The Benefits of Taking a Mental Health Day
July 11, 2020
From time to time, everyone needs what many have coined a “mental health day.” It’s a day off from work, a day away from screens and other obligations, or a little time to escape the pressures and frustrations of everyday life.
“We all have a point at which we get overwhelmed, we’re engaging in unhelpful behaviors, and our thought processes become very negative,” said McLean’s Andrew M. Kuller, PsyD, ABPP.
“If you’re feeling stressed out and drifting away from a healthy set of behaviors, those are things you could think about and try to rectify by taking a mental health day.”
Keep Reading To Learn
- How to overcome the stigma associated with taking time off to prioritize mental health
- How to get the most out of your mental health day
- Why unplugging can be just as valuable as a day off
Despite the positive effects of a mental health day, many people do not take them. Some individuals do not want to be thought of as weak or unable to handle daily pressures. Some do not want to be thought of as having a mental illness.
“There is definitely stigma associated with mental health, and some companies don’t advocate that people take a day off to focus on self-care,” Kuller stated.
Company culture dictates how you request time off for mental health. In some cases, you talk directly with your supervisor, and in others you, work with the human resources department. “I think you have to use discretion and really understand what type of work environment you are in,” he said.
Regardless of your job climate, it’s still beneficial to find a way to focus on your mental well-being.
Getting Back on Track
So how do we make sure that we are getting the most out of our mental health day? What can we do to truly calm down and get back on track?
For Kuller, a senior clinical team manager at McLean’s Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program, the key is mindfulness. “For somebody to get the most out of a mental health day, being mindfully present is very important,” he said. “You don’t want to just listlessly drift through the day.”
This doesn’t mean making a to-do list, but rather, putting in effort to have an intentionally low-stress, relaxing day.