How To *Actually* Feel Better After A Mental Health Day

More times than we can count, we've gotten to the end of a mental health day or a day off work and felt more stressed than we were at the beginning. This is because we spent the entire day doing chores or way too much time scrolling through TikTok.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month throughout May, we wanted to help brainstorm ideas for any upcoming days off. That way, you can spend them in a way that will actually leave you feeling better than before. We broke down the ideas into three categories depending on the kind of rest you need most.

  • Physical Rest: If you're worn down and just need to give your body a break, you might just need some physical rest to give your body time to recover.
  • Mental Rest: This kind of rest can mean multiple things. You can take part in activities that require no brain power whatsoever or activities that just require a part of the brain you don't use at work.
  • Social Rest: If you're an introvert, or you just feel overwhelmed by people, find some activities you enjoy that you can do alone.
What counts as rest will be different for every person and season of life. The kind of rest you need might even change! Do your utmost to spend the day in an enjoyable way instead of doing chores or things that you *have* to do, but if you absolutely must get stuff done, brainstorm an easier way to do them. Can you order groceries instead of going to the store? Add a laundry service to your budget so you don't have to spend the time doing it yourself?
Before your mental health day, make a list of ideas for spending your time and what boundaries you've set in place. If you like structure, you can create a fun and cute itinerary, or you can just add a bunch of ideas to pick from in the moment. Keep reading for some fun ideas.

Physical Rest

woman laying in bed sleeping mental health days

Take A Bubble Bath

We will recommend bubble baths forever and ever. They're so relaxing and are the perfect thing for any spa day. Use up a bath bomb with your favorite scents, or add in some Epsom salts to help alleviate any aches you might have around your body.

Our favorite thing to do when we take a bath is to set up our favorite movie or feel-good show, make a snack, and grab some affordable wine. Talk about pampering! We always feel way more relaxed after a bubble bath.

Sit Outside And Read

If you don't want to sit inside for the entirety of your mental health day, sit outside with a new book. That way, you don't have to leave the neighborhood if you still want to stay home for the afternoon, but you'll also be able to get some fresh air.

Binge Watch Your Favorite Show

If you are absolutely exhausted and really do need to just lay down all day, we totally understand. It's nothing to feel guilty about — it's important to listen to your body! Make yourself a delicious lemonade or some homemade salsa, wrap up in a blanket, and curl up in front of a show or a movie that you haven't had time to watch in the last few weeks. Some days you just need to veg.

Mental Rest

woman doing colorful art

Do Your Entire Beauty Routine

While a skin-care routine doesn't have to take you a full hour, it can be fun to spend the time getting every single detail right and really pampering yourself. Spend time overlining your lips, perfecting your siren eyes, and getting your foundation (or tinted moisturizer) looking just right — even if you're not leaving the house! It'll let you use your hands but is definitely something you can do without a lot of thought.

Make The Perfect Latte

Espresso, oat milk, and syrups come together to create coffee drinks we will never get enough of. If you enjoy the process of making drinks, spend the time creating an Apple Crisp Macchiato or Iced Vietnamese Coffee, even if it takes you longer to make than to drink it. Or you can go out for coffee if there's a cafe that you never have the time to visit — you might get to see some familiar faces, too!

Do A Craft

If you work a job that requires analytical skills (or you just like doing creative DIYs), then making something with your hands and the creative side of your brain will give the rest of your brain a break. Put on your favorite Meg Ryan movie or our Coastal Grandmother Spotify playlist!

Social Rest

woman eating pizza by herself mental health days


Break out your newest gratitude journal and check out some of our journal prompts for growth and creativity to figure out how you're feeling or just get some of your thoughts out on paper. You can share with other people once your social battery recharges, or keep them to yourself.

Make A Delicious Meal

Make a yummy meal for one if you enjoy cooking, and it relaxes you. It can be something fancy like a date-night meal with multiple courses, setting up an afternoon tea, or Nutella Brownies that allow you to spend time mixing, stirring, and (most importantly) taste testing.

Do Things You Enjoy, But Do Them Alone

We highly recommend doing your favorite activities — whether it is walking around the park, going out to eat, or shopping — stag. You don't need to rely on anyone else to have a great time, and this is a great way to enjoy your day without zapping your social battery.

How are you going to spend your next mental health day? Let us know in the comments and check out our Pinterest and newsletter for more self-care inspo!

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Featured image via Karolina Grabowska/Pexels.

This post has been updated.