How many times do you take a day for yourself? A mental health day is what people typically call it, but how many people actually take these days? How many people take the time to feed their soul?
I am not one to take these days. I usually feel too guilty, reserving these “personal” days for sick animals, family obligations, or dental/medical procedures.
When did we lose sight of taking time for ourselves? As a child I frequently missed school because I wasn’t “feeling well”. Since I was a very good student my mom never protested. Her only stipulation was that if I was too sick to go to school then I was too sick to go outside and play once my friends had come home. I was content with this compromise and spent the day watching movies or playing in my room. As a child I knew that sometimes it was nice to take a day for myself.
Today I did just that. I attended a lecture by a professor that went to England with me. I learned about the “Fearless Females” Empress Matilda and Eleanor of Aquitaine. I learned how they influenced Arthurian legend and how Arthurian legend might have influenced them. They were strong women, ahead of their time in history, stifling their power in order to allow the men in their life to rise.
After the lecture I spent hours reading, feeding that hunger my mind craves everyday. Fueled by topics of the lecture, I went on to read scholarly articles about the importance of reading and its correlation to creativity and innovation. Following the advice of the author, I took more time to read. I got lost in the story of Amy and Leo in “The Runaway Princess” and felt truly renewed.
Motivated by the characters in my book, I took my friend up on her offer to come out for a happy hour drink. After a day spent in my pajamas, in a darkened house, I welcomed a perfumed and made-up body. The night air was a welcome change from the recycled air in my house.
Discussing the events of my mental health day, I was reminded that these days are necessary. I feel like I can start tomorrow renewed. Sometimes you just need a day.