In this day and age, it seems as though our society is constantly on the move. Parents are flitting between their high-demand careers and home, where their families await with their own set of needs, desires, and scheduled commitments. Teenagers are slaving away, poring over their schoolwork, extracurricular and volunteer activities in order to secure a spot at a reputable college — or, in the case of college students, to secure a well-paying job after graduation.
With these intense schedules and high expectations, it is easy to understand why stress levels are at an all-time high across nearly all age cohorts, as well as why so many individuals seem to be perpetually tired, short-tempered, or just blatantly burnt out.
Given these overwhelming factors, perhaps it is time we look further into a proven solution for stress, exhaustion, and burnout: mental health days.
For adults young and old, the concept of taking a mental health day may seem taboo, as they believe it makes them appear weak and disorganized — especially to their superiors. However, this misconception is often the leading cause of burnout and distress, as the body is clearly stating it is tired and in need of recharging, yet one still ignores these pleas and chooses to put on a positive, hard-working front — sometimes, in vain.
Therefore, with that in mind, let us take a closer look at mental health days, their benefits, and why more companies should encourage their utilization.
The Benefits of Taking Mental Health Days
It is a proven fact that taking a day — or even two — to step back from work and focus on one’s peace and mental well-being actually boosts productivity and morale. This is because these days off can be utilized for eliminating stressors — such as bills or other monthly commitments that plague one’s mind — or to implement some much-needed self-care tactics.
By completing these tasks, one can be left feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the next work day with a fresh perspective.
Why Taking Mental Health Days Should be Encouraged
Taking a mental health day is all the more refreshing when one can be honest with their superior about why they are taking a step back and staying home.
Firstly, no person feels genuinely good about lying, and feigning a physical ailment in order to take a sick day only generates greater feelings of guilt. This could cause so much stress and anxiety that it could actually counteract the positive effects of one’s day off.
Secondly, a level of transparency between an employee — or student — and their superior builds trust, and also ensures that one is not merely taking advantage of a sick day policy in order to get out of work or class.
Finally, by being more open about why one needs to focus on their own well-being can have the power to change the conversation that surrounds mental health, and even alter a company’s sick leave policies.
What is your perspective on this topic? Please leave a comment below, or start a conversation with Elissa Levan on Twitter!