I’ve had this epiphany recently and I wanted to share it with you guys. Epiphany actually may be overstating things, but it really did feel like such an “aha moment” to me.

I’m sure you all have heard of taking a “mental health day.” Usually it means taking a day off of work or school when you feel especially drained and need to recharge, so to speak, to get back into full gear. I’m a big believer in these…. but I am the first to admit that I’m not that great about doing it. I typically end up taking off most of the day, but fully stepping away from responsibilities for a full day doesn’t really happen.

The past few months (sheesh, really the last year) have been so draining. The weight of the pandemic, pregnancy, big deadlines, and a super snowy winter left me feeling depleted. Even though I was emotionally down and very, very physically down, I didn’t take a day off. Sure, I often worked from bed and I found myself working at 10pm because I was throwing up and napping in the middle of the day…. but I still didn’t drop any balls.


After getting the first dose of the vaccine, and having so many of my friends and family members get vaccinated as well…. plus picking up therapy again… plus feeling physically better now that I’m in the second trimester…. plus having a couple of legitimately warm days. I finally felt better. (Not perfect, by any means, but certainly better.)

Last week, I finally felt like I was operating at my usual 100%. Not only did I not feel behind, I just felt fully capable of working at the levels I’m used to and it felt sooooo good. I absolutely felt a weight lifted off my shoulders and the fogginess cleared from my head (so much so that I realized just how foggy I had felt for the past few months).

And I did something I never do. I just…. ditched work.

MENTAL HEALTH DAYS | homemade cake with flowers

Don’t get me wrong, I take plenty of breaks. (Grateful to be able to set my own schedule for this exact reason.) I just always have to plan to make it up at some point in the future.

This time, I just didn’t do the work.

And it was a spontaneous decision at that; also very unlike me. I always think about taking a mental health day when I’m feeling down and in need of a recharge. It had never (literally never) occurred to me that I could, and should, take off days when I was feeling 10/10!!! Because I was feeling physically and emotionally good, It was one of the best days I’ve had in a while. Instead of feeling like I wanted to sit on the couch and watch television to completely veg out…. I wanted to do all the things. I was even inspired to bake a cake for the first time since before Christmas. And I didn’t have to “waste” that glowy feeling sitting in front of my computer.

It just so happened that I took this mental health day on a Friday, but then I had a great weekend (and resisted the urge to make up the work!!!)…. and I swear I came back to Monday just ready to jump back into the real world.

(Of course, being able to do this without having to check in with a boss is an incredible privilege… I don’t take it for granted.)

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glad you had a great day off doing something fun! I would like to figure out how to better implement this every now and then as well!


Ummm this hasn’t ever occurred to me either. I always feel guilty about the mental health days because they are usually unplanned. I’ll just be in the middle of my work and be like: I. Can’t. Keep. Going. I have wonderful bosses and a good amount of PTO that makes this somewhat possible (unfortunately clients never understand) but never thought about doing it when I feel good!

Kelly C

I’m so glad you address this. I struggle SO much with taking a day just for me. Mostly it’s because of my parents expectations that if you’re well you should be at work and save those sick days for when something truly bad happens. Although my employer is so very pro taking mental health days just because and provides plenty of time off for this. I hope to get better about it in the future, as I’ve still never taken a day just for me, and I’ve been in my profession for almost 5 years now. Hopefully with the warmer spring weather I’ll feel more comfortable playing hooky, and just enjoying the day.


I haven’t posted to my blog in over a month, for the first time since I started it. I’ve been feeling really guilty about it but I needed it. Work and school got crazy busy and my Etsy shop took off. It’s been nice to have one less thing to worry about for a while, and I know I’ll get back to it soon!


I feel very luck to work for an organization that has given us multiple “mental health days” off from work during the pandemic, including tomorrow! For many reasons, our workload only increased as a result of the pandemic, so our leadership team has taken note and given us a handful of “free” days off to do whatever brings us joy. It makes a huge difference to know I have a day off where my inbox won’t be exploding when I get back.


It’s good practice for when your baby arrives! Work is always important, but nothing is more important that the time with your children. It goes so quickly and you can’t get it back. You can always work more, but you can’t get the days with your littles ones back once they’re gone.

Julia Dzafic

I love this! Especially important to do it during pregnancy. I’ve been taking half-day Fridays in my last trimester but you inspired me to do a full day!


Love this. It’s so important to give ourselves permission to take a real break, especially when we’re working from home and there are no boundaries…and especially while pregnant!


As a mental health therapist myself, I endorse this message. If you have the privilege of engaging in constructive rest, please give yourself permission to do so. It is an act of self compassion and loving kindness.

Annie F.

This cake is absolutely lovely, and so sweet for spring! Have you shared the recipe for this anywhere?

Ps. I hope you start feeling better soon!


I love this!! My therapist always reminds me to do stuff like this before I *need* to. I need to…actually listen to this.