It’s Time for a Mental Health Day

Out of all the steps of the Life Editing Process, there’s one that seems to give people the most trouble. Any guesses?

It’s Step 5: Make White Space for Personal Self-Care. The fact that this one is so difficult to implement shows me how much we desperately need to take a break in our lives.

“White space” is a publishing term that literally means the white space on a printed page where there are no images or text. It’s a place to give your eyes a rest.

And in terms of life editing, white space is where you can rest, relax, and recharge. It’s breathing space where you can let go of tension or that need to fill up every spare second in your day.

My favorite way to get my dose of white space is through a mental health day. That’s when I block off an entire day to just do…whatever.

Maybe I’ll read through an enormous stack of magazines. Maybe I’ll watch 3 of my favorite movies. Maybe I’ll just sleep for hours and hours. What I need to get back to normal changes depending on the stressors I’m facing.

Back in my corporate days as a book editor, I’d regularly take mental health days and go to the movies with Chris on a random Wednesday. It felt delicious—like playing hooky!

Most of my coworkers didn’t understand why I’d use one of my precious PTO days for no good reason.

But I did have a good reason!

Those white space breaks from my typical routine kept me calm and centered, especially when I was nearing the point of burning out.

A stressed-out employee helps no one.

It’s in my nature to run and run and run toward my goals, and I bet you feel that way too. If I don’t take a mental health day at least once a month (usually more!), then I’ll crash and burn.

Grab your planner or calendar, and schedule at least 1 mental health day this month. Here are some things to consider:

  • What are the most stressful things in your life at this time?
  • What actions or activities can combat that specific stress you’re feeling?
  • How much time do you need to fully recover?
  • What supplies or resources do you need? Click here for some of my faves.
  • When can you schedule your next mental health day?

Don’t delay! Get your next mental health day on your calendar ASAP, and then tell your boss, coworkers, employees, spouse, friends, dog, and anyone else who needs to know that you are NOT to be disturbed on that day.

If you want to be of service to anyone else, you must take care of yourself first.

This post focuses on Step 5 of the Life Editing Process, Make White Space for Personal Self-Care. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

3 Simple Steps to Become a Productivity Superstar

Dump your excuses, transform your habits, and become the most productive person you know.


  1. Herdis Pala on June 4, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for a great reminder, I´m going to put some mental health days into my calendar, preferrably one every month, or at least every other month 🙂

    • Sage Grayson on June 8, 2015 at 10:41 am

      You’re welcome, Herdis! 🙂