Mental Health Day at Work
A mental health day is the mental and emotional equivalent of a traditional sick or personal day. It can be a great way to take a break and refocus your energy on self-care.
Whether you have a mental health condition or not, everyone can benefit from occasional mental health days to decompress, rejuvenate and avoid burnout.
How often do you need to take a mental health day?
In a world where high inflation, market volatility and global conflicts are taking their toll on our mental health, it’s more important than ever to take time to care for yourself. A mental health day is designed to relieve stress, recharge your batteries and help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
It’s also a great opportunity to practice self-care, which is often overlooked in our busy lives. Whether you choose to go for a walk, read a book or get a massage, your mental health day is the perfect chance to relax and unwind from the stresses of daily life.
The key is to take care of yourself as much as possible without feeling guilty or like you’re not accomplishing anything. And don’t feel obligated to do things you don’t enjoy just because they’re “good for your mental health.” Just be sure to spend some time doing what makes you happy, even if it’s just watching your favorite TV show or going for a walk in the park.
What are the benefits of taking a mental health day?
A mental health day can help employees de-stress, relax and rest while also resetting their outlook on life. This can include things like spending time outside in nature, getting a massage, reading a book or going for a walk.
Taking a mental health day can prevent burnout and improve employee engagement. In the long run, it can have benefits for your company’s bottom line as well.
Stress is a common culprit of burnout, and it can affect everything from digestive health to heart disease and weight management. It can even impact chronic conditions, including cancer and diabetes.
If you notice that you are becoming more irritable, easily agitated or have trouble focusing, it may be time to take a mental health day. It is also important to look out for any signs of burnout, such as feeling detached from work or others.
How do you ask your boss for a mental health day?
Mental health days are becoming more common in the workplace, but many people don’t know how to ask for them. While they’re not an excuse to skip work, taking a mental health day can help you better handle stress and burnout.
Depending on your company, you may need to provide more details about why you need the time off. It’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time and have a list handy for when you need to call your boss.
You should also familiarize yourself with your employer’s leave policy. Laura Handrick from Choosing Therapy notes that if your employer has 50 or more employees, or you’re under federal contract, you are protected by labor and anti-discrimination laws against being penalized for taking a mental health day.
It’s important to remember that, like any personal health issue, a mental health day isn’t about blaming your manager or coworkers. Rather, it’s about providing a break to help you recover from emotional trauma or manage an anxiety attack.
How do you prepare for a mental health day?
As with any health-related observance, World Health Day is a great opportunity to talk about mental health. It’s also a time to reflect on what’s working in our lives, what isn’t and what we want to improve.
It’s often hard to know when you need a mental health day, but there are some telltale signs that it could be in order.
For example, if you find yourself being crabby or more sensitive than normal, that may be a sign that you need to take some time to calm down and relax.
You might also need a mental health day if you have been feeling more overwhelmed or burned out by work or personal circumstances. By taking some time away from your usual responsibilities, you can re-center yourself and return to work refreshed.
When you do plan a mental health day, keep it simple and make it intentional. Maybe you’ll read, practice meditation or mindfulness, exercise, spend time with a friend or engage in some form of self-care.