Tag: goals

The 12 Best Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day (According to a Therapist)

Everyone has their own way of embracing self-care and addressing their mental health. It’s important for your mental well-being and can provide a valuable reset that leaves you more positive and productive going forward.

Everyone has their own way of embracing self-care and addressing their mental health. It’s important for your mental well-being and can provide a valuable reset that leaves you more positive and productive going forward. Today, we’re sharing some secret tips from a therapist on the best way you can spend your mental health day.


Read this blog by Jor-El Caraballo

Get a Good Night’s Rest

The first key to taking care your mental health, which is often overlooked, is to get a good night’s rest! So the night before your mental health day, make sure to give yourself a block of at least 8 hours of sleep. If you’re not a particularly good sleeper, you may want to block off as much as 9-10 hours for sleep as interruptions during the night might leave you feeling tired throughout the day. And don’t forget to set your alarm clock just out of arm’s reach so that you can’t just roll over and hit that snooze button.

Set Goals for the Day

When you wake in the morning, start your day with a few minutes of intention setting. Starting with setting plans or goals for your day will help you feel balanced and grounded before you get into the world of catching up on the news, or returning calls and emails. Spend a few minutes thinking of the goals that you would like to achieve today and set the tone for yourself.

Eat Breakfast

Once you’ve taken the time to set your goals, sit down and make yourself a nutritious breakfast. This usually means a breakfast full of variety. Sorry, but a donut and coffee doesn’t cut it anymore. Studies suggest that a rich and hearty breakfast can help improve mood and mental performance throughout your day. There may even be a ideal breakfast for those living with depression symptoms. Skipping breakfast altogether is not recommended. Those who regularly eat breakfast have been shown to have less depression, a lower stress response, and generally live healthier livesthan those who don’t.


After your breakfast settles, the next best thing you can do is to engage in some moderate exercise. If you’re feeling really full, you may want to avoid intense cardio (maybe save that for later), but a low-impact workout such as stretching or yoga can help loosen up muscles stiff from the night’s rest. Exercise can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure as well as make you less susceptible to the stress of the day. After you’re done, be sure to take care of your daily grooming, like showering and brushing your teeth to help you feel fresh and rejuvenated.

Do Your Mental Work

If you are fortunate enough on your designated mental health day to take a day off from the office, now is a good time to engage in some mental work. This could include completing some challenging work from your to-do list or problem solving around some bigger tasks. With a well-balanced breakfast and some exercise under your belt for the day, you are primed to perform with focus and clarity. Take advantage of it and challenge yourself. In the end you’ll also end up feeling a great sense of achievement for putting forth effort, which is great for your mental health!

Eat Lunch

In the midst of that work, don’t forget to take some time a little later to eat a balanced lunch. This is a good time to work some leafy greens into your day as they help slow down the process of cognitive decline and may even prevent dementia long term.

Do Your Emotional Work

This may also be a good time to tackle some of the emotional issues you’ve been facing. What are you going to do about the anxieties you face daily? How are you going to follow up with your boss after making a mistake at work? This is a good time to engage in some robust problem solving or reframing, otherwise you may spend your evening turning over these things in your mind, greatly impacting your restfulness and sleep.


After lunch, get back to tackling some things on your to do list or you can spend time reconnecting with friends and loved ones. Spending time socializing is great for your mental health, whether that be going out with friends for a bike tour or spending time catching up with grandma. Making regular human contact is a big part of being mentally well. Social isolation is linked to several mental health conditions such as social anxiety and depression, among others. And if you don’t currently have friends or other loved ones that you can connect with, this is an opportunity to engage in a group activity to potentially make new friends.

Take a Nap

If you’re like me, then after engaging with friends and doing some work you may need a little down time. If you can swing it, why not take a short nap? Naps have been long proven to positively impact mental performance. Just don’t make it too long as it might disrupt your sleep for the evening. It only takes about 20 minutes of napping to reap its benefits, so keep it brief! If you’re not a fan of naps, this is also a good time just to delve into something that brings you joy. That can mean anything from reading a book to getting in some additional exercise or even practicing meditation. Whatever you choose, just make sure to utilize that time for yourself.

Luxuriate and Eat a Light Dinner

After a nap is good time to luxuriate in something you enjoy until dinner time. At dinner time eat a slightly lighter meal. Eating less at night might be better for your weight, your glucose levels and metabolism, helping you to get better rest and feel more balanced energy-wise. And we all know how hard it can be to be well when we don’t feel well!

Reflect on the Day

Spend the early evening hours winding down and taking it easy. Before bed, set aside some time to reflect on the day’s events or journal. Practicing the GLAD technique, a gratitude practice that can help improve your mood, might help you with an extra dose of positivity and set you at peace before bed time.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

For many of us, the evenings are when all the not-so-great stuff tends to occur to us. Anxieties about work, personal issues or grief, or other emotional concerns tend to stake their claim on our evenings as we spend most of our days trying to fend off these ills. By making time earlier in the day to work through challenging emotional material, and leaving positive stuff for night time, we set up ourselves up for successful sleep.

These are just some points to consider in your mental health day. If you are able, it may be worth it to throw in an exercise class, some spa treatments or other holistic therapies to help you feel restored. This is a template for you to make them most of your next mental health day.

10 Things Everyone Must Do At Least Once A Year At Work

….reserve some time each year to focus on a few things that help you reflect on where you are and plan for where you want to go….

It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day at our jobs where we keep up with everyday tasks and crises that need our attention. But, it’s important to reserve some time each year to focus on a few things that help you reflect on where you are and plan for where you want to go. Your future self will thank you for your focus on these 10 things that help set you up for success and growth.

I like this Blog from Bernard Marr, posted January 7, LinkedIn (see his credentials): read on.

“Some days in the daily grind it seems like it’s all we can do is keep up with everyday tasks and crises that need our attention. But, it’s important to reserve some time each year to focus on a few things that help you reflect on where you are and plan for where you want to go. These are the 10 things to do at work at least once a year.

1. Record your accomplishments

When it’s time to prepare for that performance review or update your resume, you will be happy that you recorded your accomplishments each year. When you track your accomplishments at work, you have a tool to help you articulate the value you bring to the organization which can help backup a request for additional compensation. Keep in mind, your accomplishments aren’t just about awards you received (yes, those should be tracked), but it should also include how you exceeded expectations, overcame obstacles and difficult situations.

2. Reflect on your current circumstances

Even if you love your job, it’s a good idea every year to reflect on what specifically you love about it. Get your mind around what you’d like more of in your job or what you want less of. There’s always something to improve, so contemplate how you would like to progress in your current role. When given the opportunity to chart your own career path, it’s helpful if you are clear about the current state of affairs.

3. Check and prepare for automation (the 4 Ds of dull, dirty, dangerous and dear)

Automation is infiltrating our workplaces and if your job hasn’t been impacted yet, it likely will see some changes soon. Most will agree that if a robot can do tasks more safely and accurately, faster and less expensively that humans, those tasks will shift to machines. Instead of robots completely taking over from humans, new jobs that don’t exist today will be created that will allow humans to do what they’re best at—tasks that require creativity and emotional intelligence.

4. Clean out your files

At least once a year, be sure you archive files from your computer that are no longer needed and do the same with any paper files. The more streamlined and organized you are, the more effective you will be on the job. And, it’s easy for your filing to get out of hand if you don’t devote some time each year to clear out the clutter.

5. Consider what the future looks like

If the only thing that’s constant is change, this applies to your job as well. Gone are the days when most people will spend decades at the same job or company. So, it behooves you to keep your eye on the future and how you want your own professional trajectory to evolve. When doing so, be sure you take into account career and job trends. The more thoughtful you are about the realities of the future, the better you’ll be able to chart a course to get there.

6. Identify gaps in your skill-set and start a plan to close them

As a way to better position yourself for the future job marketplace, take stock of what new skills you want to cultivate—the more transferable skills, the better. Do you want to become a better speaker? Maybe it’s time to join a speaking group. Every year you should be proactively improving your skill-set to enhance your contributions at your existing job and be ready when it’s time to find something new.

7. Grow your network

Never underestimate the power of new connections. You can improve key relationships inside your organization and also identify who outside your organization you’d like to connect with. It’s advantageous to have a broad network to help you gain new perspectives and knowledge.

8. Volunteer

When you give your time and skills to others, it benefits not only your community, but you will be impacted positively for the experience. By extending yourself to others you can also make new connections and gain experience that helps you serve others inside your organization today. There’s never any harm in volunteering multiple times a year either.

9. Cultivate your personal brand

There are many ways you can influence your personal brand. Your personal brand is the way you articulate and sell your unique mix of talents and experience. No matter what you decide to do, just make an effort each year to create some content whether it’s a blog, podcast or live video to build your personal brand. This can also include ensuring your LinkedIn profile is updated.

10. Do something that scares you

If you’re not on the edge doing something that pushes your comfort zone, you’re not growing enough. Therefore, don’t let a year go by without doing something that scares you. Once you stretch your limits, you will have something to be very proud of, another thing everyone should do at work at least once a year.

What would you add to my list? Let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading my post. Here at LinkedIn and at Forbes I regularly write about management, technology and Big Data. If you would like to read my future posts then simply join my network here or click ‘Follow’. Also feel free to connect on TwitterFacebook or Slideshare.

Also, you might like to know that my brand new book ‘Data Strategy: How to Profit from a World of Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things‘ is out now.”

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