The Mental Health Day

She opened my window shades as she did every morning, allowing the light of day to wake me gently from the sleep that restored my tired brain after a long night of studying.  Or, more likely, after a long night of perfectionism.


I opened my tired green eyes just enough to show that I just couldn’t go.  I just needed more time.  I just needed a break.


With labored movements I sat slightly upright, careful not to lose my hold on the fuzzy rose-colored blanket that shielded me from the bitter winter morning.


I looked out the window to see what I already knew would unfold before me:  Snow covered branches hung low while icicles obstructed my view of the front yard.  It had snowed steadily throughout the night.  Enough to keep the squirrels in their nests to escape the frigid weather, but not enough to close the schools for the day.


If I listened closely enough I could hear the faint hum of the snowplows hard at work, clearing the nearby roads and driveways.


Burdened by the fog of hard-earned exhaustion, I stared out the window without uttering a sound.  I just can’t go, I thought to myself.  I just can’t handle one more thing.


I was a perfectionist by nature, consumed by a need to make the grade, make the team, and do everything just exactly so.  What I didn’t know…was how to stop.


Sensing my hesitation, she sat on the side of my bed and stroked my hair, waiting for me to speak.  Our eyes locked for a moment or two as I lay back down, wondering what to do.


I’m tired, Mom.  I’m just so tired.  It’s been a hard week…


Please stop by moonfrye to read more about the importance of the mental health day.

About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)