars or it can be absolutely free, but in the end it is really priceless.

I define a mental health break as something which removes you – preferably physically, mentally, and emotionally – from the normal, everyday stresses and pressures that weigh you down, giving your mind a chance to settle down, enjoy a little quiet, and relax.