How to Spend a Mental Health Day

I am a huge advocate for the idea of “you do you,” especially when it comes to mental health. A lot of conditions make a “normal” life schedule difficult to navigate and you need to know what you need. A low-stress 9-to-5 job can still be exhausting as I have found out. Although I push people to take time for themselves to recharge, I am very bad at following that advice. Most of the time I work myself until I shut down for 4 days from exhaustion. Yesterday I called in sick and took my first mental health day that wasn’t accompanied by physical illness. How did I spend it?

I slept in until the afternoon and I didn’t feel bad about it.

I had been sleeping poorly and I know it contributed to my feelings of exhaustion and wanting a day off. I stayed in bed and laid in the sun. It felt amazing. I got out of bed rested and full of energy and the sunny day wasn’t hurting either.

Put on Netflix and got ready for a run.

I live for Linctavia. I hope I don't come to regret that comment.

I live for Linctavia. I hope I don’t come to regret that comment.

Spring is finally here but the sun is still on its way down by the time I get home from work. I took advantage of being home in the afternoon to get some exercise in. I put on an episode of The 100, which I can’t stop watching no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I dislike Clarke. I made myself a pre-workout snack, got dressed, and did some warm-ups in my room. I finally got to use the FlipBelt that I got for Christmas. I packed my key, iPod and extra Kleenex.

The run was amazing and if I didn’t run out of Kleenex I probably would have stayed out there. My mom gave me a puffer that took care of my cold air asthma (coughing and wheezing), so the half hour I spent out there just felt like flying. After a February that did not get warmer than -15°C, it felt so liberating to go out there and feel the sun and breathe the air.

Post-Run Selfie

Feeling pretty accomplished!

Self-care like a motherfucker.

After my run I took a lavish shower to end all lavish showers. Okay, maybe not that lavish, but I used my expensive LUSH products. Back in October I splurged on a tub of Ro’s Argan body conditioner and decided that it would be my reward for working out.

Ro's Argan run

Every time I use that stuff I come out of the shower feeling like an absolute goddess. After the shower of champions I used their Wiccy Magic Muscles massage bar to ease my muscle soreness, then got my top half all made up and pretty.

Look how cute I can be!

Do something productive!

For me, that was shooting my next video. Getting that off my plate took it off my mind giving me some more mental ease. Maybe doing work on a mental health day isn’t for everyone, but this is the work that I want to be doing rather than the work I put myself through for a pay check. Your productivity can be anything. I also like to craft to feel productive because I spend time doing something creative and at the end of my session I made something. I made something with my hands.

Chill with friends.

By the time I was finished filming, Kim came home from work and we spent some time together. We fixed ourselves some dinner and watched a Disney movie — this time it was Atlantis. I’m a sucker for anything based around the legend, and Milo totally reminded me of Daniel Jackson from the Stargate series.

I went to bed feeling like I had spent the day wisely, got things done, and took care of my body. Any notion of guilt I had for taking the day off work had melted away because I knew I really needed this. I probably need it more than I allow myself to have it, but hey I gotta make money somehow.

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November Favourites

I could only squeeze in a few of my favourites this month into the video, but there’s so much more I wanted to share!! Here’s a more extensive list of my November favourites:

Skinny Knit Pant

As I mentioned in the video, these are the most comfortable things to wear to the office. Dress pants are so constricting and really unforgiving if you fluctuate in weight. Not to mention certain materials give you an awkward panty-line. I’ve got two of these kinds of pants — the grey ones from Dynamite and a grey/charcoal houndstooth pair from Suzy Shier. Neither cost more than $30 CDN. There’s also a great variety available from Maurices in a similar price range!

skinny-knit-pant

Blackhead Out from The Face Shop

I’ve fallen in love with Korean beauty products. This is the culture that brought us BB Cream! And after trying some products from other Korean brands I think I definitely trust the cosmetics that come out of that country. The Face Shop is a Korean franchise store so it was really interesting to see all these beauty products that aren’t sold at your regular North American drug store. Oh and also the packaging is kawaii as fuck!!

LOVELY-MEEX

Those are some hand creams I saw in-store and regret not buying. Nothing was overly expensive! But I was in the market for a new blackhead solution and the pack of seven strips cost $6 CDN. Plus I’ve been wanting to try charcoal products on my skin!

blackhead-out-pore-strip

It works so well I’m not even going to show you the absolutely gross results after pulling the strip away. If you’d like to look into other Korean beauty products, I’d suggest Atomy.

Sexy Peel soap from LUSH

I’m always trying new soaps from LUSH and I love the ones that give me a little bit of exfoliation too. This one is fabulous for shaving because unlike the Sandstone soap, it doesn’t leave behind anything but lather so it keeps your razor free of debris. I’ve (obviously) been using it for quite a while. I love using it in the mornings, the citrus smell really wakes me up and makes me feel fresh and clean.

lush-sexy-peel-soap

Ro’s Argan body conditioner from LUSH

I bought this to bribe myself into running more often. I told myself I can only use this with my post-run shower and it had been working really well until I stopped running due to it being cold as balls and my knees giving me problems. It’s so moisturizing and when you use it in the shower it feels like pure luxury. The soft smooth feeling you get lasts for a really long time after use. The scent is really light and floral — very inoffensive if you’re sensitive to scents.

ros-argan-body-conditioner-lush

ros-argan-how-to

Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain Balm

This is not a new product. This is a case of “you took it away from me and this is all I want.” I’ve tried a variety of lip stains or stain balms and none of them stay as well as the Revlon ones. They always go on like lipstick and wipe off like lipstick. Maybe sometimes it will stain my lips but not very well. So after finding these still available at a local Shopper’s Drug Mart, I bought five more.

revlon-lip-balm-stainrevlon-lip-stain-balm-swatches

I’d say the only downside of the Revlon Just Bitten lip stain balms is that the cap for the balm isn’t very tight so I’ve had a couple of instances where it came off in my on-the-go makeup bag, broke the balm, and made my whole bag greasy. Yeesh! Beware if you’re gonna keep it in your purse!

Extras: Apps!

Due to some time constraints, I had to cut my non-fashion/beauty items from the video — but I still want to share them with you all! So here are some apps that I’ve found particularly useful:

Evernote

Yeah, it’s not a new thing. But I never knew how handy this little app could be when you’re jumping around different computers — plus you’ve got it on the go! I’ve got endless lists going and I’ve been using it to outline my YouTube videos so I can add or change things whenever it comes to me. I have it on my phone, personal computer, and work computer. I wish I had this when I was in university, I could have kept all my notes in one spot and sharing notes would have been a cinch.

evernote-logo-design-center

Pocket

This is the perfect app for the “I’ll read/watch you later” type of internet user. That’s me. I’m stingy with my data. Sometimes I’ll come across and article or video that seems cool but I don’t really want to load it on my phone. I’ll save it to my pocket and I can access it again when I’m connected to WiFi. It’s cross-platform so you can look up what you saved on any device. Pocket integrates itself into lots of aspects of your phone so if I’m on Pinterest or Tumblr, I can easily save something to my pocket.

pocket-app-logo

CeltX

Maurizio shared this with me early November and I loved it. He asked me about how I write my novels (since November was NaNoWriMo) and I told him I used Microsoft Word. He suggested I try CeltX. It was designed for script writers but they’ve integrated novel-writing needs into the programming as well. You can divide your work into chapters so you can jump around the novel quite easily by clicking around your chapter guide. You can also make notes onto your work, much like the Track Changes in Word. What I like about CeltX is that it’s a desktop program that also has an app so you can work on your writing on the go. Additionally, you can share your work via email to other people and determine their capabilities on the work (ie: if the can edit). That way your work stays in one place.

You can also share your work with the CeltX community to gather opinions and readers from within the site. Likewise, you can access other peoples’ works. There are resources available to you, like guides and tips on different types of writing.

celtx-logo-TSFF

Speed Reader

I admit it: I am a slow reader. It sucks. Don’t try to convince me otherwise. I’ve dedicated myself to learning to read faster and this app has been helping immensely! It cost somewhere in the ballpark of $2.99 CDN from the Google Play Store. There is a free version with limited exercises but of all the speed reading trainer apps I’ve tried, this one has the most effective exercises and I found myself using it more with the free version so I decided to put the money in for the full version. You can train yourself in the app and it also has books you can practice with. I’ve been reading teen novels to get my practice in before I try to read more sophisticated work. I’ve been really enjoying the games in the app and would definitely recommend it to anyone trying to work on their reading skills!

speed-reader-app

And that exhausts my favourites list for November! I hope I’ve given you something helpful. Much love darlings. ♥