Ever feel like you need a break? A mental health day can help refresh and restore you. But how do you call one in? Here’s how to make sure it goes smoothly.
Take a step back. Recharge. Enjoy the comfort of self-care.
Caring for yourself is vital. A mental health day is not like a sick or personal day. It’s a proactive choice to take care of your physical and mental health, away from work or school. It’s important to recognize when you’re burnt out, overwhelmed, or struggling. If taking a break will help bring balance back to your life, it’s worth considering.
This guide will take you through the steps involved in taking a mental health day, and what to do once you’ve called in.
Understanding Mental Health
Mental health is an important part of life and should be taken seriously. There are many mental health issues, from serious illnesses such as anxiety and depression to chronic conditions including Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. These can affect daily functioning.
Treatment options depend on the type and severity of the illness.
Depression and anxiety are common, even without a diagnosed condition. To manage feelings, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, avoid drugs and alcohol, reduce caffeine, and seek social support or counseling.
Also, take a day to focus on mental health. This is called a ‘mental health day’. Here is advice on when and how to take one.
Benefits of Taking a Mental Health Day
A Mental Health Day is a time to think and relax. It helps people look after themselves, reduce stress, and feel better. Taking a mental health day from work or school can give lots of benefits. Such as better physical health, higher productivity, more creativity, better connections with colleagues or classmates, and less stress.
Physical health can improve with a mental health day. People can focus on eating well, exercising, and other healthy habits. Doing relaxing activities like yoga or reading can help the body feel calm. Scheduling regular mental health days gives people more sleep, which is important for both physical and mental health.
Regular days off can help people’s creativity. Taking a break from all the tasks can help people be productive and get new ideas. Mental Health Days also help people’s relationships. People can take care of themselves without arguments, so it’s easier to stay connected to people at work or school. When everyone has balance, it makes people work better together.
Preparing to Take a Mental Health Day
Take a mental health day? Plan it! Self-care = managing mental health. Step one: assess. Look for signs of burnout, depression, and anxiety. Consider physical and psychological needs.
Prepare a plan. Make concrete plans to beat uncertainty. Consider activities like journaling, exercise, and talking with someone. Get professional help if needed.
Communicate with those who need to know. Let them know what to expect. Give them contact info.
Finally, take some deep breaths and take your leave. All taken care of!
Calling in for a Mental Health Day
Sometimes, we need to step away from our routines and prioritize our mental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or struggling with a mental health issue, a mental health day may be the best option. Here are some tips for communicating this to your employer:
-Inform your supervisor/manager soon – Let them know as soon as you can about the day off.
-Be honest – Explain your need for the day off – you don’t have to go into detail.
-Get approval – Make sure they approve before taking the day off.
-Create a plan – Work with them to create a plan for completing any missed tasks. That way, expectations are clear when you return.
Making the Most of the Day
Making the most of a mental health day is imperative. Whether it’s for rest, stress relief, or both, there are many ways to make it beneficial.
First, do activities that bring calm. Examples include journaling, taking a bath, puzzles, and painting. Do these slowly, without rushing.
Second, do light exercise. This releases serotonin and helps relieve stress hormones. Pick something enjoyable like yoga or a nature walk.
Third, get enough rest. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep, if possible. Without it, bodies can’t heal as well and minds don’t gain clarity. Take time away from technology and playlists too. Optimal nighttime sleep requires complete blackouts.
Finally, remember that mental health days don’t equate to weakness. They are opportunities to become better versions of ourselves, by allowing space for relaxation and healing.
Returning to Work After a Mental Health Day
When you’ve had some time to relax, it’s important to plan for returning to work. Here are tips for easing back in:
Create a plan of action. Ask yourself what challenges you’ll face and how to manage them.
Be friendly and positive. Show a friendly face and stay upbeat.
Stay ahead of tasks. Renewed focus can help you manage daily tasks and combat stress.
Take notes during meetings. Catch up on changes and new projects.
Respect yourself and others. Thank those who helped cover for you and show respect for colleagues.
To wrap up, it’s essential to remember that taking a mental health day when you have been working hard is valid. So, take a break and look after yourself without feeling guilty or embarrassed.
Start by calling in for your day off the right way – be honest and courteous with your manager or HR – and work out the best plan for you according to your individual needs and work policies.