Growing up around once a month I would tell my mom I couldn’t go to school because of some random ailment that she instantly could see right through. Whenever I couldn’t face my peers, or felt too stressed out about life, we would call it my “mental health day.” In practice, it was perfect, because I didn’t have to lie to her about why I couldn’t make it into school, and she didn’t have to wonder why I was pretending to be sick so often. These days are some of the fondest I have growing up; having the house to myself and dancing around naked and eating snacks with abandon.
Even though I’m an adult now, I still understand the value of a mental health day, which is why I’ve compiled 5 reasons you should email your boss now and take tomorrow off. Life is too short to always be so stressed, and mental health days are ideal for allowing you to feel like a normal person again.
1. It gives you a chance to practice the self-care you’ve been neglecting to give yourself.
Research shows that work is one of the leading causes of stress. When you’re working non stop and not giving yourself a break, the first person that suffers is yourself. When you allow yourself a mental health day you’re treating yourself with love and reminding yourself that you’re worthy of being happy and healthy. By giving yourself a random day off you’re telling your body: yes, please order in all this delicious food I will eat every bite of and yes, sleep until noon you deserve it. Mental health days well-spent remind ourselves that we need to treat ourselves with love and care.
2. You can nourish yourself with the comfort foods your body’s been craving.
Cooking is not easy, especially when you’re going full-force 24/7. Mental health days allow us to taker a step back and evaluate parts of our lives that we hadn’t fully considered previously. Such as, should I be ordering in take out every night during the week because by the time I get home I’m exhausted? When you take a day to yourself and tell yourself that you’re enough, you invest in things like putting amazing food into your body.
3. You’re allowing yourself a better headspace to be in when you return to work.
Research shows having time to decompress can actually help boost productivity and creativity. Even though you may feel guilty about missing work, the reality is that giving yourself a day off just to lounge around the house will allow you to refresh your mind and give your job 100% when you get back in. When we feel like we’re burning the candles at both ends, so to speak, we forget that we become lethargic and distracted at our jobs because our minds can only do so much. By giving yourself a day off you’re investing in your job performance and you’re able to enter the professional fray feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the week.
4. It allows you to get your priorities right.
We become so wrapped up in our own minds it is so easy to forget what matters in life. We’re usually too busy with our job commitments, relationships, and other social engagements to fully appreciate the lives we have and where we want to end up in 5 years. By giving yourself a day of rest you’re allowing your mind to sort through what matters to you in life, and from there you’re able to actively work to achieve those goals.