You might be feeling run-down.
And why wouldn’t you be? Life, at times, can be an exhausting experience. Everyone in the world feels fatigue, pain, listlessness, and loneliness at some point. It’s part of the human condition – and nothing to be ashamed of.
That’s why it’s so vital that we all take time to heal. How much time to take is dependent on the individual, but today we’ll focus on what you can do in one day: a mental health day.
We believe that a mental health day is about stress reduction and joyfulness. And what “joy” looks like can be different for each personality type. That’s why this article contains suggestions for all types – from empathetic Mediators to steel-willed Executives.
At the end of your mental health day, you should feel a sense of lightness or freedom, reenergized and reinspired to take on your life.
*This article is a 16Personalities classic, updated with new tips for 2019.
Architects need time alone to figure things out. But these personality types can be prone to ruminating on negative thoughts, especially if they’re frustrated that things aren’t going to plan – a situation that can take them to dark places.
Instead of dwelling on things that are in the past, if you’re an Architect, try moving forward by learning something new just for fun. You are a person who places a premium on individual learning, so what could be a better pick-me-up than to spend a mental health day learning a new coding technique, reading up on the latest political strategies, or diving into something else that stimulates your analytical instincts?
Here are a few more pick-me-ups our data suggested:
- Read a book about a historical event. Of all personality types, Architects are the most likely to say they enjoy reading history books.
- Be with a loved one with whom you can sit quietly. Architects are the most likely personality type to say they can be comfortable being silent with others. Being able to be with a loved one without the pressure of having to strike up a conversation can be an amazing remedy for an Architect who is feeling down.
- Put on some classical music. Our research found that Architects are the most likely to generally enjoy listening to Bach or Beethoven to calm their nerves.
Logicians are the most likely of all personality types to go into “autopilot” mode, meaning that they’re not fully involved in what they’re doing because their minds are elsewhere. This tendency means that they sometimes miss out on experiences that could help bring their minds to full awareness or help them achieve mental, emotional, and physical balance.
As a Logician, you can remedy this by trying to mindfully concentrate on activities that you love throughout your mental health day. You might count how many steps you take during a hike, pay attention to how you’re breathing while you meditate, or slowly taste and savor the many flavors in your favorite comfort dish.
Here are a few things that are likely to help you out today:
- Immerse yourself in something you genuinely enjoy. Of all personality types, Logicians are the most likely to say they often get so immersed in something that they forget to eat or drink. Should you be feeling low, perhaps the best thing to do is indulge in something that you can lose yourself in for a few hours (within reason, of course). Why not check out that new video game all your colleagues are talking about? Or how about sitting down to finally watch that series you’ve had on the back burner for a few months?
- Text a friend. Logicians are the most likely to say they prefer texting over talking – not to mention that they struggle to talk about their emotions with others. A happy medium would be to text a close friend or anyone you know who can make you feel better. You’ll take away the pressure of having to explain yourself but still get the benefit of communicating with a friend. Pro tip: ask them to send their favorite pictures of your favorite thing. “Hey, would you mind sending me your best photos of dogs in costumes? Thanks.”
Commanders are one of the personalities most likely to not back down during trying times. Due to this tenacity, taking a mental health day may feel like the ultimate sin. But even Commanders need a break sometimes.
For those of you with the Commander personality type, we recommend that you plan ahead to ensure that you take the time you need to recharge. Schedule in a day dedicated to stress relief. This could be something relaxing, like getting a deep-tissue massage or spending an afternoon at the golf course, or something more task-oriented, like tackling a long-postponed household chore – after all, nothing is quite as satisfying for a Commander as accomplishing a goal. The important thing is to do something that leaves you feeling reinvigorated.
Here are two more data-backed suggestions:
- Find new skills to learn. Let’s be real here: Commanders don’t like sitting still. They want to achieve; they want to win. Our research found that they are the most likely to agree that they’re always looking for ways to learn some new skills. Nothing picks this personality type up more than imagining future ways they can develop their skills or accomplish a goal. Take your mental health day to search for or try out new activities that (1) you would enjoy, and (2) will help further your goals.
- Outline goals that align with subjects that fulfill you. Much of our data says that Commanders are likely to keep track of goals and follow through on them. But what if your goal no longer aligns with what you really want? This could actually play a large role in why you may be feeling down. Maybe you’ve been doing something that doesn’t really feel like “you” anymore.
Debaters need variety. They need space to think, to ramble, and to explore their ideas, and they reserve the right to do all these things. The risk is that spending so much time wrapped up in intellectual musing and arguments can separate individuals with this personality type too much from the feelings of other people – and from their own emotions.
If you’re a Debater, you should allow yourself to do whatever you want on your mental health day. You will do well to remember, however, that limitless exploration is only healthy in moderation – which is why you might want to set a limit of two or three hours for free-flowing time. Try a creative new activity with friends, but try to keep your opinions in check. Loosening up a little can go a long way.
Here are a few ways to best enjoy your mental health day:
- Do something wild-ish. Our research found that Debaters are the most likely to believe that it’s okay to do fun things that are bad for you in moderation. (Important: don’t go break a law and say we told you to do it.) Indulge in some of your favorite guilty pleasures – eat the ice cream, read your favorite trashy novels, binge a TV show. All we ask is that whatever you do, you do it safely.
- Get yourself into an unfamiliar situation. There’s something about unknown territory that lights a match inside Debaters. In fact, our data shows that Debaters are the most likely of all personality types to say they feel excited when in an unfamiliar situation. Take a walk somewhere new, flirt with a cute stranger, or try out a new restaurant with your loved ones.
Advocates are the most likely of all personality types to spend a lot of time reflecting on things and suppressing their emotions in favor of others’ well-being. While their introspection and altruism give them a deep, insightful nature, it can also have a harmful effect when they find themselves without an outlet for their personal needs and emotions.
If you’re an Advocate and you find yourself getting burned out, a mind filled with self-questioning and other people’s worries probably won’t make you feel better. To remedy this, set aside a mental health day to reconnect with your own needs and joys. Afterward, take time to accomplish tasks that you need to get done for yourself or that you find comforting, whether it’s cleaning, shopping, yoga, drawing, or some other pursuit.
Embrace your mental health day by doing the following:
- Enjoy a beautiful nature walk or hike. Our research found that Advocates are the most likely to say they feel deeply affected by natural beauty. It seems like it would be a good choice to go out into the day (or night) and rediscover what makes this world so magnificent.
- Make lists or play a repetitive game. Advocates are the most likely of all personality types to say that when they feel anxious, they need to do some repetitive and routine work to relax. If there’s no work to be done, perhaps play a game – online or otherwise – that requires little thought but a lot of focus.
Mediators desire simplicity. They’re also one of the most likely personality types to feel overwhelmed by everyone else’s problems. So, during times of trouble, these deep-feeling types should consider turning to the uncomplicated joys in their lives to lighten the emotional load.
For Mediators, we suggest revisiting childhood favorites. This might mean watching an animated film, digging up your mother’s old recipes, or listening to a soundtrack you created in your younger years – anything that will bring you back to a safe, joyful mental space.
Take the day to indulge yourself and try out these tips:
- Dive into the myths and mystics. Mediators are the most likely to say they’re fascinated by myths and legends. When you’re feeling down, it’d be a fun idea to take a friend and do something that makes you feel mystical. A palm reading? Maybe burning some sage? Do your birth chart and get lost in all the starry possibilities.
- Pet an animal. While all personality types like animals, Mediators are thought to be particularly good at bonding with them. When you’re feeling blue or burned out, one of the quickest pick-me-ups for your personality type is petting something cute and furry. (If you don’t have access to an animal, may we suggest watching cute animal videos online?)
Protagonists love helping others, and because of this, they may feel guilty taking a day off. But taking a break doesn’t mean that they have to stop helping others completely.
As a Protagonist, how you choose to refresh depends on your energy level. If helping others won’t feel draining and brings you genuine joy, inspiration, and satisfaction, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t use your mental health day to assist others – maybe spend it helping a close friend or loved one you haven’t seen in a while. If you feel like you’re getting burned out, however, then try a day supporting yourself instead by taking time to reconnect to other activities that you enjoy.
Breathe some fresh air into your life with these suggestions:
- Rearrange the furniture in your bedroom. This is a hobby that Protagonists particularly like. For this personality type, there’s something deeply satisfying about transforming a space and making it their own. Buy some flowers. Choose new paintings. Do what you need to make sure your environment reflects your endless optimism.
- Dress up and go out. Our research found that Protagonists are the most likely to say they enjoy social events that involve dress-up or a role-play activity. There are several ways this can develop. You can call friends and throw a themed party – an ’80s-themed movie night, anybody? Go out on the town dressed in what makes you feel amazing. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Being with people you love, doing silly things, and enjoying life.
Campaigners find strength in community and collaboration. They will never let someone else suffer if there’s something they can do about it. In fact, Campaigners are the most likely of all personality types to discourage friends from dwelling on negative thoughts.
If you’re a Campaigner, you may feel responsible for the happiness of others. When you’re feeling down yourself, however, you may need to let go of your “happy” facade and allow yourself to feel your own emotions. Try spending your mental health day with an honest yet affectionate friend and let yourself vent, cry, be quiet, celebrate, or whatever else suits your mood. Later, try an activity that makes you smile just by thinking about it: Ice cream party! Flamenco dancing! Netflix binge! Or, just go out and make some new friends.
You can attract positive vibes with these suggestions:
- Go play outside. Playing in the sunshine isn’t just for children. In fact, it’s something that should be prescribed for people of all ages. But for Campaigners, it can have an especially potent effect. Our research found that Campaigners are the most likely of all personality types to say they enjoy camping and other outdoor activities. So, whether it’s by yourself, or going out on a picnic with some friends, it’s time to go outside.
- Be in a place that puts you in a positive headspace. Campaigners are the most likely to say their body reacts to the energy of the place they’re in. If the place you’re in gives you a sense of foreboding – examples may include your dark bedroom, the living room couch, a quiet office, and more – then get out of that space if possible. Go to a place that has historically made you happy. Perhaps your favorite shop? A bakery that carries that cake you can’t get enough of? A friend’s house? Go somewhere you know will bring positive energy.
Logisticians pride themselves on their reliability and take their personal responsibilities seriously, but if they don’t take care of themselves too, they can become overstrained. Considering that these personalities are the most likely to take a careful and methodical approach to life, they’ll probably want to plan out their entire mental health day.
Logisticians like you are usually most relaxed when given time to do an activity that involves clear instructions and leaves little room for guesswork. This could be something as simple as mowing the lawn or gardening, or perhaps something more leisurely like a bike ride or a stroll through the park. Using your mental health day to get caught up on a project that you haven’t had time for is an option too. Allow yourself to enjoy the comfort of familiarity.
Combine your daily routine with your favorite things through these methods:
- Keep to a routine that you enjoy. It wouldn’t be right to ask Logisticians to abandon their routines for a mental health day. It’s likely to stress them out. In fact, they’re the most likely personality type to say they do not like their daily routine to be interrupted by others. However, notice that we didn’t say, “Keep to your routine,” but “Keep to a routine that you enjoy.” There’s a chance that your mental health may be worsening because you’re sticking to an unbalanced routine. Instead, try this: just for today, eliminate the parts of your routine that you can do without. Keep the parts you like and see if it makes a positive difference.
- Take needed alone time. Logisticians are the most likely of all the personality types to say they feel drained and need a getaway from a dynamic atmosphere with lots of people. If you’re expected to interact with large groups of people during your mental health day, make it a point to say there’s a chance you may be leaving early.
Defenders are always there to help protect and support their friends and family through their problems, but over time, that can become a heavy burden to bear. Defender personalities give so much of themselves that, unless they tend to their own needs, they may reach a mental or emotional breaking point.
If you’re an overstressed Defender, it could be helpful to spend time on a beloved hobby that you’ve been neglecting – playing the clarinet, knitting, tennis, or anything else that tickles your fancy. After taking some time for yourself, join your loved ones in a way that you find rewarding. Since you may feel that your work is never done, set aside a few minutes on your mental health day to write down some of the things you’ve done to benefit others, just to help yourself appreciate all the work you really do.
Try these tips to lighten up your day:
- Make to-do lists. For many, this may sound like the opposite of relaxing and joyful, but for Defenders, it’s likely to be their happy place. Our research found that Defenders are the most likely to say they enjoy making to-do lists. For days you’re feeling worn down, we suggest that you list what’s making you feel bad – and then list possible solutions.
- Put yourself first, just for today. Defenders are the least likely of all personality types to say they make time for themselves, especially when they’re busy. While this normally might be fine, it can really chip away at someone who desperately needs time to reenergize themselves. Just for today, put yourself first. And if that thought makes you nervous, if you’re thinking of all your obligations, plan for a day in the near future you can have entirely to yourself.
Executives, much like Commanders, are reluctant to take a break, even if it’s for their own mental health. But being the model citizen all the time can become exhausting for anyone if they don’t take time to relax once in a while.
To have an effective mental health day, all you may need to do as an Executive is set aside your obligations and just have fun for a few hours – have brunch with friends, enjoy a night out with your significant other, or even take the time to read a book that’s been on your list. Afterward, if you feel rested enough, you can spend the rest of the day reorganizing your priorities and planning out solutions for the issues weighing on your mind the most.
Here are some data-backed suggestions that are likely to help you out:
- Acknowledge that you need a mental health day. One of the hardest things for Executives to acknowledge is that they need to take breaks. This is a personality type who historically doesn’t like taking breaks. Our data found that Executives are the most likely personality type to say they never give up easily and rarely fail to finish what they start.
- Finish your projects and then plan for a break. Of course, it’s not particularly relaxing for Executive personality types like you to take a mental health day when there are things to be done. We suggest that you wrap up parts of your project, let your team know, and then take a much-needed day for whatever you consider to be restful and relaxing.
Although Consuls are the most likely of all personalities to feel in touch with themselves and to be satisfied with their lives, they can still experience burnout and stress like everyone else. This is especially true if tensions have arisen in their personal relationships, as these sensitive, conflict-averse types can easily feel hurt by criticism from others.
If you’re a Consul, you may be so used to supporting others that giving yourself even small amounts of time to de-stress may seem like a foreign concept. You may feel more comfortable connecting with others than spending time alone. We recommend getting together with a friend to do a fun activity – perhaps a DIY craft, playing with pets, or a picnic in the park.
De-stress with the following methods:
- Have a loved one share a positive experience with you. According to our research, Consuls’ moods are overwhelmingly lifted when they hear good news from a friend, partner, or family member. This isn’t surprising, considering how affected this personality type is by the emotions of others. If you’re feeling low, call up a close friend and set up a lunch date.
- Go through old photos. Consuls are the most likely of the Sentinel Role group to enjoy going through old photos. Make sure that these photos aren’t of past flames or relationships gone sour, of course. Instead, maybe grab a family photo album or take a walk through the past by going through your old school yearbooks.
For Virtuosos, mental health days may already be a way of life. Perhaps more than any other personality type, when Virtuosos get overwhelmed with obligations or frustrated by overly structured environments, they know that they need to take time to get to the things they love – or simply move on to something new.
As a Virtuoso, you know what you love, but you probably also feel the urge to switch things up sometimes. For a mental recharge, dive into your favorite activities or check out a new interest you’ve been dying to explore. You may want to spend your time tinkering, playing a beloved video game, or enjoying any other activity that simply allows you to be yourself – either alone or with others who share your interests.
Build up your day by trying the following:
- Go fix something. Our research found that Virtuosos feel a boost of self-esteem once they’ve built and/or fixed something. So, grab yourself a tool kit, put on your favorite music, and lose yourself in the simplicity of putting parts together.
- Embrace your Virtuoso nature. As a Virtuoso, what seems uplifting to others may seem unnecessary to you. Do what you need to do to make yourself feel better, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be “good.”
Adventurers are artistic and passionate, but they can get easily stressed out by the practical demands of the world. This is understandable, considering that they spend much of their energy struggling against a system that tries to box them in. Fluctuating self-esteem is always a concern with this personality type.
To effectively recuperate and reenergize, Adventurers like you should give themselves time and space, allowing themselves to become reinspired by the world around them, instead of discouraged by it. You mustn’t try to force creative energy, though – that can be counterproductive. But strolling through an art exhibit, exploring a new city, listening to treasured songs from the past, and other diversions can help you reconnect with yourself and recharge.
Explore what the world has to offer with these suggestions:
- Get out to the country. Our research found that Adventurers are the most likely personality type to prefer rural environments to urban ones. Perhaps it’s more peaceful out there. Less chaos and ample opportunity to explore.
- Let the people in your life know that you don’t have the mental space needed to listen to their issues. This sounds harsh, we know, but Adventurers are the most likely Explorer personalities to feel as though they’re overwhelmed by others’ emotions. We understand that you want to be a good friend, but it’s also unfair to yourself (and the ones who trust you) to provide support when you’re not even able to support yourself.
Entrepreneurs really want to be where the action is. These personalities would rather reenergize than relax. Spontaneous, lively, and attracted to risk, Entrepreneurs often neglect to acknowledge and express their emotions, which can contribute to a sense that something is off.
If you’re an Entrepreneur, you’ll probably want to use your mental health day to be active, go outside, and release your emotions through exercise. Perhaps head to the beach, find a friendly pick-up game, or go play racquetball at the gym. But bear in mind that if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it may be because your fast-paced lifestyle is catching up with you. A quiet day at home might give you the time you need to catch your breath – so you’re ready to get back out there tomorrow.
Here are some things you can do to make the most of your day:
- Pick up a physical challenge. Entrepreneurs are the most likely personality type to prefer physical competitions over mental ones. And for a personality type who deals with stress through competition, it’s more than a good idea to get outside and play a game of pick-up basketball with your friends.
- Watch your favorite sport (or sports movie). Entrepreneurs are also the most likely personality type to say they enjoy sports. Of course, when they’re feeling down, a great way to rejuvenate themselves is to see the teams they root for go on to beat the odds.
Entertainers are enthusiastic personalities who like to keep life interesting. They don’t like dwelling on their issues, usually preferring to let out their emotions and move on. But they may find that their troubles and worries get the better of them if they’re ignored for too long or aren’t dealt with in earnest.
As an Entertainer, you might be used to relying on friends and loved ones to help you through tough times. Going out with a friend for a “venting” session on your mental health day could help you feel better, but try to allow some time and space for personal reflection too. Later, if you’re feeling more at ease, you can show the world why your personality type is called “Entertainer” by putting on a show.
Take some time for you by trying the following:
- Take the time to dance. Entertainers don’t have time for introspection. They do have time for experiencing the world around them, though. When Entertainers are feeling low, perhaps the best thing they can do for themselves is go out and paint the town red with their friends.
- Wear your brightest and best clothing. According to our research, Entertainers are the most likely personality type to say they like bright and colorful clothes. So, when the day is gray, wear the brightest thing you have and light up your own world.
We can’t say it enough: your mental health matters. If you’re struggling with serious issues, we encourage you to reach out for professional help.
How do you feel about these suggestions? Might they benefit you in your pursuit of mental well-being? Have you found other strategies that work for your personality type? Share your thoughts in our Mental Health Day Survey.
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