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Lee Anne Walmsley, PhD, EdS, MSN, RN
July 30, 2020

As you may have heard, “Mental health isn’t about having days to escape life, it’s about living the kind of life where you don’t feel the need to escape.” What better way to live your best life than to allow yourself play days!

Prepare for your mental health play day by getting a refreshing night’s sleep… Set an intention late in the afternoon to “look forward” to an evening of relaxation in preparation for sleep.  You might:

  1. Take a slow walk and look at your surroundings,
  2. Read a book of short stories or poetry,
  3. Color using pencils or crayons,
  4. Write or journal listing 2-3 things you are thankful for and why, or
  5. Enjoy a relaxing bath.

Then… set your phone to a “NOPE!” setting if possible. Many phones can be set to “do not disturb”  or “silent” mode which can support your restful sleep.

Hopefully, you will wake refreshed and feel ready to enjoy your mental health play day!  Give yourself permission to take a break from your daily responsibilities and ponder what exciting and amazing things you might want to “get into!”  Pick out your most comfortable outfit, your “play” clothes for the day, and find your own special “playground.”

Suggestions for Play Day Activities:

  1. Hydrate with plenty of water,
  2. Nourish yourself with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables,
  3. Indulge in a ‘treat’ of your choosing – maybe chocolate or ice-cream,
  4. Take a long walk, hit the gym, swim, dance (like no one is watching) or any other activity of your choice,
  5. Paint, color or create a piece of artwork to express yourself,
  6. Watch a movie or episode of your favorite show,
  7. Call a friend to say hello,
  8. Write a letter or send a card to your favorite person,
  9. Play with your pets/furry animals, or even
  10. Enjoy solitude or organize a (COVID-19 friendly) get together to celebrate your special day.

Whatever you decide to do… or if you decide to take the opportunity to stay in bed ALL DAY, it’s your choice, your day… to PLAY and take care of your mental health and wellbeing.  Ask yourself what you need to be kind to yourself and then trust yourself and DO IT!