12 Ideas for a Mental Health Day



I love taking a day off for my mental health.

I like how employers are offering those more and more.

It's important to take a break for your mental health.

I can think of many times throughout my career journey when a mental health day would have benefited me greatly.

What should one do on their mental health day?

I asked around, talked to a few friends, counselors, and other experts, and put together this helpful list.

Coping Skills Therapists in Colorado

Noah Suess, MA, LPC

Noah Suess, MA, LPC

(719) 481-3518
Julianna Miller, LPCC

Julianna Miller, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Holly Bradbury, LPC

Holly Bradbury, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Abigail Corless, LPCC

Abigail Corless, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Dr. Michelle Palmieri, DSW, LSW

Dr. Michelle Palmieri, DSW, LSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Felicia Gray, MS, LPC

Felicia Gray, MS, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Sarah Munk, LPC

Sarah Munk, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Laura Hunt, LPC

Laura Hunt, LPC

(719) 452-4374
Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

(719) 696-3439

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1) Take a Long Walk

Walking is a simple yet powerful way to improve mental health.

You can stroll through a park, hike a nearby trail, or just wander around your neighborhood.

Walking helps reduce stress levels and provides a natural boost to your mood.

Here are a few ideas on where you can take a walk.

  • In a local park
  • Along a beach
  • Through a forest
  • Around your neighborhood
  • Beside a river or lake
  • Up a mountain trail
  • In botanical gardens
  • Through a nature reserve
  • Around an urban area

The goal is to get some fresh air and clear your mind. 

2) Yoga Class

Yoga combines physical movement with deep breathing exercises.

It's excellent for promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. It's also great for the following reasons.

  • Enhances flexibility and strength
  • Improves breathing and lung capacity
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Boosts mental clarity and focus
  • Promotes relaxation and better sleep
  • Supports cardiovascular health
  • Aids in weight management
  • Increases mindfulness and self-awareness

You can join a yoga class or follow an online session at home.

The aim is to stretch your body and calm your mind. 

3) Spend Time in Nature

Spending time in nature can have a positive effect on your mental wellbeing.

Visit a local beach, forest, or botanical garden.

There are many choices for you to consider when choosing to spend time in nature.

  • Go for a hike on a nature trail
  • Have a picnic in a park
  • Sit by a lake and watch the water
  • Go bird watching
  • Take photographs of plants and wildlife
  • Practice meditation or deep breathing in a natural setting
  • Go for a swim in a natural body of water
  • Collect natural items like shells, rocks, or leaves
  • Lie down on the grass and watch the clouds
  • Engage in outdoor hobbies like gardening or paddleboarding

Nature's beauty can help you feel more grounded and less overwhelmed.

The goal is to disconnect from daily stressors and reconnect with the natural world. 

4) Play Games

Playing games, whether video games or board games, can be a great way to relieve stress.

Engage in your favorite pastime or try a new game with family or friends.

Check around and see if your area has any of these types of amenities you can check out.

  • Local board game cafes
  • Online game platforms like Steam or Epic Games Store
  • Mobile app stores such as Google Play or Apple App Store
  • Libraries that lend out board games
  • Retail stores specializing in board games and puzzles
  • Online retailers like Amazon or specialized board game websites
  • Friends or family collections
  • Community centers or local clubs host game nights
  • Conventions and gaming expos
  • Public libraries with digital lending services for video games

The objective is to have fun and distract yourself from negative thoughts. 

5) Gratitude Journal

Writing in a gratitude journal can improve your mood and overall mental health.

Spend a few hours listing things you're thankful for.

A couple of prompts to get you started are as follows.

  • Reflect on three positive experiences from the past week
  • Identify five things you appreciate about yourself
  • List three people who have positively impacted your life
  • Write about a recent accomplishment that you're proud of
  • Mention five things in your environment that bring you joy
  • Recall a kind gesture someone did for you
  • Note three personal strengths and how they help you daily
  • Describe a place that makes you feel happy
  • Reflect on a challenge you have overcome and what you learned from it
  • List three activities or hobbies that you enjoy doing

Reflecting on positive aspects of your life helps shift focus away from mental health challenges.

The goal is to cultivate a habit of gratitude and to help you keep track of the good things in your life. 

6) Get Creative

Engaging in creative activities can be therapeutic and enjoyable.

You can express yourself through art, music, writing, cooking, or any other form of creativity that sparks your imagination.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Paint or draw a picture
  • Play an instrument or sing
  • Write poetry or journal about your thoughts and feelings
  • Learn a new recipe and cook it from scratch
  • Make something with your hands like pottery, sewing, or woodworking
  • Try a new craft like knitting, crocheting, or scrapbooking

The focus is on the process rather than the result. Allow yourself to let go and have fun with your chosen activity. 

7) Pamper Yourself

Taking care of yourself is essential for your mental wellbeing.

Use your mental health day to pamper yourself and indulge in some self-care activities.

Here are a few ideas on how to treat yourself.

  • Take a hot bath with candles and soothing music
  • Get a massage or facial
  • Do a face mask, manicure, or pedicure at home
  • Read a book or watch your favorite movie/TV show
  • Set aside time for meditation or relaxation techniques like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation

The goal is to nurture yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

8) Connect with Others

Spending quality time with loved ones can have significant benefits for your mental health.

Reach out to a friend, family member, or significant other and plan an activity together.

Here are some ideas on what you can do.

  • Go for a walk or hike together
  • Have a movie night at home
  • Cook dinner or bake together
  • Play sports or games together
  • Visit a local attraction like a museum, zoo, or amusement park

The objective is to strengthen your social connections and boost your mood through positive interactions. 

9) Volunteer

Giving back to others can be incredibly fulfilling and beneficial for your mental health.

Find a cause that resonates with you and volunteer your time for the day.

Here are some ways you can make a difference.

  • Help at an animal shelter or local pet rescue
  • Volunteer at a community garden or environmental cleanup
  • Assist at a soup kitchen or food bank
  • Participate in a charity walk or run
  • Tutor or mentor a child in need

The focus is on using your skills and time to make a positive impact. 

10) Listen to or Play Music

Music has the power to uplift your spirits and reduce stress.

Whether you prefer listening to soothing tunes or playing music yourself, it's a beneficial activity.

Create a playlist of your favorite songs or play an instrument.

The goal is to enjoy the healing power of music.

11) Engage in Self Care

Self-care activities include anything that makes you feel good and recharges your energy.

Take a relaxing bath, read a book, or pamper yourself with a spa day at home.

The purpose is to prioritize your well-being and improve your mental health.

12) Connect with Loved Ones

Spending time with a family member or friend can provide much-needed support.

Share a meal, have a heart-to-heart conversation, or simply enjoy each other's company.

The objective is to strengthen your emotional connection and feel supported.


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Complete this questionnaire to discover service providers that match your requirements! No need to provide contact information.

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Taking care of your mental health is crucial.

Whether you're experiencing mental illness or just need a health day, prioritizing your mental health care can improve your mood and overall well-being.

At Overcomers Counseling, we provide comprehensive mental health resources to support you through various mental health conditions.

On World Mental Health Day and every day, let's commit to raising awareness about the importance of mental health care. Don't wait until you feel overwhelmed.

Take proactive steps to address your mental health needs today.

Click on our Colorado Springs anxiety counseling page to explore our therapy options and start your journey toward better mental health.

Taking mental health days is essential for maintaining work-life balance and addressing mental health issues.

Use these ideas to make the most of your next mental health day and enhance your overall well being. 

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July 17th, 2024

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