It’s 6 pm and you practically sink into your couch after a long day. Even the thought of going to work tomorrow seems overwhelming. Does this draining scenario sound familiar? The truth is, you are not alone. In fact, 45% of workers have considered leaving a job because of stress. The workplace can be demanding at times, but it’s crucial to take care of yourself first. If you’re dealing with burnout at work, you may be in need of a mental health day!
Jump to restorative mental health day activities!
Why is a Mental Health Day Important?
As a modern day society, we’ve made great strides in mental health awareness. At the same time, mental illness is still stigmatized in many workplaces. This is a sad truth, especially considering that we’re reaching 2020! A lot of employees fear talking to their boss about stress or mental health struggles. This leads to a loss in productivity and morale for both the employee and company.
Employers would benefit greatly from promoting a healthy workplace. In fact, WHO found that when employers invest $1 into mental health care, they’d see a return of $4 in profit. Imagine the power of this figure in a larger scale!
It’s not surprising to think that employees flourish when they feel supported. This means that they have helpful resources at work, healthcare coverage, and proper breaks throughout the year!
Mental health plays a major role in your overall wellness. Like the body, your mind needs time to rest. Don’t feel guilty about needing a day off. Think of a mental health day as a way to clear your mind, relax, and come back even stronger!
Signs You Need a Day Off
You’re feeling burned out.
Burnout is a very real thing. At work, we tend to follow a designated timeline with set responsibilities for the day. Having routine is great, but sometimes abiding to a strict schedule can get draining. Personally, I work at a call center and receive similar questions from customers. When I am experiencing burnout, my mind feels foggy. Even the simplest questions become hard to answer!
Every once in a while, It’s important to get away from work. You’ll prevent longterm burnout by giving yourself a moment to breathe.
You need time for yourself.
When was the last time you really focused on yourself? I’m talking face mask, bubble bath, delicious dinner, the works! Self care doesn’t look a certain way. Maybe you’re a puzzle fanatic and haven’t finished your awesome 5,000 piece puzzle yet. Perhaps you’re super into music and don’t remember buying concert tickets in a while. It’s all about doing what you love and returning to work feeling refreshed!
You haven’t taken time off in a while.
Many of us think that if we take a break, the office will turn upside down while we are away! This is simply not true. Everything will be alright and things won’t suddenly fall apart!
You play a role in keeping the machine running smoothly. For this reason, you should be taking care of yourself. In order to do your job effectively, adequate rest and breaks are necessary. When you do eventually return to work, you’ll be ready to take on the day!
You want to press reset and organize your life.
If things are getting hectic outside of work, you need to press the reset button. We’ve all been there before. There are only 24 hours in a day after all! Work can be all consuming, which may lead you to put personal matters on the back burner. A day off is the perfect time to take a literal “pause” and prioritize your commitments.
Lately, you don’t feel productive at work.
It’s the end of a workday and you still haven’t completed your tasks for the day. You can’t even relax after work because you’re thinking about tomorrow. Unfortunately, this is another common scenario for many people. The truth is, you can’t do your best job if you’re running on empty. Thinking about work 24/7 isn’t good for your health and actually leads to a decrease in productivity.
If you notice your productivity dipping lately, it may be time for a mental health day.
How to Take a Mental Health Day
If possible, plan your day off ahead of time.
If you can, schedule a mental health day in advance. In order to avoid burnout, make sure you’re taking enough breaks throughout the year. Classify your day off as a personal or vacation day. This way, you can take off on Friday or Monday for an extended break.
Maybe you don’t have a conventional five day workweek. Check your schedule and find the most convenient day. For example, I work the evening shift during the weekdays and mornings on Saturdays. I usually schedule time off on Saturday so I have the whole weekend off.
Basically, plan your day off so that the timing works for your needs and schedule.
Understand your company’s culture.
This step is important, because the topic of mental health is still “taboo” for some companies (upsettingly enough).
No company is the same, so make sure that you’re protecting yourself first. You may feel comfortable talking to your manager. In this case, it’s great to have an open dialogue with them about mental health and wellness at work. More than likely, they’ll start implementing ways to make your workplace even better!
Perhaps management at your job isn’t understanding, though. If you’re not feeling comfortable, it’s perfectly fine to keep things general. You can say something like, “I’m feeling under the weather today. I think I need a day off so that I can come back more productive tomorrow.”
Call in sick.
If you’re having a bad mental health day, it’s okay to call in sick. Remember that you’re only human. You are not going to feel great every single day. Also keep in mind that just like physical illnesses, mental illnesses come with symptoms too. Your body may not feel 100% and that’s a signal you need to slow down. Allow yourself a day to truly unwind and rest.
I know it’s tempting, but avoid checking your work email. Keep your phone on mute and shut down all electronic devices. Don’t bring your work laptop home with you. Today is about you. That email, text, or phone call can wait until tomorrow.
Always show kindness to yourself.
Lastly, talk to yourself like a best friend. If someone you love was experiencing burnout, how would you speak to them? Wouldn’t you empathize with them and understand? You certainly wouldn’t talk down to them or judge their decisions. Sometimes, we are our own worst critics, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Remember to treat yourself with kindness and respect. 💛
21 Things to Do on a Mental Health Day
1. Grab a few magazines and make a dreamy collage.
You can frame the collage and use it as a decorative piece for your room! I made a dream board back in April and still adore it! 💗
2. Take a walk in a botanic garden near you.
Do a search on Google and find a botanic garden in town. They scenery is super calming and beautiful. You’ll feel renewed after seeing all the beautiful flowers and plants! 🌼
3. Go to the gym.
Even a 20 minute workout can help relieve anxiety and stress!
4. Write out your feelings.
It’s cathartic to get your feelings down on paper. Consider doing a brain dump or simply write an entry in your journal!
5. Try a new beverage at your local smoothie shop.
You can even make a delicious smoothie at home. I love this spiced pear smoothie by Yolanda at Put The Kettle On. Her recipe is perfect for fall! 🍁
6. Cuddle up with your pet.
Because puppies always make everything better. And kitties….and basically any pet, y’all! 🐶
7. Make a healthy lunch.
Prepare a yummy and healthy lunch, like avocado pesto pasta!
8. Visit a cute beach town.
Chill by the boardwalk, check out local shops, and grab an ice cream cone! 🍦
9. Get a fancy manicure.
I’m talking blush pink nails and sparkle!
10. Have a cup of tea.
Open the window, sit in your kitchen, and enjoy a nice cup of tea. ☕
11. Browse for knick knacks at Marshalls.
Who can resist all of their adorable home decor?! I recently bought a new decorative pillow from them and love it! 💓
12. See a live concert at a coffee shop.
Going to an acoustic concert is such an intimate and awesome experience. See what artists are playing near you!
13. Sit on your porch.
Grab a book and relax for a while. 📚
14. Run a soothing bubble bath.
A classic way to unwind. Look for calming scents like lavender or vanilla. I recommend the Aromatherapy line from B&BW. Their Lavender Vanilla Bubble Bath is still my absolute favorite!
15. Write a fun review for your favorite movie.
Analyzing a movie that you love is always so interesting. (Maybe it’s just the English-writing major in me talking lol!) You can even share the review through an online publication, as a blog post, or with your friends!
16. Play music and tidy up your place.
Turn up the volume on your radio and do the dishes. Dancing to a catchy song makes cleaning a lot funner! 🎶
17. Take a cat nap.
Snuggle up with your coziest blanket and take a much needed nap!
18. Pick a musical artist and listen to their entire album.
Right now, I’m revisiting Landon Pigg’s album The Boy Who Never and it’s still so good after all these years. His music video for “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop” is absolutely adorable!
19. Enjoy a comforting bowl of soup.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as a bowl of soup. I recommend this Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe. We made it for dinner the other day and it was amazing!
20. Organize your closet for fall.
Start switching out a few summer outfits with sweaters, jeans, and cardigans. Fall isn’t until September 23, but it’s a good idea to get prepared!
21. Light a candle and watch an episode of Say Yes to the Dress.
Say Yes to the Dress is my absolute guilty pleasure. I love seeing all the pretty wedding dresses! If you want to smile today, watch any episode featuring Randy Fenoli! 💞
I hope that you enjoyed this post, lovelies! Have a great rest of your Friday! x
What do you like to do on your days off? Also, when was the last time you took a mental health day?
I’m one of those people who always feels guilty when they take time off even if I’m sick, I get paranoid people will think less of me or I’m letting people down but that’s an unhealthy way to be. I find it hard to let go sometimes and truly relaxing is something I don’t find easy, my mind is always racing and thinking about what’s to come rather being present. These ideas hit the nail on the head and it’s ok to take time out sometimes and look after yourself <3
Nunzia Martino says
I’ve always been the same way when it comes to taking time off, Chanelle.
I used to agonize over it and never even relaxed when I scheduled time off. That’s why I wrote this post. It’s such an important topic and a lot of people struggle with taking a step back.
I’m learning slowly that we all need time for ourselves and you’re not lesser than for taking a break. We’re only human and can’t be on the go 24/7. It’s just not healthy and looking after ourselves is absolutely essential!! 💗
Good job Nunzia . At work our mental health is a workshop relating to that, guess that’s ok rather have a day off instead . Lol!
Nunzia Martino says
Aww, thanks Ma!! It’s so good to hear that your job has workshops about mental health! More workplaces need to implement things like that because the topic is extremely important! Love you! x
Great post Nunzia! Mental Health is just as important as physical health, though so many people don’t take it seriously! On a day off I like to do face masks, have a healthy lunch or eat junk food (it really depends 😂) and watch a “guilty pleasure” music! Thanks for sharing all those ideas!
Nunzia Martino says
Thank you so much for your kind words, Juliette!! 💛I agree and wish there was more coverage about mental health in general. It truly affects your overall wellness, so should definitely be taken seriously. All of those day off activities sound wonderful!! I’m really in need of a face mask at the moment lol!! Thanks so much for reading, hon! x