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When I was in high school, my mom implemented a policy for mental health days.  One day per semester I was allowed to take a day off of school, which she would call in and officially excuse me for.  We had an informal understanding that I wouldn’t abuse this policy by taking a day off for duplicitous reasons or during days when I had important assignments or tests. I was a hard worker and she understood that sometimes the combined stressors of school, work, and extracurricular activities left me mentally burnt out.

Mental health days were my first introduction to the notion of self care. Self care as a basic concept is about treating yourself in a healthy, mindful way.  It is the intentional practice of looking after your mental, emotional, physical health. The North Carolina State University Health department describes self care as “an approach to living that incorporates behaviors that refresh you, replenish your personal motivation, and help you grow as a person.”  Self care activities may be simple, easy, or quick to do, but the overall process itself is long term in nature.

  1. So What is Self Care?
  2. Self-Care Starter Kit
  3. When to take a mental health day from work

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