Take a Day Off!

Reasons Why You Should Take a Mental Health Day

Have you ever pulled yourself out of bed, trudged into work, and tried your best to focus on something that normally takes half the time...only to go home and spend the night dreading going back in the next day?

If so, you might need a new job. Or maybe just a day off.

No matter if you work to live or live to work, burnout is a very real phenomenon.  Too often people ignore the signs their body is giving them to go into work another day. Whether those signs are physical, like a runny nose, or mental, we shut them down to focus on work. And thus starts the vicious cycle described earlier.

Taking a day off to do something you love will help you to feel refreshed and productive in a different sense. Here are some reasons why you should use your PTO, vacation, sick time, whatever your organization calls paid or accrued time off.

  • It’s okay to not feel like going to work once in awhile (again, if it’s every day, then more change is needed than just a mental health day). Part of knowing ourselves is knowing our proclivities and assumptions, and how to master them. So recognize these feelings, and what they mean, when they do come up.

  • Time off helps us re-center and turn off the autopilot that governs the workweek. It’s time that should be spent in relaxation doing things you want to do. The kinds of things that you don’t get around to do because you’ve been stressed out at work. Reading, painting, walking, Netflixing, however you want to spend your time, go for it. Just make sure to avoid those things you think you should do on your mental health day, like laundry or cleaning the bathroom.

  • Just like our bodies, our minds do better when they get some exercise and experience some variety. Taking a break from the humdrum of our work lives and allowing our minds to stretch a little helps them become more efficient. It becomes easier to make those kinds of cross connections that are the hallmark of creativity.

Taking a day off is good for you as well as your workplace. After engaging in your mental health day, you’ll be refreshed and relaxed, ready to take on the world. Okay, okay, you might not feel exactly like jumping back into work, but the break you take will make you more creative and productive. It’s also important to keep in mind that mental health is more than just one day--you need enjoyable activities to help balance you out. Make sure you’re taking  time each day to do some things you love.


Are you a member? Log in to earn your points.

Don't have access? Talk to your employer about getting started.