Let’s face it: life is exhausting sometimes. Mental health days give you the opportunity to rest and regroup. Let’s talk about some of their wonderful benefits.
Taking care of your mental health is incredibly important, especially when it comes to your productivity. Nothing hampers your workflow like a cloudy mind. In fact, ignoring your mental health could have damaging effects on your work life.
That’s why it’s vital to pay attention to your mental health needs.
Sometimes it’s difficult to convince yourself that taking a day off of work is actually worth it. But in this case, it’s the best thing you can possibly do.
Just look at these seven benefits of taking a mental health day, and see how important it really is:
1. You Get the Chance to Destress
Work and life, in general, can get overwhelming.
Sometimes you just need a break.
When things start to pile up and everything feels super stressful, it’s good to step away. Stress is rough on the body, causing mental and even physical symptoms that run you down day after day.
Whether it’s an entire day off or just a few hours, giving yourself time to destress is essential to keeping yourself healthy.
Stress relief looks different to everyone. Do something you enjoy that takes your mind off of whatever is causing your stress. The last thing you want to do is simply push through it and make the weight on your shoulders heavier.
It’s not a sign of weakness to put the weight down for a while. Everyone needs a break now and again.
2. Helps You Avoid Burnout
Burnout is one of the results of ignoring your stress levels and continuing to push yourself even when you’re overwhelmed.
Burnout is more than simply feeling tired or not wanting to go to work. It’s a very real condition caused by overworking yourself to the point that your mind and body just can’t get the energy to keep it up.
Just like any other illness, burnout comes with side effects, which may include:
- Emotional instability
- Poor work performance
- Increased risk of physical illness
Know how to spot burnout before it occurs and take action to prevent falling into that hole. It’s not a fun place to be, and it isn’t easy to pull yourself back out again.
A mental health day once in a while may help prevent you from burning out.
3. Gives You Time to Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is vital to your mental health, but you don’t always have time for it. There are so many other things going on during the day that your own personal needs tend to fall by the wayside.
A mental health day gives you a chance to focus on yourself for a bit.
Spend your time doing things that make you happy. That means you should avoid using your mental health day to sit around thinking about everything you have to do once you go back to work.
Instead, get some exercise, read a book, take a nap, or have a therapeutic cleanup session.
Whatever makes you feel good — mind, body, and soul — is the best way to spend your mental health day.
4. Lets You Focus on Mindfulness
Having breathing room allows you to be more mindful of your feelings and what you truly need.
When you decide how you’re going to spend your day off, make sure to be present and really put yourself into the activities. Don’t worry about tomorrow, next week, or even last week. None of that matters at this moment.
What matters on your mental health day is getting yourself back to 100% before heading back to the grind.
Mindfulness has plenty of health benefits that make it totally worth the effort. On top of lowering stress, preventing burnout, and increasing productivity, mindfulness can help you be a better version of yourself both at home and when you return to work.
5. Keeps You More on Track
Taking a mental health day actually puts you on a great track for completing your work and doing everything on your to-do list.
It’s as simple as giving yourself a moment to breathe and get back in the groove. Instead of pushing through and compromising your work, take a small break to gather yourself and get back to 100%.
Even taking an afternoon off to regroup can give you the energy to get through your tasks.
In other words, taking a few hours off is anything but a waste of time.
6. Encourages You to Seek Help
When you feel like you’re able to take a mental health day without the stigma, it gives you the chance to get any help you might need.
Worried that you’re somehow making things harder on other people by taking the day off? Or that you’re slacking, and it’ll only result in more negative feelings? That’s why mental health days are so important.
Leaving work early for a therapy appointment could make all the difference in the world.
It’s important to have time and energy to get the help you need. Sometimes, a day off is the only way you can manage it, and that’s okay.
7. It Changes the Attitude Around Mental Health Days
The more people talk about mental health and taking days off work for their mental health, the more accepted it will become.
Be honest with your boss about why you need the day off. Don’t make up other excuses, invent a physical illness, or lie about some appointment you need to keep. Help yourself and others who will come after you by putting mental health in the spotlight.
Mental health is essential to every single person — it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Putting off your mental health for a more convenient time just isn’t going to fly. Your brain isn’t going to wait for your upcoming vacation to have a meltdown.
Taking care of your mental health should be at the same priority level as taking care of your physical health, and both should be right at the top of the list.
It doesn’t matter how you plan to spend your mental health day. Whether you intend to catch up on sleep or spend five hours getting through a book that has been gathering dust on your shelf, it’s important.
Hopefully, seeing all the benefits of mental health days have given you more than enough reason to take a little time for yourself.
Caitlin Sinclair is the property manager at Prose West Cypress, a new apartment community in Katy, TX.