During university, I struggled with my mental health. I was also a huge Tumblr user (my TheWalkingOreo days). It was on Tumblr that I first learnt about self-care. Aside from eating healthy and learning to say no without having to explain myself, I began taking mental health days.
Back then, my mental health days were scheduled once a week on my favourite day of the week; Sunday. I was blessed to have a church that was a 5 minute walk from our flat and I attended the 6:30pm service which was the youth service. This meant I had the whole day to myself. Typing this makes me smile because I miss that era of life.
My mental health days started off with me making myself the most luxurious breakfasts because I find cooking extremely therapeutic. Sometimes I would have my hair deep conditioning while I cooked. Later in the day, I would go for a walk. I would take my camera with me and stop at the farmer's market, the florist's and any other place which caught my attention. All the while, taking photos. I was truly living my best, young life.
As I mentally prepared to move back to Lagos, I made myself one promise; I would create the Lagos I wanted to experience. This involves keeping my mental health days as often as I can. So far, I've kept this promise to myself and I'm so grateful I've been able to.
My mental health days aren't anything extravagant. Sometimes they're simply me going straight home from work on a Friday and sleeping. Other days, they are me taking myself out to visit locations I've been wanting to. I take my time to experience art, food and manoeuvre Lagos. I engage with strangers while I ask them to take photos for me. I learn the most interesting and unexpected things during these conversations. I see new perspectives. Most of all, I end these days feeling more grateful and at peace.
Locations (top to bottom):
Elegushi Beach, Lekki Omenka Gallery Garden, Ikoyi
Shell Residential Area, Port-Harcourt