Sometimes, I need a Mental Health Day.
I made this term* up many moons ago when the stresses of work and child-rearing were turning my thoughts into incoherent streams of babble running across the bottom of my internal hard drive, like a CNN crawl going 80 miles a minute. I sent an email to my boss, letting him know I wanted to take a day off the next week and called it a Mental Health Day.
A Mental Health Day is a day to be used for yourself. You can do whatever you want as long as it benefits you. Get a pedicure? Sure. Watch hours of soap operas? Why not? Scrub your bathtub? Of course, as long as you promise to jump in it right after and soak for a while. Go shopping? Go nuts! Rob a bank? Um, we're getting off track here..
I spent the entire day reading, enjoying the calmness of my home while my husband was safe at work and Sprite was safe at Day Care. It was cathartic. It was addicting.
I have encouraged John to take a Mental Health Day in which he spent the entire day on his computer at home geeking with his cyberspace buddies. He is now looking forward to the next one.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to take but one Mental Health Day since Sprite brings home the sickness all the time and she always wants to share with ME. ("Honey, why don't you go lick Daddy for a while? Mommy's tapped.") Plus, sometimes, Sprite decides SHE wants a Mental Health Day and I have to dip into my Time Off Reservoir, which is going to experience a drought real soon. (But then again, for Sprite, EVERYDAY is a Mental Health Day!)
I was out with Susan over the weekend, keeping Starbucks in business, (Seriously, the way they keep popping up, I think my kitchen is being targeted for the next location. And I would become a regular if it did. ) and she mentioned possibly taking a Mental Health Day. Really? Is my term being used by more than 2 people? Apparently, it is. Susan has advised me that my sister is now a user of the term. Hm, this could get out of hand.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm flattered that people like the idea and the wording of the phrase. It really does articulate exactly what you intend it to and it has a nice ring to it. However, it was mine. I made it up. I started the trend. My ego is crying out for a little bit of credit. Maybe a patent or something in which people would do a small shout out when proclaiming a Mental Health Day. It will become a national requirement. Companies will have to write it into their Time Off Procedures, 4 Mental Health Days a year, one a quarter.
A Mental Health Day inspired by Sprite's Keeper. No. An OFFICIAL Sprite's Keeper Mental Health Day. I'll copyright it and everything.
"Hey, boss. I need to take a Mental Health Day."
"Is it an official Sprite's Keeper Mental Health Day?"
"Uh, no, it's not official."
"Get back to your desk."
Hey, you have your dreams. I'll have mine.
(*Editor's Note: I talked to John last night about today's post. He told me the term is actually popular and he has heard several people use it before. I have NEVER heard it used before, although I did Google the term Mental Health Day this morning and it refers to the National Mental Health Day in October which calls attention to psychological and mental disorders. My Mental Health Day refers to keeping your sanity in check, so I think there are some varying degrees of difference here. Therefore, I maintain my original statement.
I am asking for audience participation. It only takes a minute or two depending on how fast you type. Have you ever heard of or actually taken a Mental Health Day in the context as it is described here? Comment and leave your words of wisdom. Snark accepted too.)
(Oh, by the way, my readership is now up to 10. Please don't all comment at once or we may cause the site to crash....although that would be kinda cool...)