When was the last time that you had a mental health day off, an actual day off where you completely unplug yourself from work and not check emails while at home or answer business calls at the dining table?
When the demands of your job start taking over your life, then it’s time for a much-needed mental health day off. You shouldn’t let your work demands cause you stress and anxiety. Save yourself from depression by taking a mental health day off.
We only have one life to live, so we must learn how to balance it. Our mental health is as important as our physical health. Both have to be present for us to enjoy a healthful and fulfilling life. This is why taking a mental health day off is essential to our mental health and physical well-being.
What Is a Mental Health Day Off?
Mental health day off is just like taking a day off but is specifically meant for stress relief and to prevent burnout. It is a break that focuses entirely on your mental health, giving you a chance to take a pause, recharge, and rejuvenate.
It is a great way to rest and reset your perspective towards work when your stress levels have already reached their peak. An ordinary day off may not be enough to deal with burnout, but taking a mental health day off can surely give you a well-deserved break.
Signs You Need to Take a Mental Day Off
If you’re a workaholic, you probably refuse to take a break until you really feel ill or need to see a doctor. You are most likely exhausting yourself too much, which is not good for your physical and mental health. If not addressed properly, it can cause physical illnesses or serious mental health issues.
Here are some signs that will tell you that your body is screaming for you to take a mental health day off.
1. When You Feel Anxious and Depressed During Working Hours
You need a mental health day off if the usual work drama that you and your co-workers used to laugh at has started to affect you emotionally. If you have become easily irritable, anxious, sad, and have lost interest in tasks that you normally enjoy, then you are experiencing workplace depression.
Having these depressive symptoms at work means you are not effectively handling your stress. Experiencing these signs can affect your level of thinking and productivity in the workplace.
2. Over-Reliance on Caffeine to Complete a Day’s Work
You will know that you are mentally tired when you consistently need a refill for your cup of coffee to enhance your concentration and boost your mood during work.
Caffeine is a stimulant that gives you a rush of energy and can put your body in fight or flight mode. It can heighten your senses and increase your energy after you consume a cup, but as the effects wear off, you will feel tired and lethargic.
Getting your job done with the help of caffeine consumption might work for you for some time, but depending on it until the end of the week will leave you feeling heavy and sluggish each time the effects of caffeine wear off.
3. If You Have Recurring Headaches and Easily Get Sick
Increased anxiety and pressure in the workplace can manifest in multiple physical ways. When you have already used up all your sick days and vacation time but you still feel sick and tired, then you need another break that focuses more on self-care and mental wellness.
If work stress is continuously causing you physical illness and pain, and you know that it will continue no matter how much effort you put into avoiding it, this means you need a mental health day off.
4. When You Constantly Feel Disconnected
Overworking and feeling obligated to cope with the demands of life’s responsibilities that you sometimes forget to come up to the surface for a breath of fresh air could lead to serious mental health issues.
The feeling of being trapped in a situation like your job where you are overworked or undervalued can cause you to disconnect from your true self. Our subconscious mind has this ability to trigger a mechanism that can allow us to separate ourselves from our feelings and emotions as a response to stress.
When these stress responses are triggered repeatedly for a long period of time, it can lead to more stress, depression, anxiety, and other long-term mental health issues and medical problems that will require medical treatment.
Finding yourself withdrawing from your loved ones due to demands at work is a sign that you need to reconnect with yourself. You need to take a quick mental health day off and put your job aside for a while to restore your connection with yourself and the most important people in your life.
How Do You Take a Mental Health Day Leave?
Everyone has different needs and reacts individually toward stress. A self-care day will always be different for each person. Some would wish to spend the day with their family, while others would want to spend it alone and take time to reconnect with their inner self.
Self-care is something that you do that helps you relax your mind and body. It consists of practices that fill you with energy essential if you want to promote and enhance your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Take mental health leaves not just because you’re sick, but because your mental health needs it, and spend them entirely on self-care and personal time. It doesn’t matter whether you sleep on the couch the whole day or read a book in front of your porch while sipping a cup of tea as long as it keeps your mind off your work stressors.
How to Tell Your Employer That You Need A Mental Health Day Off
Every company has its own employment rights, and it is important that every employee is aware of what they are. You must be knowledgeable of your company’s time-off and day-off policies for you to arrange mental health leaves for yourself.
The easiest way to get your requested personal mental health day off approved is by calling in sick. But there are some companies that prioritize the overall wellness of their employees and welcome the idea of their workers taking time off to take care of themselves.
There are companies that do not have a handbook or policies that cover the employees’ rest days and sick leaves. If this is the case in the company you work for, your responsibility is to inform your boss and arrange a scheduled sick time with him according to the company’s culture.
How to Spend Your Mental Health Day Off Well
As human beings, it is natural to feel tired and irritable when we deal with work-related stressors. But picking fights with your co-workers and being continuously on edge are signs that you have to re-assess yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically.
A mental health day off will help you regenerate and release aggressive vibes that are stressing you out and straining your relationships with others. Going for a massage during your day off can ease up those sore neck muscles that contribute to your overall stress levels. A day at the beach with your family or friends can be helpful, too, if your goal is to refresh your mind and find a new perspective.
We all have our own way of taking care of ourselves. We have different wants and likes, and it is important that you know how you can provide yourself with a reset that will leave you positive and emotionally healthy.
How Often Should We Take a Mental Health Day Off?
There are no federal laws or company policies that dictate the number of times that you can take a day off to ease your mental burnout. The frequency of a mental health day off depends on a person’s coping strategies, stress tolerance, and workload intensity.
Ideally, everyone should actually take time to manage their stress every day and help their nervous system regulate itself. With just a 10-minute meditation and relaxation, we c already help our heart and body to destress, increase focus, and attain calmness.
Stressors are everywhere. They could be the demands from work or your friends and loved ones. Finding out how we can face life’s pressures is an important coping skill that can keep us from breaking down. Rewarding yourself with a well-deserved break and proper self-care is one way to keep your emotional, physical, and mental health in balance.
However, if you are still worried about your mental health and want to learn more about the benefits of a mental health day off, you can contact us at Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC). You can conveniently book an appointment through KCC Direct Service to avail our online mental health counseling services.