What is a mental health day?

More and more employers are coming to recognize that the mental health of their workers is just as important as their physical health, especially in high stress occupations. Realtors cannot make their best deal on an industrial space for sale when they're anxious and overtired. Accountants can make mistakes in their spreadsheets when they've grown disillusioned with their jobs. When this happens, the solution is to take a mental health day and recharge your mental batteries so you come back fresh and ready to work.

Many employers, such as the Government of Canada, include a certain number of mental health days in their employee benefits package which employees can use whenever they feel like they need it. Check with your employer to see if this type of benefit is extended to you. If it's not, you may have to use a sick day or vacation day. Those who are self employed, like a photographer for example, will have to schedule themselves a day off by rearranging their work commitments.

It may seem like a pain to arrange for a mental health day, but it's not. Most of the time all you have to do is call in sick. It's not a lie to say you are sick when you need a mental health day - an individual is just as unable to work when he or she is depressed as when he or she has a head cold. The best mental health days are taken on the spur of the moment, but in a pinch a pre-scheduled day or a rearranged schedule day can also work. It also doesn't have to be a whole day - just a morning or afternoon.

You might assume that on a mental health day you would have to seek some kind of counselling, but that's not what these days are about. They're about giving you a break from work and stress. So during your mental health day, do something you find fun or relaxing. You might go shopping, take a trip to the beach, visit a family member, go to a day spa, hike a trail, play with your dog, read a good book, go to a matinee, visit an art gallery, or whatever it is you feel like doing. The only rule is - no work! So leave your errands and household chores for another day.

So how do you know when you need to take a mental health day? It's difficult to define because it's all about how you feel. If you wake up feeling like you'd rather be mauled by a tiger than arrange one more business meeting or spreadsheet, if you cry at the idea of going to work, if your anxiety over going to work is making it hard for you to get ready, these are all indications you should take a mental health day before you burn out.

Our sponsors at Braids and Laces Limited are sure to provide their employees with a mental health day when needed. When you need arborist rope cordage, and even laces be sure to visit their website at Braidlace.com.

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