Mental Health Days: 5 Tips to Help You Recharge Your Emotional Batteries
Do you often feel tired at work? Are you losing interest in your job? Do you often feel restless, like everything is running fast and you are lagging? Is your mind often occupied with stressful thoughts? If the answer to these questions is yes then your mental health is probably at risk and you need to take care of it!
Physical illnesses are visible and people address them medically. Sick leaves in schools, colleges, and workplaces are very normal. People take days off for rest and return to work when feeling well. But have you ever thought about taking a day off for your mental health? Isn’t it a little surprising? Well, it shouldn’t be because, just like your body, your brain can fall sick as well and to give it a little rest, taking a day off from work is justified.
At present, this concept is named “mental health day.” It is a newer concept in the modern corporate world where a person can take a day off from school or work without any physical illness. If you are not feeling well mentally, you can take your leave from work.
This article presents a comprehensive overview of mental health days and how can you make the most of them. So, let’s begin.
What is a Mental Health Day?
A mental health day is a day when an employee or a student doesn’t go to work or school and takes a sick leave for reasons other than physical illness. Many people consider a mental health day to be when someone doesn’t feel like going to work because they’re not feeling well in mind. They may be undergoing some stressful situations and don’t have the energy to work. So, they can have a no-work day or days to reset their healthy mental state.
Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and stress are very common nowadays. They can cause severe impairment on the ability of the person to function in a certain workplace. Most of the time, people take a lot of stress-related work and are likely to experience burnout. They become mentally exhausted which hampers their productivity and affects their work-life prominently. Their performance grows poorer which might risk their job as well. Therefore, it is necessary that one takes care of his/her mental health and observe mental health days so that they can perform better at work.
Mental health days can help you restore your focus and concentration. They can help you re-energize your mind, enhance your productivity, and renew your spirit. Most importantly, it helps you reduce stress and manage symptoms of burnout and mental exhaustion.
Signs that it’s time for a Mental Health Day
As mentioned above, physical illnesses have visible symptoms and you know when to take a day off. However, mental exhaustion and illnesses are not that prominent. So, it becomes a little difficult for the person to recognize when they should take a mental health day. Moreover, there are many workaholic people out there who don’t stop working until an unexpected illness forces them to. If you don’t address your mental health in time, you’re likely to face worse consequences.
For early detection, we’ve outlined some possible signs that may tell you that it is the time for you to take a mental health day. Some of these signs are as follow;
- If you often feel exhausted, tired, and low at energy
- If you feel more anxious and panic than earlier
- If you are facing difficulty in developing focus and concentration at work
- If you feel stressed and down constantly
- If the people around you and your surroundings are setting you off easily
- If you are feeling more sick than usual
- If you feel like your working speed has considerably slowed down
- If you feel disconnected and dissociative from things and people around you
- If you are not happy with your work productivity
If you have been feeling these signs and symptoms lately, it is probably time that you take a break from the monotonous routine and take a mental health day. This much-needed break will help you re-energize yourself and protect your falling mental health significantly.
How to make the most of your Mental Health Day?
If you’re taking a mental health day or days, don’t just waste them by sleeping or staying in bed. Do something productive and creative to boost your mental strength. If you cannot decide on what to do, here are some interesting tips for you.
No work-related stuff
The first thing you need to do on a mental health day is that you need to tell yourself that you’re off duty and no activities, during the day, shall relate to your office. If possible try to switch off your work phone so that there is no disturbance to your enjoyment. Try not to even think about your work and keep stressful thoughts at bay.
Spend time with friends and family
People often think of going on an outing on a day off. It is the best plan but if you take your friends and family with you. Try not to go so far and plan a picnic somewhere nearby. Get up early in the morning, have breakfast with your family, help them preparing food for the picnic and go for an outing. Talk about your childhood and refresh your golden memories. If not going out, sit with your family on the lawn or watch some movie together. Being around your loved ones promotes positive energy and mental health.
Do anything you love to do
Mental health day is your day. You do whatever you like to do. If you like reading, read a good book. If you love painting, paint something. Try to practice your hobbies. Don’t waste your day scrolling through Facebook or watching videos on the Internet. Get up and do something fun which helps you relax.
Consult a therapist
If you’re consulting a therapist already, try to arrange some extra sessions during the mental health days. If not, try consulting a therapist then. A therapist will help you stabilize your mental health through essential psychological counseling and can suggest some life-changing therapies.
Practice relaxation techniques
Mental health day is a bonus for you. Make the most out of it. Relax as much as you can. Practice meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques. You can attend a yoga class, go to the gym or swimming, or get a massage. Avoid eating unhealthy food, smoking, drinking alcohol, etc. Make your routine as healthy as you can.
How to talk to your boss about a Mental Health Day?
Now that you know that your mental health is a little upset and you need a day off, the question here arises that how will you take a day off. How will you convey your issue to your boss and what will you say? Well, we’re here to help you with that as well. Here are some tips that can help you talk to your boss about a mental health day.
- First of all, you need to prepare what you’ve to say. You cannot go blank before your boss so write down what you want to say and rehearse a little bit.
- Be concise and straightforward. When talking to your boss, don’t drag the talk with unnecessary stories. Be precise about what you want to say and tell your boss right away.
- Be polite and talk in a soft tone. You need to make him understand what you’re going through and why do you want to take a leave. Don’t lose your temper or cry, try to be as stable as you can.
- If you don’t feel comfortable about stating mental health as a reason for leave, then don’t. Don’t stress yourself about what is your boss or colleagues going to think. If you think the work culture of your office isn’t open enough to understand the issue then don’t state the real reason, instead, state an emergency.
- You need not be sorry about how you feel. Feelings, thoughts, and emotions are natural should never be judged.
Breaks are a must-have for anyone. You cannot keep working 24/7 throughout the year. We are human and our brain is likely to exhaust at some time. Mental health days are the must-have break you need, to take care of your mental health. They help you to rectify the damage caused by your stressful work routine. These mental health days help you do whatever you like to do, keep serious mental illnesses at bay and prevent any severe cognitive damage.
After receiving his undergraduate degree in psychology, Scott went on to work as a teacher and educational counselor while working towards his master’s degree. He has spent several years working with children and adults and has personal experience with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Dyslexia, and Depression.