Why You Should Take Mental Health Days

Why You Should Take Mental Health Days

Do you usually have vacation days leftover each year? Of course you do! Research shows that approximately 55 percent of Americans don’t use their paid time off. 

So, what gives? Why are we all so reluctant to take random days off from time to time? Is it because we feel guilty enjoying a TV binge while the rest of our contact list is nine-to-fiving-it? Or do we feel like we should hang onto personal days for necessities like a checkup at the dentist or other adulting type appointments that can only be done during bankers hours? Apparently, this happens a lot. 

Instead of trying to strategize the remaining days between the last few weeks of the year, let’s start the New Year strong and start taking mental health days throughout the year in order to get the self-care we deserve. 

If you’re worried that coworkers are judging you, or are wondering what you’re up to, trust us, no one is judging anyone for using a personal day. If anything, they’re probably a little envious and want to do the same! Or, they’re wondering what you’re up to on your day off. But that’s your business and exactly what personal days are for… it’s personal, after all! 

So, whether it’s scheduled in advance, or upon waking you feel like you just need the day, let’s skip over the guilt and start enjoying the benefits of self-care days.  

Enjoy The Benefits

You know those days when every project feels like a grind and you’re bouncing from one thing to the next because you just can’t focus? This is when a Mental Health Day can come in handy. Not only will it promote relaxation, but it can also boost productivity. You’ll hit the ground running the next day, ready to tackle everything with verve. 

Or, on the other hand, maybe things are going great at work, but you still think, “This is a good time to take a day off.” Take the day then! Mental Health days don’t always have to happen because you need a break. If you’re feeling good, roll with it. Maybe you just want a day alone while your kids and your spouse are out of the house, or you want to have lunch with a friend. Either option is great! 

Make The Most Of It

Go for a massage, meditate, enjoy a leisurely walk, or read that popular novel everyone’s talking about (before it gets made into a movie). If you don’t feel like doing any of those things and just want to chill, it’s approved. A cozy day on the couch or a lavender infused bubble bath followed by a long nap will do wonders for the psyche. Or, maybe you just need a day to tackle things at home because you can’t stand looking at the pile of laundry for one more second, or just want a day to prepare some healthy meals. Whatever the reason, you’ve earned it!  

What To Avoid

If you’re new to Mental Health Days, and in the past have only used your days for appointments or vacation, you really want to make the most of it and spend the day in a state of self-care. To do this successfully, avoid toxic people or exhausting personalities. Don’t go dipping into vices like junk food or other substances, don’t be doom scrolling and don’t dwell on issues that are bugging you, especially if it’s work related. Instead, focus on the positive! If it’s been a while, dig out the old gratitude journal. And as tempted as you may be – and WFH life has made this a little too accessible – don’t check your emails. The point is to step away and come back fresh tomorrow. 

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