A lot of people feel guilty about taking a mental health day from work or life. But the benefits of these days, which are entirely for you to focus on you, are too great to ignore. Here’s why taking a mental health day is vital sometimes.
- It can reduce your stress levels. A mental health day can significantly reduce your stress levels. Taking just one day for yourself allows you to focus solely on looking after yourself. Often, we get so busy that we neglect some of our most basic needs. And having a day away from your regular responsibilities to focus on those can make you feel like you’re much more in control of your life.
- It makes you more productive. Contrary to popular belief, a mental health day actually makes you more productive. Research has shown that by reducing yourself and taking time out, you end up in a better frame of mind to continue with your work when you return. The same applies to non-career responsibilities, like parenthood. While it’s not always possible to take a day off from your kids, if you take some time out for yourself, you will likely find you have more energy to be a great parent afterward.
- It can boost your motivation. Taking a mental health day off can increase your motivation. Before taking one, you might feel stressed, jaded, and exhausted. That mindset can make you less likely to set goals and create a plan to work towards them. But mental health days can leave you feeling rejuvenated. This can take away some of the jaded cynical feelings and get you excited about your life again.
- They can prevent sick days. Interestingly, mental health days can prevent you from taking sick days. Sometimes, you end up feeling too sick to work when you ignore the need to look after yourself. When you don’t get enough sleep and you feel overwhelmed by stress, you can end up getting run down and sick. Then you’ll have to take a day off, whether you like it or not. And if you wait to get sick enough to take a sick day, the day is usually spent recovering from sickness rather than focusing on your mental health. So it’s not as productive as a mental health day can be.
- You’ll have the chance to process your emotions. Life is so busy that very few of us take the time we should to actually get in touch with our emotions. Instead, we tend to fly through life quickly, suppressing negative feelings and not truly embracing positive ones. With a mental health day, you can take the time to purely focus on processing your emotions. Work out what’s bothering you. Or what you’ve got to smile about, and actually appreciate. Getting in touch with your emotions can explain behaviors and thoughts you’re having that might not initially make sense. You can also move on from emotions once you’ve acknowledged and dealt with them.
More reasons to take a mental health day off
- It can prevent burnout. Unfortunately, if you don’t take a mental health day when you need one, you can end up completely burning out. This is a heightened level of stress where you feel completely physically and emotionally exhausted. And often, you can’t address burnout in just a single day. People sometimes take weeks, months, or longer to bounce back. Prevention is the best cure, so avoid burnout by taking mental health days as you need them.
- You can’t be there for anyone else if you’re struggling. Many people refuse to take mental health days because they don’t want to let other people down. They think if they take a day off, they’re not being productive in the workplace and they feel guilty. Or they’re disappointing their partner. But the truth is you can’t be there for anyone else if you don’t meet your own needs first. Your boss or your partner wants to see you at your best. And sometimes, you need to take a little time out to get there.
- It gives you time to re-evaluate. If you feel your life is busy, you probably don’t get a lot of time to re-evaluate. In other words, you rarely sit down and think about your decisions and life. Re-evaluating involves taking some time out and looking at your life objectively. Is it really working for you? Are you actually happy? Often, people get so wrapped up in setting and pursuing goals and just trying to stay afloat as an adult that they forget to ask these important questions. A mental health day gives you the chance to do just that.
- It will give you something to look forward to. It’s important to have something to look forward to in life. This can improve your mood when you’re feeling down. It can also stop you from feeling overwhelmed by the stress in your life. Knowing that you will be taking a mental health day gives you something to be excited about. Especially if it’s rare for you to take time solely for yourself, a mental health day is definitely something to get excited about!