in praise of the Mental Health Day…

burned out- exhausted- just not feelin'

Do you ever have one of those days when you don’t want to get out of bed?

When the thought of sitting down at your computer and actually doing something productive is about as appealing as shoving a red-hot poker in your eye?

When, as much as you want to, as much as you need to, as much as you know that you absolutely, no-questions-asked HAVE TO, you just…

…can’t?

I have some semi-radical advice for you.  Don’t.

Instead, take a Mental Health Day.

The Mental Health Day is the reason neither of my boys ever brought home one of those coveted “Perfect Attendance” awards when they were in school. They were basically good kids who generally did what they were supposed to do. But every couple of months, one of them would hit that wall where the thought of getting up and going to school and sitting at a desk for six hours just about drove them to tears.

As a mom, I knew my job was to get them dressed and out that door and into the hands of the public education system, where they belonged. But this subversive little voice inside me couldn’t help asking, “Why? What would be so bad about letting the kid have a day to hang around in his pajamas and eat cereal on the couch and play video games until his eyes glaze over? What harm would it do?”

And thus, the Mental Health Day was born.

Every so often, one of my boys would announce that he was taking a Mental Health Day, and then stay home and do pretty much whatever he wanted. And yeah, since my husband and I both worked at home, it occasionally drove one or both of us crazy. But eventually, the day would end, the kid would go back to school all rested and happy and grateful, and everything would go on as normal. Better even.

So. If it worked for them…why can’t it work for us grown ups?

Of course it can. Not only that, it does. At least it does for me. When I have one of those days where it feels like I’m dragging my body through quicksand, I give myself permission to just STOP. I banish all pressure and judgment and embrace my inner pajama-wearing, non-showering, video-game-playing slug.

And the next time you hit the wall, instead of running into it over and over again hoping it will somehow magically disappear, I invite you to just try, just one time, to do the same thing. Not that you have to wear pajamas or play video games – your inner slug is YOUR inner slug, after all. Just let your lazy flag fly – or just hang there…

You might not win a Perfect Attendance Award. But you’ll probably have a MUCH better day tomorrow.

Oh! And if the wall you hit happens to involve writing, you might want to consider downloading the FREE guide i call The Positively True Actual Professional Writer’s Guide to Beating Writer’s Block HERE.

You can even do it in your pajamas.

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