Sometimes You Just Need A Mental Health Day

sitting in silence

Article by Wendy McCance

When I used to work at our local auto plant, I would take the occasional “mental health day.”  The days in the factory could be gruelling.  In the summer, the place felt like a sauna with nothing more than some unproductive fans swirling the stale, hot air around the plant.  The winters were fairly chilly.  People would wear heavy layers, hats and everyone was thankful for the wool gloves we were required to wear on most jobs.

Your days at the plant were filled with small breaks that did nothing to re-energize your body or your spirit.  You were constantly bombarded with the stress and boredom of those around you.  By the end of the day, you would drag your lifeless body out of the plant.  Filthy and sweaty you made your way home only wanting a shower and a bed because of the exhaustion of the day.

These were rough days for my family.  I was a shell of myself.  I was just so tired and rundown.  My social life was barely recognizable.  Keeping up a solid family life and staying on top of the chores of running a household were hard to manage with the energy I had left.

All that being said, I took the occasional “mental health day.”  Sometimes that meant hanging out in pajamas all day as I alternated between sleeping, eating junk, drinking some wine and watching back to back movies off the playstation.  These days were reserved for the days when my children were off at their dad’s house for a few days.  On days when the kids were with me, I would take advantage of playing catch-up with the kids as a mom who was alert and anxious to immerse herself into their lives.  It wasn’t uncommon for me to do some volunteering at the school in the library or in a classroom during a class party.

The bottom line is that I needed a break.  I needed an opportunity to reconnect with the kids and give myself a breather  Sometimes I just needed that chance to lie around without a thought in my head.  Taking these days off kept me sane in an insane environment.  The plant is like a city.  Trust me when I say that working in a plant is like walking in a not so wonderful part of town.  You never know what you will run into and your guard is up much more than at a typical job.

These days the plant is well behind me.  It served its purpose at the time.  I was in the midst of reestablishing myself as a single mom and the money and benefits from working in a plant saved me at the time.  The plant is closed and I have moved on.  I have a career I love, an active life with my kids and a wonderful husband.  The days of feeling like a zombie are well behind me.  Even so, I still take the occasional “mental health day.”  there is nothing like a day taken off to recharge the battery, take care of the minor details of life and celebrate some uninterrupted time with the kids.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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10 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Need A Mental Health Day

  1. I took one of these yesterday and I just created a post about it on one of the forums I belong to.

    There was no way I could get any work done with all of the noise in my head, so to speak. I told myself that I’d just have to adjust my work schedule during the week but in that moment, I NEEDED A BREAK!

    Part of being productive I’ve learned, is knowing when to push away from producing, learning how to be still. Or at the very least, one should learn how to redirect their energy to activities that are far less strenuous.

  2. I was a teacher, went to college at night & was a single mom. My poor kids knew that when I came home I needed an hour or so to decompress. Now that I quit teaching and have become the primary (only) caretaker for my parents (82yr. old mom & 97yr. old step-dad) I STILL need a Mental Health day. Today is one of those blessed days. They have out of town company so I know that they are not alone. My step-dad is shaky and falls quite a bit, and has either Alz. or Dementia and my mom is in deep Denial and refuses help from anyone but me. Some days I come home wanting to pull my hair out, but today, I’m in PJ’s and gonna read and watch TV.. LOL YEA!!!! 😀

  3. Hi Wendy. I worked in a toolbox factory at one time. It was dark, grey, and dismal and the people weren’t all that friendly. Although I’m far from there as well, I really get ‘mental health days.’ I need them and like to do much of what you describe — lazing around, watching great comedy or dramatic movies, writing, and raking in some extra snooze time. Great post!

    • Thanks so much for the compliment and sharing your thoughts. It’s so rewarding hearing from people who can so truly identify with whatever it is I am writing about. All the best. 🙂

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