Playing hooky for the sake of your mental health

Mental health days are a necessity

With COVID-19 just now coming to an end, we finally get to take a deep breath of fresh air. We can go in public, hang out with friends, see family, and even go back to school without the thought of sickness creeping down our spines. This relief is well deserved and much needed by the people who lived through the long, daunting pandemic. 

Well, that breath of fresh air is short lived when you release how much the pandemic has changed you and the world has morphed into something you’ve never seen before. It’s like relearning to ride a bike or read a book except the wheels are a different shape and every word is spelt wrong. 

“A 2020 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the proportion of mental health-related emergency department visits for children aged 5–11 and 12–17 increased by about 24% and 31%, respectively, compared to 2019,” Lo Styx wrote on

No matter your age, even the smallest things begin to affect you in the biggest ways. School is one of those biggest factors. 

Many children beginning from age five start to experience mental-health related emergencies. Once school really begins, the mental state of many children starts to deteriorate. Many believe this issue could be helped with “mental health days.” Allowing students to miss school due to their head space on current days could lead to much more success in the world of mental health. 

“In the past two years, several states, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, and Virginia, have passed bills allowing students to miss school for mental health reasons,” Lo Styx continued.

This is what most would consider an important step in the ways of the law, due to the fact that it could potentially save a life. 

“Giving students more tools and opportunities to de-stress by allowing them to take ownership of their mental health and take breaks when they need can be helpful for learning. A chronically stressed brain is not in learning mode, it is in survival mode. So there is an argument to be made that giving students mental health days makes teaching and learning more effective as students will grasp concepts sooner and retain them more deeply if they experience less chronic stress,” Matt Shenker, counselor for, states. 

Mental health is stressful and can sometimes be deteriorating, but it’s eye-opening. Not everyone can understand what one may go through on a day to day basis, but having respect for one another and their emotions is a key take away from an experience like this. 

If you come across a mental health day of your own, there are multiple ways you can make the best out of a tough situation. 

“First and foremost, a mental health day should be focused on relaxing and recharging,” Lo Styx states. 

Focusing on yourself and taking a day to just do whatever makes you feel best is the way to go. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, find some things that put your mind at ease. Such as coloring, drawing, yoga, or anything else that gets your brain into relaxation mode. 

“Spend some quality time together preparing a healthy meal or incorporating some physical activity or time in nature into the day. Plan at least one fun event that can take a child’s mind off any stressors,” Lo Styx writes. 

Taking a walk in the park or around your neighborhood can be good for any day. Whether you need to clear your mind or not, a walk is always a way to help find some inner peace and fit some puzzle pieces together. 

Lastly, just talking. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or your dog, you can help release tension by letting out all your emotions. This is a great way to spend a mental health day. It will leave you feeling refreshed and “brand new” the next day. 

“Every child’s method of mental refueling will differ; the important thing is to help them figure out what that method is and how best to incorporate it into not only their day off but their daily lives,” Lo Styx concludes.

For more information regarding “mental health days,” go to