The Importance of Taking a Mental Health Day

Released On 9th Aug 2021

The Importance of Taking a Mental Health Day

Employers, is this a culture in your business?  Is it ever discussed at meetings? How would you respond if an employee asked for a day off for mental health recovery?

While taking time off due to physical illness is a familiar concept, employees should also consider doing so to maintain their mental well-being. Even the most committed and hardworking employees may eventually find themselves struggling with the daily grind, which may lead to burnout and various mental health issues.  

If you find yourself experiencing burnout or having other problems, it’s important to consider the value of taking a day off to take care of yourself. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a rise in mental health problems in the UK. In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, the proportion of UK adults experiencing depression nearly doubled during the pandemic.  

People who are struggling with their mental well-being may exacerbate their conditions by working themselves too hard. Furthermore, working when you are unwell can lead to performance issues, reduced productivity and damaged relationships with colleagues.  

Consider taking a mental health day if you notice yourself experiencing the following issues: 

  • Feelings of being overwhelmed 
  • Significant levels of stress 
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating 
  • Feelings of irritability or frustration 
  • Fatigue 

Consider maintaining an open and honest dialogue with your manager or supervisor regarding your mental health. Lying or making up a different reason for taking a day off may lead to even more stress or other problems. Consistent communication can also help managers understand your current state of mind; changes or adjustments may be made to your workload or schedule, potentially reducing the need for further mental health days in the future. 

When taking a mental health day, try to make the most of it by finding ways to be productive not related to work, such as: 

  • Catching up on chores around your home 
  • Exercising 
  • Eating healthy foods 
  • Socialising 

While it may be tempting to spend a mental health day eating unhealthy foods or lying on the couch, this may end up making you feel like you’ve wasted your day off. 

Perhaps it is time to examine the culture in your business to see if you have the balance correct!