Whether planned in advance or used as-needed, mental health days allow you to step back from everyday responsibilities. They give you the chance to de-stress, as well as avoid overwhelm and burnout. If you’re taking a mental health day, then here are some creative ways to rest and recharge.
1. Rest and Track Your Sleep
For many people, simply resting is one of the best ways to use a mental health day. This is especially true if you’ve dealt with subpar sleep for a few nights.
If you’d like to get your sleep schedule back on track as well, an app like Mintal Tracker helps monitor your sleep quality over time and encourages you to drift off gently with the help of calming sleep sounds.
From the Tracker screen, explore the many meditations, audio relaxation guides, and white noise options available. Whether you’re trying to nap, go to bed early, or simply zone out for a few minutes, these resources can help calm your mind.
The sleep tracking features, meanwhile, monitor how much time you spend asleep each night. They also note the amount of time you spend in deep versus light sleep, as well as whether you snore. The app even checks the ambient noise in your room, so you know whether your area is too noisy for optimal rest. Lastly, another feature reminds you to go to bed on time, so you’re all set up for better rest each night.
If you’re looking to catch up on rest during your mental health day and improve your sleep habits in general, the Mintal Tracker app offers a whole host of helpful options.
2. Watch Your Favorite Shows
If all you want to do is rewatch a beloved series, then go right ahead. As it turns out, watching familiar shows is one way to restore your sense of self-control, according to Social Psychological and Personality Science. Diving into your favorite comfort show can be restful and restorative without placing any stress or demands on you in the real world.
Check out some of the best TV streaming services to enjoy old favorites or find a new series. Even if you already know each story beat by heart, it’s still fun to revisit your favorite characters again.
3. Eat a Delicious, Healthy Meal
Treat yourself to a luxurious lunch or dinner. If you feel like going out, then book a table on an app like OpenTable or Resy to secure your spot. Whether you’re meeting up with friends or dining solo, a fantastic meal can lift your spirits like nothing else.
For homemade meals, check out the Innit app, which walks you through the whole cooking process. Simply enter your eating preferences at setup (such as whether you prefer vegetarian or dairy-free meals), then browse the recipe selections.
In the Healthy section, check out recipes for salads, wraps, and plenty of quinoa bowls. For even more choices, browse the Search screen for soups, kabobs, bento bowls, pasta, and burgers. Chances are, there’s a recipe on Innit for just about any cuisine you’re craving.
4. Volunteer to Help Others
Spend the day helping your community with the Golden Volunteer Opportunities app, which provides many real-life and virtual volunteering options. On the Discover screen, enter your location to find nearby organizations that could use your help. Search for virtual opportunities to teach English, collect items for virtual charity drives, or even help organizations build their social media presence.
5. Catch Up With Friends and Family
Use your mental health day to get in touch with your social circle. Reach out with a text or WhatsApp message, or host a Zoom party for many friends at once.
6. Take a Mindful Walk
Turn your stroll around the park into a meditative experience with the Paceful: Mindful walking app. Learn the basics of walking meditation with the Mindful Walking section, then select additional audio content based on your interests.
Maybe you want to bring mindfulness to your daily dog walks, for instance. You can also take a walk that’s specifically designed to address stress relief.
Over time, you can view your total mileage and the number of minutes you’ve listened to the app on the Home screen. The Discover screen, meanwhile, lists all the types of walks you can try out.
For the most part, these walking meditations are a fantastic way to enjoy a bit of movement while practicing mindfulness and reflection. While some content is available for free, most of the app does require a subscription.
Download: Paceful: Mindful walking for iOS (Free, subscription available)
7. Play With Your Pet
Download an interactive app for pets to spend some quality time with your favorite furry friend. Even if they don’t get into the game itself, it’s fun to introduce your pets to something new and see how they react.
For instance, Puppy Tapper lets you select from three characters and backgrounds. A cartoony cat, rabbit, or squirrel darts around the screen, and it squeaks when your dog taps it with their paw. It’s a super simple app, and hopefully your favorite canine will have a blast chasing these virtual creatures.
Meanwhile, the Meow – Cat Toy Games for Cats app also lets you choose from a variety of virtual creatures, including mice, fish, and even insects. Set the number of creatures to appear on-screen at once, as well as their speed, and let your cat take a swipe at the screen.
Ideally, your cat will find the game entertaining, and you’ll get to see your feline’s skills as a gamer. Just make sure you have a pretty heavy-duty screen protector over your phone or tablet before playing.
Download: Puppy Tapper for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
Download: Meow – Cat Toy Games for Cats for Android (Free, in-app purchases available)
Take a Restorative Mental Health Day With Help From Apps and Websites
Almost everyone needs a mental health day now and then, and a little help from technology can make your time off even more restful and pleasant. Enjoy your break and return to your daily life feeling rested and refreshed.