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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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Mental Health Day

October 2005


Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed. I have had too much going on for too long, and I needed a day off. So I took a mental health day.

I know that many of you just stopped and said, “A mental health day? What the heck is she talking about?” When we are sick, we need to take a day off to recover. Our system is overloaded with illness. We need to save our energy in order to regain a healthy balance. A mental health day is the same thing. Our system is overloaded, but probably with stress not physical illness. However, remember that when we have too much stress in our system for too long, we will get sick. That was another reason I took the day off. I know my body well. When I get too overwhelmed, I get sick. However, if I take the day off and slow down, I don’t.

So, a mental health day is a day off. No phone calls. No kids. No chores. Perhaps you spend the day in bed watching TV. Or even with the covers pulled over your head. Or curled up in the corner of the couch reading a book that doesn’t require a lot of brain power to figure out. This is my choice.

I didn’t get to take an entire day off. But I got 4 hours. And I appreciated every second of that time. When my kids got home from school, I was able to enjoy them. When my husband came home, I was able to engage with him. I had energy to laugh and smile. Earlier in the day I did not.

So, the moral of this story is to tune into your body. Recognize when you are stressed and do something about it. That way you will be able to handle what the world will throw at you. Take a mental health day when necessary.

And enjoy the journey.


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