I think most of the time we forget about the option to take a mental health day. If you have sick days at work there is nothing wrong with taking a mental health day if you need it, in fact it’s probably the best thing you can do!
Mental health is tough because we can’t see it like a broken arm or a foot in a cast, but it is real and it is just as (if not more) impactful on our health than any physical injury.
Self.com came out with these 9 tips to make your Mental Health day work the best for you, and here’s the summarized version for you!
1. Think of mental health days as a regular tune-up, not damage control
All too frequently people think that they have to be hitting rock bottom and really struggling before they finally cave and take a break. By taking regular mental health days to reset your mind you prevent yourself from getting to that low point
2. Schedule Your Breaks!
Be proactive. Schedule your mental health days so that you can look forward to them, plan ahead for them, and prevent yourself from really getting to those low points
3. Literally Unplug From Work
This one is hard, I know, we tend to want to constantly be checking our phones for new emails and social media. I’m guilty of it like most of us, but establishing boundaries between your personal life, and personal health, and your work life is essential.
If you take a mental health day, put your phone in airplane mode and find ways to focus your mind on something completely different than work. For me it’s wood working, but any hobby will do.
4. Respect the Need to Do Nothing
Doing nothing can be a challenge when we train our minds to constantly be doing something, anything to stay busy. Research has proven that ‘multi-tasking’ and putting our focus on too many things at once is not only hard on our mental health, but we actually are less productive and don’t produce the best quality at work.
You will end up being more productive for your boss, at your workplace, if you take that mental health day and come back refreshed and energized. You’ll get twice as much done and the quality will improve too.
5. Connect with Other People
Social connection and interaction is an essential part of being human. We need those connections with people and it needs to be in person. Social media is deceptive because we think we are connecting with people. but we are actually becoming more isolated and lonely.
Go grab coffee with that friend of yours, have lunch with your parents or spouse, just find ways to connect face to face with people outside of your workplace.
6. Get Into Nature
Every summer my family takes a vacation road trip somewhere beautiful and I can’t tell you how amazing it makes me feel. I always come back feeling like a completely different person. The Black Hills, The Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, OR check out the long list of beautiful spots right here in Nebraska! CLICK HERE FOR 20 SPOTS THAT WILL REMIND YOU HOW BEAUTIFUL NEBRASKA IS!
7. Tackle That To-Do List
I love crossing things off a list. I do it at work daily, and I do it at home. A mental health day is the perfect opportunity to cross some things off of your personal list. The linear nature of lists is healthy because it allows us to complete one task then move on to the next.
8. Do Something Creative
My wife loves to make crafts with her Cricket, she loves to knit, and she loves to read books. I love to do woodwork, play music, and create entertaining audio/video projects.
Find something that you love to do that sparks that creative fire in your brain.
9. Remember That Mental Health Days Are NOT All-or-Nothing
As great as mental health days are, sometimes we put too high of expectations on them. Mental health days need to be regular, consistent, and then you’ll see major changes. Just one mental health day will make you feel better, but it’s not a cure all.
I struggle with Depression and Addiction and I have found these things to be crucial to my mental health: Regular exorcise, setting boundaries between work and personal life, working with my doctor to find the right balance of medications (this is only if you struggle with something like depression like I do), and mental health days that follow these 9 tips for success.
I wish you all the best as you work on your mental health. I’m still working on mine and it’s a one day at a time process. If you ever need help feel free to email me here: email@example.com.