Mental Break Day

Knowing When to Put It Away

Noah Ingram
3 min readOct 21, 2020
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

I fully confess. This is not my patio. At least, not yet. But, it does represent what I thought was needed most this weekend: a brain break. I began this year as a freshly promoted special education teacher, reaching out to instruct from the digital beyond. It has been new, enlightening, and overwhelming. I would not trade it for anything but I needed to put it away.

On this Monday past, I put in for a personal day. Quickly approved, as I expected it would be, I planned my week around an extra day off. It was not so much that I was going to relax, though I did, or find something emboldening for the soul, just that I needed to step away from this career. For a day.

I began with a few hours of video games in the pre-dawn, before anyone else but the dogs are interested in anything else but sleep, playing and bashing away at mechanical monstrosities with abandon. Time slips away quickly with that hobby. I did not feel as if I had spent enough time doing it but more than I usually get these days.

I whipped up a character for a friend’s tabletop role-playing game that was to occupy my weekend; it was his 50th birthday and a weekend of dice and the undead were beckoning us. It also included chili and Tres Leches cake, appropriate to the western theme of the game he picked to play. I was looking forward to this activity. Tabletop gaming and board games of the nerdier kind are my go-to stress relievers and my favorite hobbies.

My daughter wanted to see a friend, so I orchestrated that she go to that friend’s home. Typically, they come to our home but as I mentioned, I was on a me day and loud teens were not part of that plan. Away they went. I got some lunch and roamed about a local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, got some more history books for my ludicrously large collection, and went home.

There was our new couch. I had not christened it with a nap. It was a situation in need of a remedy. It was quite a nice nap, just shy of a couple of hours, with our smaller dog taking up residence on my torso.

Dinner, games, some tv. Nothing eventful occupied the rest of the evening.

I monitor my mental status as frequently as is practical. I have Depression so moods can swing quick and can be hard to come back from. This mental health day did not have anything to do with that malicious disorder. I just needed one, the way someone needs a fresh glass of water after a long intense work out. Something in the synapses told me to slow down and take a breath. It is wisdom to listen to that voice.



Noah Ingram

Husband of one, father of one, special education teacher, student of history, sometime author, all day dreamer.