It is all too common for Americans to treat a mental health day as just another personal day off. Taking a mental health day is not an inconvenience – it is a necessity! You should make sure that your mental health day gets the respect that it deserves and spend that time truly rejuvenating yourself. But what should you give your mental health day?
Give it Purpose
Spend some time thinking through why you need the mental health day. Are you overwhelmed at work? Is there strain on external relationships? Determining the reason behind your mental health day is the first step in making sure that you give it purpose. Find a purpose for your mental health day that falls in line with your wants and needs at that time. Use this day to unplug, de-stress, or just have some fun.
Give it Priority
It is easy to decide that you don’t need a mental health day or that you just don’t have time for it. Both of these are false assumptions. Everyone needs a day to recharge, regardless of job or age. Giving mental health days priority will make sure that you do have time for them and that you value them as well. Set expectations with your employer and coworkers on your views of the importance of them before taking mental health days to ensure that they understand and respect your decisions.
Give it Structure
Don’t be tempted to treat your mental health day as just an extension on the weekend. Be careful to not pretend it is just a midweek Saturday. Wake up at a normal time and plan proactive ways that you can give your mind a break. Plan a healthy breakfast, meditate and possibly even exercise to help yourself de-stress. Giving your mental health day structure will help you get the most out of it.
Give it Goals
Do you have a book you have been waiting to get to? Is there a hiking trail that you have wanted to try out? Spend some time setting goals for your mental health day ahead of time to help you accomplish exactly what you need. Determine how you want to spend your time – in or out of the house, within or away from the company of people. Answering these questions will help make sure that your mental health day is productive and relaxing.
Giving your mental health day priority, structure, goals and a purpose is a great step in ensuring that they will be more productive. Take advantage of these days to truly work on your mental health and recover from the stress of your work routine. Don’t be afraid to take a mental health day but make sure that you make it as beneficial as possible!