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Why You Need to Take a Mental Health Day

I’ve said it before, being a mom is difficult. However, being a working mom is even more challenging because it comes with a fresh side of guilt that is hard to shake. As Zelda has grown older, my heart breaks a little more every morning when she begs me not to leave and starts sobbing when I head out the door. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine and frequently, it’s hard to think outside of our normal schedule. Last week, I was hanging out with a girlfriend when a commercial for Six Flags came on the television. We started talking about how great it would be to go with our kids. Our minds immediately jumped to what weekend dates we had available. After all, those are our days off! Then we really started thinking. Six Flags is so crazy on the weekends and large crowds with hot weather don’t make the best combo for toddlers.

Zelda and Luca at Six Flags.

My friend suggested we go during the week and my immediate reaction was that I wouldn’t be able to go because of work. With the idea looming in my head I started to reconsider. Why couldn’t I go during the week? I oversee my own schedule; the real question was how could I make it work? I had given myself enough time to arrange to take the day off, so I decided we should go on Tuesday. However, when Monday night rolled around I started panicking. How could I possibly miss work tomorrow? I had so much stuff to do and I thought about cancelling. I realized I was being ridiculous. My friend had already planned her schedule around going and I had already told Zelda – there was no turning back.

Zelda at Six Flags in Chicago.

The next morning, we packed our car, picked up our friends and went to Six Flags. The entire way there all I could think about was checking my email but I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t. I was taking a mental health day, I was there for Zelda and I needed to relax. It was important to fully immerse myself in the moment, even though it was a work day. We ended up having the best day ever filled with laughter, sugar and tons of dirt. I woke up this morning being better than ever, with a head full of new memories that were worth the stress and anxiety of taking the day off.

Zelda on the carousel at Six Flags.

We must remember we are in control of our own lives and it is important to think outside of the box. This is true for all relationships – whether it’s parenting, marriage or friendship, we must take time out of our normal schedules to spend time with the people we love. Life moves so fast and it is easy to get caught up in a routine. Staying in a routine is easy but is it really what is best for us? Really think about. Take a moment and give yourself a mental health day. I mean, c’mon, can you look at these photos and watch this video without smiling? You can’t tell me this day was not worth it.   

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