6 Reasons You Should Take a “Mental Health Day” from Work

When most people think about taking a day off work it’s either because they’re sick or they have something urgent and pressing to do during the course of regular business hours. But, what about taking a day off just because? A day to regroup your mind? A Mental Health Day?

If you have a strong work ethic, you’re probably reading this and thinking that this is just an excuse for playing hooky from work. Admittedly, if you abuse this privilege, then you’re right.

It’s nothing more than an excuse to be lazy and not do your job. However, that’s not what a Mental Health Day is about.

Some people (maybe even you) work so hard that they don’t ever take a day off and allow their body and mind to just relax. Certainly you could argue that is what weekends are for, but the reality is that most Saturdays and Sundays are spent doing other things such as caring for the house, children or other family members. Rarely does one get a day just to herself.

The problem with this is that your mental health can falter just like your physical health so maybe it’s time for you to redefine “sick”. That way you don’t have to feel guilty when you call in to the boss and say that you’re staying home for the day.

In fact, here are six good reasons why a Mental Health Day from work may be just what the doctor ordered:

It improves your mood

reading book in park

If you’ve noticed that your mood is sour lately, that everything is “bad” instead of “good” and you’d just as soon set most people you pass on fire as opposed to smiling at them, a day off can do wonders for you.

It has the ability to let you see color again, even if all you’ve seen lately when you look around is black and grey.

Imagine that you know you don’t have to go to work tomorrow. Has a smile already crossed your face? See the positive results for your mood are instant. Picture how much better they get when you actually have the day off!

Look at it this way; you’re not helping your co-workers and boss if you show up to work every day with a scowl on your face. No one likes to work with someone who is unhappy all the time. So, take a day off and mentally readjust yourself so you don’t become the co-worker that no one can stand.

It lowers your stress levels

Life has a tendency to get awful heavy very quickly and if you don’t do something to relieve the pressure, you can crack. Maybe you’re already there. You have obligations upon obligations and never seem to have the time to do what you want to do versus what you have to do.

Not only does this make life a drag to live, but it also increases your levels of stress. The more you feel like life is a chore versus a joy, the worse you’re going to feel both mentally and physically. The stress of it all can eat you alive.

However, if you take a day to decompress, you’ll almost feel the stress and anxiety flow out of your body. You’ll have to answer to no one but yourself and that is relaxing in and of itself.

It may keep you from getting physically sick

Blonde Woman Having Home Bath

When you operate at top speed all of the time, you run the risk of making yourself physically sick. Your immune system becomes fatigued and has a harder time fighting off bugs and infections. Essentially, you make yourself physically sick.

That’s why a Mental Health Day is truly a sick day. It’s just a preventative one. It’s a day in which you allow your body to rejuvenate and heal so that you aren’t forced to take several sick days off because you’re truly ill.

It makes you more efficient

Sure, if you take Mental Health Days all of the time, your work is going to suffer. However, if you’re a bit of a work-a-holic, then one day off every so often may actually make you more efficient.

Sometimes you have to step away from a project to be able to see it more clearly. You can get so entwined that you start to miss the little things. It’s not that you’re being negligent, it’s just human nature.

Taking a day off, then, allows you to clear your mind and return to your work with a fresh set of eyes. It gives you the opportunity to renew your focus and drive so that you are more efficient and effective while you’re there.

It gives you time to think

Beautiful Brunette Woman Outdoor

Who needs time to think, right? You think all day long about everything and anything. You go over your to-do list and where you have to be when. Well, that’s not the kind of thinking that does you much good.

You need time to think about yourself. To explore how you’re feeling and where you’re headed in life. And, when you’re in the course of a regular, busy day those are likely things that aren’t even crossing your mind.

You’re so wrapped up in everyone and everything else that you’re not thinking about the one thing that matters most – yourself.

Taking a day every so often to reconnect with yourself and assess where you are in life is good for the soul. It either confirms that you’re on the right track or it signals that you’re not and suggests that you take a new direction. Both are very powerful, and very necessary.

Why not?

If you feel close to the edge and like one more thing happening is going to plummet you to your mental death, then instead of asking yourself why you should take a day off, you really need to be asking yourself why not?

What do you have to prove? Everyone knows that you’re a hard worker and efficient, so isn’t time to reward yourself with a full day just to regroup?

If you’re like most people, you’re enchanted with the idea of taking a Mental Health Day but you’re still concerned that it shows poor work ethic. You’re afraid that you’re going to let your boss and co-workers down if you aren’t at your desk or in the field, just as you are any other day.

The sad truth is that they will go on without you. Your work is definitely helpful and appreciated, but one day off will not stop the world from turning. They will step up and take care of what needs to be done. That being said, you can plan your day so that you’re not missing anything fundamental so you can have a full 24 hours without guilt or grief.

Don’t be afraid to recognize when you’ve had enough mentally and just need a break. And, don’t be too proud to take it.

You only live once. Make it the best life you can by attending to your mental health just as much as you attend to your physical. You won’t regret it (and…you might even like it).

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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