We all have constantly fluctuating levels of stress that we manage on a daily basis. Those who have symptoms of depression or anxiety find it especially challenging to manage their stress levels. When you begin to feel stressed or worn out, your productivity can show a significant decrease. Many companies have policies in place to allow their employees what are called “personal days,” which can be used when you need to take a day to focus on your mental health. If you are beginning to feel more regularly overwhelmed, are easily irritated, always busy, or feel burnt out, a mental health day might be exactly what you need.
What is a Mental Health Day?
A mental health day is a day that is dedicated to stress relief, burnout prevention, and relaxation. These days should be used to recharge your batteries and get your mind back in a positive space to continue working. Managing stress does not have a specific how-to guide because everybody takes on and releases stress differently.
Some people may want to take advantage of the day and make it all about relaxation - treating themselves to a spa day, massage, or resting in the comfort of their own home. Others may tackle something that has been put on hold in their personal lives such as house cleaning, personal projects, and family matters. Use this day to ensure that your mental health is cared for and acknowledged. Whatever you need to do to feel more like yourself, this is the day to do it!
When Should I Take a Mental Health Day?
If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed or notice that you have trouble focusing or concentrating on work or your personal life, you may want to think about taking a mental health day. If you feel like your life is revolving around your work or you do not have enough time in the day to get everything done that you want to, one day away from your regular schedule might be just what you need. You may also notice that you have days where you just feel “off” - not necessarily feeling sick or like you cannot function, but just not entirely like yourself.
It can be easy to ignore our mental health to ensure that we get everything on our to-do list done, but you have to remember to make yourself a priority every once in a while. Paying attention to your body’s signals will let you know when it’s time for a break. Your mental health is just as important to your overall well-being as your physical health, so it’s important to treat it that way. When you notice that you are not on the top of your game, it may be time to consider taking a day for yourself to recharge.
Take the Day!
Listen to your body and mind – they’re great at giving you signs when you need a break. Feeling overwhelmed and having trouble focusing can indicate you’re burning out and becoming too stressed to work efficiently. Burnout happens when we “go, go, go” and don’t make time for ourselves or take a mental “inventory” of how we’re doing. Set aside some time to let your mind and body rest, allowing your mental batteries to recharge and do what you need to do to care for yourself.
If you think you may need a mental health day, then take one! Allow your mind and body the time to heal themselves to avoid becoming too stressed or burnt out from stretching yourself too thin. This is not to say that you should run away from things that may be bothering you. Instead, find a good stopping place on all your projects, take a step back, enjoy a day of clarity, and come back to your daily life with more energy and determination than before. You deserve it!