What Is a Mental Health Day?

Benefits of Taking a Mental Health Day

There are many benefits to taking a mental health day. Some of the more essential ones include:

1. Reduce stress and anxiety

The number one benefit of taking a mental health day is to reduce the amount of work stress and anxiety you’re experiencing. You also don’t have to work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment, like an ER or the stock market, to experience job stress and anxiety. 

Almost all jobs come with at least some degree of stress. It might be from deadlines, a demanding boss, productivity requirements, or just having to get the kids ready and off to school so you can get to work on time every morning. Whatever the reason for your job stress levels, taking a day away from it can allow you to relax and re-energize.

2. Help you refocus

When you step away from a stressful situation, even if it’s just for a few hours, you can begin to look at your job more objectively. If you’ve been distracted, felt stuck, or have simply been unmotivated to perform at your best level, spending some time away from the office can help you turn things around. 

Taking some “me-time” can do more than just recharge your mental state, though. It can also help you evaluate whether what you’re feeling is from being tired and overworked, or if there’s something more going on. If it’s the latter, it might be time to switch jobs or careers. A mental health day is great for giving you a better perspective.

3. Increase productivity

Workers are less productive when they feel tired and stressed. A recent study by the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita found that there’s a negative correlation between stress and productivity.

Essentially, what this means is the higher your stress level is, the lower your productivity might tend to be. By taking a mental health day to reduce the amount of stress you’re feeling, you can return to your job with an automatic increase in productivity.

4. Alleviate physical health problems

Other studies cite burnout as a likely contributor to somatic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a lowered immune response. These potential consequences of a stressful job should be a motivator to take care of yourself and your mental health. 

5. Combat job burnout 

Lastly, taking a day off for your mental well-being every once in a while can help you feel rewarded and satisfied with your job. Feeling overwhelmed and undervalued isn’t just a job burnout culprit, though. 

Research shows us that burnout can be linked to depression. It’s also become a legitimately acceptable reason for sick leave in multiple countries. 

“A mental health day is beneficial because it provides a break from stress. These days can provide a much-needed break to recharge, destress, and come back with more energy and a fresh perspective. It can also help prevent burnout even from a job you love.”

Talkspace therapist Reshawna Chapple, Ph.D., LCSW

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