Why You Should Never Hesitate to Take a Mental Health Day

Taking sick days for physical health is commonplace, but the practice of taking time off work to tend to your mental health is more of a gray area.

Many companies have policies for mental health or personal days, but it can still be hard to take time off when you simply need a mental break. You may feel guilty or hesitant to use one of your precious PTO days and push yourself to show up anyway.

Yet, when you’re feeling too stressed, you and your work suffer, potentially leading to issues that can hurt your performance and co-workers. Knowing when to take a mental health day for yourself is crucial to maintaining your overall health and well-being, both in and outside the workplace.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to take a mental health day.

When to take one

“If you feel overwhelmed, stressed, have trouble focusing or concentrating on work or at home, or are more irritable, then you may want to consider taking a mental health day. If you think about your life as a plate with sections for work, family, life, and things you like to do, and the plate is overflowing in all areas but the things you like to do, it is time for you to take a break and participate in self-care,” Dr. Ashley Hampton, a licensed psychologist and systems strategist, tells Healthline.

But remember that your mental health is just as important to your overall well-being as your physical health. Just like any bout of illness or bodily distress, your mind needs time to rest and recover.

We aren’t talking about the usual Sunday scaries, or just feeling bored or not excited to go into the office. If you wake up and feel especially stressed, down, or anxious — at a level that impairs your functioning — it’s time to consider taking the day off.

Of course, sometimes you just feel unexplainably “off.” It’s OK to take the day to yourself then, too. Use your personal judgement and listen to your mind and body. Everyone needs a mental health day from time to time.

What to say to your boss

Unfortunately, the debate over mental health days is still prevalent in many companies. Meaning, what you say to your boss is important.

“In terms of mental health days at work, I highly encourage using sick time to take care of mental health,” Hampton says.

“How to go about taking a mental health day can be tricky. I encourage everyone to determine what specific company policy is before saying anything about mental health. Not all company policies consider mental health a viable reason to take a sick day. In this case, it would be preferable to simply ask for sick time in a way that is consistent with company culture,” she says.

It may be frustrating if you’re unable to directly explain why you need time off, but as long as you’re honest in that you’re sick, not specifying it’s for your mental health is fine.

When you’re requesting time off, it’s OK to be brief. You don’t need to go into detail about why you’re taking a sick day or mental health day (unless you want to), but don’t feel like you need to justify or explain it to anyone.

Note: There are some reasons why a person wouldn’t have to tell their employer why they’re taking a day off. This is the case if the reason is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Click here to learn more.

Just like you’d treat any sick day, do things that make you feel better.

“On your mental health day, focus completely on yourself. It isn’t a day to catch up on laundry or email or cleaning your home or even running errands. Design your mental health day completely for you and about you,” Hampton says.

“If you enjoy having a massage, reading a book, watching a movie, then do those things. If you are going to take a day off work, make every minute count. The goal is to reduce any negative emotions, like stress and overwhelm,” she adds.

Of course, if doing laundry or cleaning is therapeutic for you — either because of the actual chore itself or the feeling of accomplishing a task — then knock yourself out! Just make sure whatever you’re doing makes you feel more at ease and relaxed. For some people, that could mean doing a puzzle. For others, it could mean scrubbing the bathtub.

“Give your brain a break, and do activities that you enjoy. Completing fun activities will help you relax and remind you what it feels like to take care of yourself and not everyone else all the time,” Hampton says.

Mental health days can also be a great time to practice self-care, whether that means doing a 12-step skin care routine or going for a jog in your favorite park. It may also mean sitting in bed all day watching Netflix and eating cereal. Self-care looks different for everyone.

Spend your mental health day doing things you know are beneficial to your mental and physical health. You don’t have to learn how to knit or get a facial if you aren’t sure whether it will make you feel better. Try making a list of activities that bring you joy and lift your spirits. Consult it if you need some inspiration.

If you already see a therapist and you feel like you’d benefit from an extra session during your mental health day, call them and ask if they have a slot available for an in-person or virtual session.

There are also free online counseling services, such as 7 Cups, which allows you to connect via text message to a trained volunteer to receive emotional support. You don’t have to go through a rough time alone.

Takeaway

It may feel weird at first to do things like getting a massage or sitting in the park on a day that you’d otherwise be working. But these activities can go a long way toward helping you feel better.

The important thing is to do what makes you feel good, not what you think you should be doing. Once you take your first mental health day, it’ll only be easier to take them in the future and not feel guilty about it.

The goal is not to get out of work; it’s to heal your mind so you can return feeling more relaxed, positive, and ready for a productive day. Mental health days are necessary for healthy, happy employees and a better workplace overall.

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/how-to-take-a-mental-health-day?utm_campaign=meetedgar&utm_medium=social&utm_source=meetedgar.com#5

2 weeks to go!

Join us for a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.
 
Saturday 5th October at Ruddington Grange.
 
Tickets: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Harmless-Celebration-2019

Join us in raising a glass to celebrate 12 years of suicide prevention
The celebration evening will mark a milestone in our work, as we celebrate our 11th anniversary, and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Each year we spend time with friends and colleagues, celebrating the work that we have done and the lives that we have saved and the money we raise on the night goes directly back into our life saving services.
Please come along and join is in what will be a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.
The Venue:
Ruddington Grange Golf Club, Wilford Road, Ruddington, NG11 6NB
The Date:
Saturday 5th October 2019
The Cost:
£40.00 per head
Or a table of 10 for £350 (£35 per head)
The Event:
Three course meal with raffle, silent auction, games & live music
Dress Code:
Smart
The purpose:
To raise enough money to save more lives!
Click here to buy tickets
http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Harmless-Celebration-2019

Join us in raising a glass to celebrate 12 years of suicide prevention
The celebration evening will mark a milestone in our work, as we celebrate our 11th anniversary, and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Each year we spend time with friends and colleagues, celebrating the work that we have done and the lives that we have saved and the money we raise on the night goes directly back into our life saving services.
Please come along and join is in what will be a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.
The Venue:
Ruddington Grange Golf Club, Wilford Road, Ruddington, NG11 6NB
The Date:
Saturday 5th October 2019
The Cost:
£40.00 per head
Or a table of 10 for £350 (£35 per head)
The Event:
Three course meal with raffle, silent auction, games & live music
Dress Code:
Smart
The purpose:
To raise enough money to save more lives!
Click here to buy tickets
http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Harmless-Celebration-2019

Will you be joining us?
 
The celebration evening will mark a milestone in our work, as we celebrate our 11th anniversary, and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Each year we spend time with friends and colleagues, celebrating the work that we have done and the lives that we have saved and the money we raise on the night goes directly back into our life saving services.
 
Please come along and join is in what will be a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.
 
The Venue:
Ruddington Grange Golf Club, Wilford Road, Ruddington, NG11 6NB
 
The Date:
Saturday 5th October 2019
 
The Cost:
£40.00 per head
Or a table of 10 for £350 (£35 per head)
 
The Event:
Three course meal with raffle, silent auction, games & live music
 
Dress Code:
Smart
 
The purpose:
To raise enough money to save more lives!
 
Click here to buy tickets
 
http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Harmless-Celebration-2019

Will you be joining us?
 
The celebration evening will mark a milestone in our work, as we celebrate our 11th anniversary, and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Each year we spend time with friends and colleagues, celebrating the work that we have done and the lives that we have saved and the money we raise on the night goes directly back into our life saving services.
 
Please come along and join is in what will be a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.
 
The Venue:
Ruddington Grange Golf Club, Wilford Road, Ruddington, NG11 6NB
 
The Date:
Saturday 5th October 2019
 
The Cost:
£40.00 per head
Or a table of 10 for £350 (£35 per head)
 
The Event:
Three course meal with raffle, silent auction, games & live music
 
Dress Code:
Smart
 
The purpose:
To raise enough money to save more lives!
 
Click here to buy tickets
 
http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Harmless-Celebration-2019

Be a life saver!

Did you know that you can easily give a monthly donation to our suicide prevention work?
 
Many people want to support our work but aren’t sure how to. Why not sign up to a small monthly donation and we will use the money to help people who need support and can’t get any elsewhere.
 
£5 a month would fund help to two crisis sessions across the year
 
£10 a month means 5 people would get help that wouldn’t have without your support
 
It doesn’t cost much to save a life- can you help us?
 
You can set up a monthly donation via this link here: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless/monthly

Will you be joining us?
 
The celebration evening will mark a milestone in our work, as we celebrate our 11th anniversary, and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Each year we spend time with friends and colleagues, celebrating the work that we have done and the lives that we have saved and the money we raise on the night goes directly back into our life saving services.
 
Please come along and join is in what will be a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.
 
The Venue:
Ruddington Grange Golf Club, Wilford Road, Ruddington, NG11 6NB
 
The Date:
Saturday 5th October 2019
 
The Cost:
£40.00 per head
Or a table of 10 for £350 (£35 per head)
 
The Event:
Three course meal with raffle, silent auction, games & live music
 
Dress Code:
Smart
 
The purpose:
To raise enough money to save more lives!
 
Click here to buy tickets
 
http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Harmless-Celebration-2019

Would you like to work for Harmless as part of our clinical or training teams?

Harmless are pleased to offer these exciting opportunities to join our passionate team and help us save lives. We are looking for dynamic individuals, who are willing to develop their skills; work outside the box and challenge themselves.

We are currently recruiting for the following positions to join our clinical and training teams:

  • Therapist (Nottinghamshire)
  • Suicide Bereavement Support Officer (Leicestershire, Derbyshire & East Midlands)
  • Training Team Administrator (Maternity Cover)

Applications for these positions will be accepted until further notice, but may close at any time and without notice. Please ensure you submit your application as soon as possible if you are interested in any of the roles listed. Successful candidates will be invited to attend an interview during September and October 2019

 

 

 


JOB TITLE: 
Therapist
(Nottinghamshire)

HOURS: 
Up to 37.5 hours per week
(Both part time and full time available)

SALARY:
Up to £23,250 per annum, pro rata
(Depending on experience)

(This position has been funded by a range of funders including, The Big Lottery Fund, Children in Need & Comic Relief).

Please note: Work as part of this role will take place across Nottinghamshire and driving will be a necessary part of the role; therefore, applicants will need to hold a valid driver’s license and have access to a car to be able to undertake the position.


JOB TITLE: 
Suicide Bereavement Support Officer (Leicestershire, Derbyshire & East Midlands)

HOURS: 
Up to 37.5 hours per week
(Both part time and full time available)

SALARY: 
Up to £21,819 per annum, pro rata
(Depending on experience)

Please note: Work as part of this role will take place across the East Midlands and driving will be a necessary part of the role; therefore, applicants will need to hold a valid driver’s license and have access to a car to be able to undertake the position.


JOB TITLE: 
Training Team Administrator
(Maternity Cover)

HOURS: 
Up to 37.5 hours per week
(Both part time and full time available)

SALARY: 
Up to £17,652 per annum, pro rata
(Depending on experience)


If you have any questions regarding these roles or the application process, please contact us:

Phone: 0115 880 0280
Email: admin@harmless.org.uk.