Protecting our mental health is vital if we want to be productive members of society.
Sometimes a build up of stress can cause us to want to turn the outside world off, if even just for a day, to help us recharge.
But is it wrong to stick to your guns and take that day when you’re being bombarded from all sides to postpone?
Redditor AITAbedday recently clashed with several of her loved ones after designating a “bed day” for herself, so she turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if she was in the wrong, asking:
“AITA for wanting a bed day?”
The original poster (OP) explained what her ideal “bed day” entails—and why she was so desperate for one.
“A bed day is exactly what it sounds like. A day where I just stay in bed. I’m not depressed or anything like that, just stressed out, and I need a day where I just do f**k all.”
“Phone off, in bed, old sitcoms on TV, junk food next to me. I’ve not done this in literal years.”
“I’m 21, the last time I did this was when I was 17, so this isn’t a regular occurrence, it only happens when I feel like I’m about to snap from stress.”
“The stress comes from a few things. I’m submitting my dissertation in May, I’m 4 months pregnant, I’m dealing with all kinds of bullsh*t at work, and I’ve got some family stuff going on, so I just need one day where all I have to do is stay in bed.”
But when she finally settled on a day, she got some pushback from some friends and family.
“I’ve marked out this Saturday for my bed day. However, 3 separate people have tried to make plans with me on Saturday.”
“A cousin wants me to babysit, my friend wants to work on our dissertations together, and my mother wants me to go and see her. I’ve responded the same way to all 3 of them, saying I’m very sorry but I have pre set plans to do nothing that day for my own mental health.”
“All 3 of them, cousin, friend, and mother, think I’m being an arse. They need my help, and a full day in bed is excessive, as well as suggesting I’m using it as an excuse to just not help them when they need it.”
The OP wasn’t having any of it, so she told them all off.
“They want me to postpone bed day so I can help them. I’ve responded that sh*t like this is the reason I need a day off and they need to leave me alone, both on Saturday, and that if all they’re going to do before then is ask me why I need a mental health day, the lot of them can p*ss off.”
“They’ve responded that I’m being very rude and insensitive, that they need my help, and that they all need it on this specific day I’ve set aside, and they don’t see why I can’t just push it back to Sunday or next week and that me telling them to p*ss off is unnecessarily harsh.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The assured the OP she was NTA for wanting a day to herself.
“NTA. No is a complete sentence.”—Unknown2809
“OP take note of this. When someone calls and asks you, or in your case, tells you to help them with something and you don’t want to, you do not have to explain why.”
“‘I need you to do X on this day.'”
“‘No, I can’t.'”
“‘Why can’t you.'”
“‘I have plans. I can’t do it.'”
“‘What are you doing?'”
“‘It doesn’t matter, I can’t help.'”
“Reiterate each time, I can’t or I won’t. It doesn’t f**king matter if they really want you to, or if you’re ‘leaving them in the lurch.'”
“No one is entitled to your free time. No one. (Except if you have children)”—HogsEar
“NTA, I feel like I need a bed day after just reading this. Idk why people feel so entitled to your free time”—LopsidedCauliflower8
They told the OP that she’s under no obligation to inform anyone about why she isn’t free.
“NTA, but you’re giving people too much information. ‘Sorry, I have plans that day’. Grey rock it.”
“If you give a reason, you give them ammunition to argue with. It’s perfectly fine to take a mental health day, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not worth it to argue.”
“Shut it down. Got plans. Lots to do. Oh, you know how it is. No specifics.”—SlartieB
The OP agreed.
“Good point. I’ll do that going forwards, I just thought that if I was honest, they would accept it without too many questions. Instead, they’ve done the opposite.”
She also admitted that she probably encouraged her loved ones’ entitled behavior herself.
“It’s probably my fault. I’m just very accommodating. Probably too much.”
“I like helping people and being useful, so I offer help a lot, and it’s turned into people expecting help from me.”
But many were quick to remind the OP that she is no help to anyone if she’s completely burned out.
“NTA put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.”—it_was_not_catbags
“NTA – the occasional mental health day is a must for everybody at times.”
“Everybody has something they do when they just need a break, whether it’s going shopping, going to the movies, reading a book….”
“Everybody has or does something when they need a break. You take a bed day.”
“It seems to me they are more upset that they now have to do things on their own instead of you doing those things for/with them.”
“NEVER ignore your need for the occasional mental health break. Doing so will only hinder you.”
“And ffs (for f**k’s sake)! It’s a single day!”—CelticSkye
“NTA. What they are failing to see is that you need to prioritize your mental health now… not next week, not a month from now, NOW.”
“If you were physically sick they wouldn’t ask you to postpone a day in bed. They need to take mental health as seriously as physical health.”—OhHeyBluePenguin
“To add, I JUST recently went into therapy because my stress and anxiety levels had started to cause me to have physical health issues. One of the things my therapist has pointed out is that day to life HAS stress and it’s unavoidable a lot of the time.”
“If you imagine each stress as an item, and your ability to manage it as a bucket those items go into, at some point, the bucket gets full and you need to remove some stuff or you start feeling overwhelmed, etc.”
“You remove items from the bucket with self-care. Could be little ways to self-care, could be bigger. But they’re vital to maintaining a healthy self physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.”
“f a bed day is what OP wants to do to practice this self-care, it’s not selfish. It’s like saying eating a meal or drinking water or taking a shower is selfish.”
“They’re all things OP can and should be expected to be able to do for herself as needed.”
“There’s this huge cultural issue, especially here in the US, that self-care is an act of self indulgence and that working extreme hours, driving ourselves into the ground and taking pride in our mental and physical exhaustion is the only acceptable path to success.”
“Without the tools or resources to manage stress, OP is looking at burnout – especially being pregnant, which takes a lot of energy just on its own. One would expect family and friends to respect those needs, but sadly, that isn’t always the case.”—geminiloveca
Hopefully the people in OP’s life can understand that we all need a break.
If not, they may soon be finding themselves without the OP’s company on days where she *is* free.