If you had a full day away from work to rest up and restore your spirits, what would you do? We asked our staff across the country to share their experiences of Friday, October 15, Mission North’s Mental Health Day. Their responses through words and photos are lively, entertaining and joyful.
Back in mid-September, Mission North co-CEOs Bill and Tyler announced a plan to close all offices for October 15 for a mental health day in appreciation of everyone’s daily kindness, generosity and work ethic. In their message, Tyler and Bill described being keenly aware of the emotional toll that the pandemic and the news cycle have taken on all Mission Northers. They wanted to give all staff plenty of time to “plan something that will fill your buckets and allow you to unplug and recharge.”
Well, Mission Northers certainly took those recommendations to heart. Whether solo or with friends and family, we took the time to invest in our mental, physical, intellectual and spiritual health. Here are some of the ways in which we spent Mental Health Day:
Allison: “I got an early morning massage and went on a long run through Capitol Hill to see the Halloween decorations. It was so nice to be able to unwind and take some time to refill my cup before the long weekend.”
Antoinette: “I spent the day getting a massage! A well taken care of body aids in a well taken care of mind:)”
Chanel: “I did The Lake Tahoe Via Ferrata. I’m always looking for ways to get out of my comfort zone and opt outside, and this climbing adventure did exactly that!”
China: “I curled up and read the latest (and sadly the last) novel from one of my favorite writers, John Le Carré. ‘Silverview’ was everything I love about his writing and his continual theme of betrayal. Losing myself again in LeCarréland was a wonderful experience. Bringing me back to this reality was playing with our lovely puppy Willow Banksy—that gal’s got attitude!”
Danny C: “I went to Grace Street Coffee & Desserts in Koreatown with my girlfriend and some friends. We proceeded to get a smorgasbord of desserts, including basque burnt cheesecake, shaved snow, matcha cream puffs and a churro waffle.”
Jacki: “I celebrated my mom’s birthday. We went to the spa, did some shopping and finished the day with a steak dinner in San Francisco. I was so grateful to have had that time with my mom!
Jamie: “I was traveling Friday so I took my own mental health day on Monday. My dad and I went on a beautiful fall hike in the East Bay! Being outside in nature is the best thing for my mental health. :)”
Laura L: “I traveled to D.C. to go meet my new baby cousin (now almost one) who I hadn’t yet met . Nothing like a weekend with family, and especially time with little ones, to reset the mindset and remind you what truly matters. It filled me up!”
Laura S: “I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It’s been ages since I went to a museum (and typically I avoid them on weekends since they get so crowded), so it was nice to be able to go on a weekday. Afterwards, I went on a walk through Central Park. It was a beautiful warm fall day, and I felt so at peace! It was great to have an extra day to recharge and remember why I love living in this city.”
Mary: “Started my day by getting in some extra, needed morning cuddles with my boyfriend’s dog, Lou. Then I went to get my nails done for the first time in like two years and planned to get a fun, spooky set done. It didn’t turn out super great but since we had the whole day, I ran to a store, got a kit and did some fresh designs while sitting in the sun in my backyard. Then I closed all the curtains, made some Baileys Hot Chocolate and watched a few scary movies. Maybe not what comes to your mind for a mental health day, but since this is my favorite time of the year, being able to step away and have some one-on-one time with myself to enjoy was exactly what I needed. I’m SO thankful we had this time.”
Megan E: “I biked around the city and went to a little island with a friend who also had the day off. It was so nice to be outdoors for the whole day! Plus, it was almost 80 degrees in the city!!”
Melinda: “Here are a few quick snaps I took at Sandy Beach in Cohasset, MA, during the day!”
Shannon: “Here’s what I did: -Enjoyed a coffee outside without anyone else around (quiet!) -Decided to call a friend who has been having a hard time lately and checked in on him. -Drove out to Bolinas with my husband (his company had a mental health day too!). We got our wetsuits on and spent 90 minutes in the ocean attempting to surf. There is something about being in the ocean that is reinvigorating like nothing else. I wish that I did it every day! -Stopped at a local saloon, threw some coins in the jukebox and played a round of pool with my best friend (my husband). -Decided to have a couple of families over at the last minute for dinner. We enjoyed dinner outside and laughed until the wee hours. All in all, it was a pretty perfect day!”
Yuliya: “What was most significant for me was that, for once, I planned something ahead, just for myself, purely for my own enjoyment. I booked myself an early morning spa appointment and soaked in hot and icy pools. I treated myself to the crispiest ham and cheese croissant and later to two hearty slices of Paulie Gee’s pizza. I didn’t expect this day to have such an impact on me, but I realized prioritizing mental health takes practice!”
In 2021, Mission North offered all staff two mental health days—March 26 and October 15. We plan to continue this practice to help keep our teams recharged.