Design Your Mental Health Week.

Yes, week. Not, 1 day.

“We were meant to live for so much more. Have we lost ourselves?”

I felt these words drop into my mind. Out of thin air. Where did they come from?

I haven’t heard this song in so long! But something about the quietness. Listening to the squirrels rumble around me, while I secretly looked up every 5 minutes hoping one didn’t fall on my head from the tree branches above — a message wanted to come through.

I played the song and listened.

It was the start of what I was calling my “mental health week.” Knowing that leading up to it, I was on a fine line of feeling overworked and stressed from packing up once again. But not yet off the cliff. What preventative measures do you take for your mental health?

Working for yourself is no joke. Managing several marketing clients — I’m still learning, to say the least. But I kindly let each client know ahead of time and proudly put up my OOO notice:

Hi,

I’ll be out of the office from Aug 8 until Aug 14, I’m enjoying a mental health week for myself to regroup, ground down and allow my mind, body, and spirit to rest the way it needs to. I hope you’re inspired to take your own mental health week someday too.

I’ll be in touch when I’m back!

Brenda Umana

— Founder, OM Marketing

“Fumbling her confidence

And wondering why the world has passed her by

Hoping that she’s bet for more than arguments

And failed attempts to fly”

Something needs to shift. And it starts with filling up my own cup.

The month of August I devoted myself to fulfilling my needs beyond anyone or anything else. I rented an Airbnb studio all on my own, basked in my own needs and desires, and taught Bilingual Yoga not at a studio but as a program for the Pier/City of Seattle. It reminded me about how much I love teaching and it fulfills me in ways I can’t even describe. While in the past, it never fulfilled my need for financial security, I’m still trying to untie that previous knot and ask myself, “can it be different?” I still don’t know.

And as I mention, I also created my own Mental Health Week or perhaps more like a retreat.

What’s a mental health week?

Many companies in addition to offering health insurance, paid time off, and sick leave are now offering mental health days — time off from work that an employee uses to relieve stress and recover from burnout.

But honestly, what can get done in a day? Usually, one day is just running the errands and to-do’s that accumulate throughout the week. While definitely still helpful, it barely scratches the surface on settling the body and mind.

If you work at a company, you need to advocate for more than a day! And if you work for yourself, you need to advocate for yourself and create that time!

A mental health week allows you to tap into the 7 Types of Rest

  • Physical Rest
  • Mental Rest
  • Social Rest
  • Creative Rest
  • Emotional Rest
  • Spiritual Rest
  • Sensory Rest

It comes naturally for me to spend time alone, and create these intentional moments but I know it doesn’t for everyone. If you scroll down, I’ll give you a glimpse into what some of my days looked like, if you need inspiration. I even share some classes I found on YouTube that I did.

You can also join the waitlist for the Design Your Mental Health Week Pack which will include the entire week with

𑁍 Specific practices

𑁍 Journaling exercises

𑁍 Curated playlist

𑁍 Nourishing recipes and so much more.

I really let myself flow throughout the week, with no plan, no morning alarm, and no expectations to even experience anything. I allowed myself to wake up slowly on a random Tuesday morning. I walked to the store and cooked simple meals based on what I was craving.

And I let whatever songs, emotions, and memories drop into my mind. Catching them quietly so as not to disturb how quickly they escape my consciousness.

A picture triggered grief. Because of the daily movement of life, I didn’t realize that grief still lived in my heart and how a random website could turn the waterworks on missing my friend.

How the song Time can take me back to childhood, but the profoundness in the lyrics can only be appreciated now as an adult.

“You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you

No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun”

How anger arises when she feels safe to transmute it and alchemize with the present moment. Then, and only then, can I feel compassion and empathy for my anger.

And I let whatever songs, emotions, and memories drop into my mind. Catching them quietly so as not to disturb how quickly they escape my consciousness.

Why is this important?

When I am in my most honest and full self, I am bold. I can speak confidently. I set boundaries. And I don’t take people’s bullshit. For me, this side of myself can get dormant because of my own people-pleasing tendencies/fawning response. As Oprah said, “the disease of the need to please.”

Fawning is actually a nervous system response, that generally gets imprinted at a very early age. Similar to fight/flight/freeze, fawning is a response to certain scenarios. When I am not intentionally in my bold self, my fawn response hides my feelings from people. Expect or wishes people could be read my mind. I don’t speak up. Feel resentful. And can’t hear my own intuition.

This is me healing my past.

Why does time for yourself or crafting a potential “mental health week” feel important to you?

Here’s a sample of 3 days including some photos I took throughout. Take what resonates and create your own.

Mental Health Week Inspo

Friday: Nourishing Meal Day

I love starting intentional time with a lentil recipe. I don’t know why, but lentils always feel like I’m really taking care of myself. It’s usually a simple recipe, just putting things that I already have at home. What recipe makes you feel loved, whole and supported?

Tuesday: Slow Morning, Reading, Watching Movies

I let this day be the day I bask in stories. I could feel my mind jump to “I should be doing something right now!” I let myself read in bed before I grabbed my phone and until my body wanted to move. I enjoyed my YogiTeas of Positive Energy and Perfect Energy (I love those little messages at the end of the tea string too). Generally, reading is a ritual I do at night. So, it felt so luxurious to read in the morning this Tuesday. I then explored different shows and movies and the art of storytelling.

Thursday: No social media day. Clear out my energy with Kundalini. Painting

I intentionally chose to not take the entire week off from social media. I understand the tether, the strong pull to be on social. I fall into the trap of wanting more likes and followers and sometimes it takes more energy to fight it. This is brain chemistry and hormones. I think it’s important to simply have awareness sometimes. So, I choose one day to step away from it, noticing how many times I pulled out my phone to click on the app. I think I tallied close to 11 or so. I ended up filling this day with creativity. This is also the day GRIEF showed up unexpectedly.

Saturday: Morning work out. Date Night with Myself.

Take yourself out on a date! That’s what this day was all about. After spending some time working out with this class (note: it’s a really hard class but so fun!) I enjoyed myself drinking tea at Miro Tea and enjoying Poke bowls.

Mental Health is Everyone’s Business

It doesn’t need to be this grand medically prescribed thing. We all have a mind, we all have emotions and we all have varying degrees of stress and accumulation in daily life.

I didn’t do this because I was on the brink of “losing my mind.” I took a week off way before I was even close to the cliff and more so tending to weeds — the debris that accumulates from what we call our human experience.

Design your Mental Health Week Pack


design your mental health week pack

JOIN THE WAITLIST

A template pack to help you nourish, create, and plan your own version of a mental health week retreat. Take active rest on your life +work + business while taking moments to reflect on the most important person in your life — yourself.

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