Why Mental Health Days Are Important

Why Mental Health Days Are Important

Why Mental Health Days Are Important

I believe this is somewhat of a newer concept. They are something I have been hearing about more often and I absolutely love the idea. That’s why I decided to write this post about my thoughts on why mental health days are important.

For those of you that are new to the idea of mental health days, let’s talk about what they are. “Simply put, mental health days are time off work designed to give employees in all types of industries a break from the rigors and stress of their daily job.” (source: https://www.talkspace.com/blog/what-is-a-mental-health-day/)

As someone who works online full-time, I cannot stress the importance of mental health days enough. If it wasn’t for mental health days, I would probably be very burnt out by now. As I get more clients and as both my business continue to flourish, I am seeing the importance of taking mental health days more and more. Especially as someone who suffers from anxiety and clinical depression.

Here is why mental health days are important in my opinion as someone who only recently started working full-time:

Mental Health Days Recharge You

Mental health days really help recharge your mind. I’ve noticed this a lot in my experience with them. When you work full-time or even part-time it can become really exhausting not just physically but mentally too. Just like our other muscles need a break, our brain needs a break too. Taking a break can do wonders for us.

After a mental health day, you’ll notice that you feel energised and so much more enthusiastic. Plus, your brain will work so much better. I always get the best ideas for posts after taking a break!

They Prevent Burnout

Mental health days really help to prevent burnout. Burnout has become increasingly common among workers. A great way to prevent this is to take some time off to relax every now and again. We are all just human and we deserve some time off.

Studies have shown that taking some time off to relax can be incredibly beneficial. It helps you work much better compared to those that don’t take any days off.

They Improve Mental And Physical Health

Taking some time off every once in a while can really help improve your overall health. It decreases your stress and anxiety levels which is a really great thing. Because both stress and anxiety cause health issues like high blood pressure.

I have often noticed that health is very interconnected. Taking care of yourself mentally can also really help you physically. So, if you’re feeling overly stressed out, anxious or are having mental issues in general don’t be afraid to take the day off. If you had hurt yourself physically you would take time off. So do the same if you are hurting mentally.

Conclusion

I hope this post was informative. It’s written from my own experiences after working as a freelancer. And I know it’s easier said than done. Not all jobs have the luxury of being able to take some time off when you need it. In fact, most jobs these days are way too demanding and the pay is not worth it. That’s why I chose to start working for myself.

But I truly have hope for the future. I have hope that in the future people will be able to take time off for mental issues just as they would physical ones. There’s a long way to go, but I believe that we are going in the right direction.

If you are struggling with any mental issues, please don’t hesitate to speak to a professional if you are able to. They are trained to help you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with needing help. And if you are unable to seek professional help, I would recommend trying some natural things that can help.

What do you think? Why are mental health days important in your opinion? Let me know in the comments below because I would really love to hear your take on this topic. Or simply stop by and say hi!

If you would like to read more posts about mental health click here.


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99 thoughts on “Why Mental Health Days Are Important

  1. Our culture supports working until your mind cracks. Most feel guilty taking time for themselves out of guilt of leaving work for others. That’s why I think independent remote work is best.

    1. I absolutely agree. It’s not that bad in Kenya from what I’ve seen but it was much worse when I was living in Canada. I’ve found independent remote work to be so much better for my mental health.

  2. Growing up they handed out perfect attendance days for not missing any school. I feel like this doesn’t give kids a chance to just be sick or to need a mental health day. since my kids are in high school, I give them mental health days if they need it.

    1. Yeah, I think students need mental health days too. My parents gave them to me when I was in high school and I really appreciated it. I’m sure your kids will benefit from having the option to take a mental health day too.

  3. Oh yes, I agree with you! In this country though they barely want to give workers paid days off for regular ailments and childbirth etc., so I see mental health days being a stretch. But like you said, definitely something to look forward to in the future because mental health issues are becoming more prevalent these days.

    1. That’s really sad but I have noticed that especially in Western countries. I feel like it’s less awful in most of the African countries I’ve been in. Yes, something to keep working towards in the future.

  4. Hi Pooja,

    I’m convincing myself to not do things those make me sad and give ‘little output’ in return. Here I’m talking about “online usage of my smartphone”.

    Defining my choices and priorities came as a solution, which is directly related to ”how I define myself”.

    The way I dream and imagine myself, it should be closer to my daily life interests and activities (my ability).

    People are important part of my life. I like observing and engaging with the people (classmates, teachers and others), and recognising myself as one of them.

    Other answers to be mindful and active:
    • Self-talks
    • Creative Work
    • let yourself FREE
    • getting informed

    So this is my side story. Your post is informative, descriptive and shows a possible way to find individual solutions for depression.

    The concept of “Mental Health Days” might be helpful in the short time (which’s great!), observing and defining our happiness process would be more helpful in the long time.

    The comment is getting longer. And I stop here.

    Thank you for giving good space to Mental Health on your blog. Reading these blog posts makes my life better.💪

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, spending less time in front of screens can be helpful for many. And I agree, it’s best to work towards better mental health overall. But not everyone can do that. And not all mental health problems are solvable. And in those cases, mental health days can help a lot.

  5. I love mental health days but my professors deal with students who don’t often show up to class so then my grade drops. I manage to lose my mind every time. I don’t care what I give them, if I’m showing up no matter what even though I’m in college, then they can cover themselves and hope they don’t catch or get caught up in anything. I feel bad for the students around me too. Oh well. They don’t think anyone would take their life and if they did, they’d cover it up like a child spilling juice on the rug.

    1. That sucks. When I was studying in Canada, my professors were quite nice about mental health days and some even encouraged them. That’s one thing I loved about my university.

      1. Well, that makes me feel a lot better. Like genuinely. It’s nice to know that it might just be some professors and it won’t be my life forever. Thank you.

  6. I 100% agree Pooja! I think they should be implemented into all areas of work – almost like if you’re unwell and need a day off, if you feel like you aren’t alright mentally: that should be just as acceptable! Great post and viewpoint! 😆

  7. I used to do this without really knowing I was doing it, since I spend a lot of time online I would find I needed a bit of time disconnected from the world and maybe being more present in reality and doing something I like or doing absolutely nothing at all… I used to feel a bit selfish about all the people who would be looking for me while was I absent but with time I have realised that its a form of self care and I now properly schedule my Mental Health Days

    ~B

    1. That’s great. Yes, self-care can sometimes feel selfish since we live in a world where it’s so normal to work till we’re burnout. But mental health days are very vital and necessary.

  8. I am all for caring for one’s mental health. But I think the subject of unplanned absences can sometimes be a tricky issue. I know some who have turned up at work to find the rest of the team have called in sick (often on a Monday) – so they have been overloaded with a huge workload. When their colleagues make a miraculous recovery the following day, it appears that perhaps they had taken an impromptu mental health day, placing huge stress on their colleague who was in the office.

    I think perhaps a better solution is a more reasonable work/life balance. Some people are working too many hours and the accumulative effects make it hard for them to enjoy life, work, pleasures….they try to press on through exhaustion and then get to the point when they are overwhelmed or burnt out. A better answer may be just reducing their contracted hours and really making the most of that extra time to recreate, relax, refresh and do things that inspire and uplift.

    1. I completely understand what you mean. I agree that in general there should be better hours, better working conditions etc. Perhaps if there were a number of specific mental health days a year, that would be better.

    2. I agree when employees take it upon themselves to take a day to recharge it puts more pressure on everyone else. The company needs to implement it for it to work and it doesn’t have to be a day off it can be a slower paced day to recharge where you still get things accomplished just not as stressful. Now do I think it will happen in the corporate world no corporations do not care about their slaves. They will work people until they drop dead then replace them. That being said Pooja I think mental health days are a great idea sometimes you just have to take them. It’s up to the individual to take them and understand when your coworkers take them. I apologize if this got too negative. I have strong feelings about employers because I can’t enjoy life like I want to.

  9. I love this. The whole hustle & grind culture is low-key toxic to our mental health.
    I definitely believe in taking days off to just focus on your mental wellness…
    xxVal : valerynangula.com

  10. Very good post on one of the pressing issues that everyone of us has to face in our professional work life. Definitely, we need breaks, at regular intervals to avoid stress and burnout. We can’t continue working infinitely, without some days off. Hence, mental health days are unquestionably very important, and we need to make people sensitized about them for their mental well-being.
    Given your own struggle with this important health issue, your blog posts carry much weight, and are playing an important role in educating the people.

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, days off are a necessity. It helps people work better, remain enthusiastic and helps mental and physical health.

  11. Sorry PG. I won’t be arguing with you, but I want to add something here. Although this blog is well written, like all your other blogs. I want to say, everyday should be mental health day.
    We should always/ daily/ everyday prioritise on mental health.
    Nothing should come above our own health.
    Work can be stressful, but we need to find time for things that calm us. We need to find time for the “me-time”, we need to invest in activities that can help our emotional health.
    .
    I have tons of respect for you dear friend, you are my favorite blogger. And by this comment I don’t want to undermine anything you said or shared.
    I respect that and agree with that.
    .
    Hey btw, as this blog is about mental/emotional health sending you some positive vibes and hugs 🤗☀️

    1. I totally get what you mean. And maybe someday it would be possible to treat each day in that way. But the world is a difficult place. Even taking one mental health day is not possible for many people. Let’s hope things change in the future. 🤗

  12. In New York and in Boston, there have been new “intentional lifestyle of communal living”. It is a place for families to live in their own space, but with communal kitchen and living room etc. It is said that the current structure of family with parents and kids are not the best way for mental health. People don’t meet other people in communal environment. They might meet people in work environment, but that’s not enough for the well-being of a person. Also when the kids go to college, the mother usually gets “empty nest” depression.

    1. That’s very interesting. I think the last time communal living was popular was many decades ago. I guess it’s a way to save money and live with other like minded people.

  13. Hi Pooja, nice to meet you on this blogging platform. Hope you liked my blog post and I will be grateful if you share some love and give feedback on that post.
    you are a too good writer, I have read some blogs and shared my feedback. looking forward… more

  14. I could not agree more with this post! 🙌🏼
    As someone who is still recovering from a really bad depressive episode, taking time out from life’s conundrums really helps.

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, for people that suffer from mental illnesses, having the option to take time off can be incredibly helpful. Hope you’re feeling better now.

  15. Mental health days are really important to help keep you in balance. Through most of my career, there was no such balance. That comes at a cost. It’s wise to take care of yourself so you can avoid burnout and show up in all of your life.

    1. I agree, they help you balance work life and real life. Too much of work can really cause a lot of mental stress which leads to burnout. I try my best to have at least one mental health day a month where I just relax.

  16. Absolutely mental health days are important. I think mental health doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Alot of my family members still just shrug it off when I bring up my mental health issues like they’re saying just toughen up or suck it up. Grant mine are not visible (I think) and I can still function things just grind me down. (Yeah, that is what I will say so not to go into detail:)

    1. Yeah, unfortunately too many people don’t take mental health as seriously as they should. And they don’t think of mental health illnesses are real illnesses since most are invisible. It’s quite sad. But that’s why we have to stay vocal and keep sharing our stories.

  17. I couldn’t agree more about this post. I think there is too much emphasis, especially in the US that we work and work and work. Last year, I managed to take more PTO or vacation time and this year I plan to do the same along with some mental health days, especially on the weeks that are beyond stressful. If our mental health is not good, than our output won’t be either. Thanks for this post!

    1. Yes, work has become so much more time consuming these days. Some people can’t even take holidays off. It’s so sad. Glad you took more days off last year and hope it’s the same this year. Thanks!

  18. Mental health days are important because they give us a chance to remember what life was like before a job happened. In my last job I took a few days off throughout the year and they made me feel like I was alive for once. I also took two professional development days away from school, I am a teacher, and it made such a huge difference. You can only love your job when you have a life-work balance, and not everyone enjoys this luxury. In the US it is especially true for a lot of people I know. After the pandemic things have gotten better for some employees and worse for others, by others I mean doctors and teachers. Yet lots of professionals are doing hybrid or go fully online which is a new trend to help mental health problems.

    1. I agree. You need a proper work-life balance because otherwise you will be unhappy in both. That balance is so vital for our mental health being. Yes, I have heard that teachers are among the worst paid and work the most hours in the US. Which is really sad. I guess it’s different for all teachers but I think it’s particularly bad for public school teachers.

  19. Thank you once again for awesome suggestions to manage our mental health, what has made a big change in my own life is by learning meditation and relaxation techniques to be able to sleep more and better

    1. Thanks. Yes, meditation and relaxation techniques are incredibly helpful longterm solutions. I try to meditate daily and it helps a lot. Glad it helps you too.

  20. Totally agree! My friends and I were just saying that a three-day work week should be standard…we would work 13 hours a day to meet 40 hrs., just to have the rest of the week off.

    I have a regular 8-5 office job and it’s depressing because after getting home and cleaning up, cooking, etc., there’s like 2 hours of free time if that, before having to sleep and do it all over again. I always try to take at least two days off a month to have some time to myself. Hopefully in the future they make mental health days separate, like sick days, instead of most of us having to use PTO for it 😭

    1. Yeah I think shorter work weeks would be amazing. And I’ve seen studies that show overall performance is so much better when employees are relaxed and happy. So it would be a win-win for everyone.

      8-5 jobs can be so exhausting. It’s good you still take two days off every month to relax. Self-care is so vital but often overlooked. I really hope mental health days become offered separately too because I’ve heard so many people complain about burnout. Mental health days have become a necessity.

  21. I agree with you Pooja, taking a mental health day is extremely important. But I think that people need to be given some tips as to what to do on a mental health day. It’s not just a day to take off of work and do something else stressful. It would be a day to do some helpful for your mind such as work on a fun hobby that you’ve been neglecting, or go to your favorite park or beach and meditate. Do something that is enjoyable and frees your mind from other stresses. Good post Pooja.

  22. Taking mental health days is extremely important to do. There is still a stigma associated with mental health and taking time off of work for any reason, especially here in the US.

    1. I agree, mental health days are vital. They have helped me so much. Yes, I think there is stigma associated with mental health in most places but I feel like we’re heading in a better direction. I’m glad at least things to do with mental health are now openly talked about much more.

  23. Th ank you for this post
    Mental health are indeed important and yes most of us do not get the luxury of taking time off of social media because of what our jobs requires. So it’s indeed vital to be mindful of our mental health

  24. I complete agree with this. Mental health days should be embraced, promoted, accepted, prioritised – not stigmatised. It can be really detrimental when employers don’t value this, so I revere and respect employers who do. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Great post! I feel like I definitely need mental health days! Even though I do have weekends off – something that I know not everyone is lucky enough to have – I always feel like it’s not enough to truly rest, with all the other things that need to be done! I wish mental health days would be promoted, encouraged and especially accepted, though it is sadly easier said than done…

    1. Yeah, it’s so true. Even when we get free time we end up having other things to take care of. I agree, I wish mental health days were more common and freely given.

  26. This is so important. More jobs should offer their employees mental health days that don’t count towards their PTO. I’m sure if companies did this, they’d have happier and more productive employees, as well as employees who stay longer.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I think employees are so much more productive when they are healthy mentally and physically so it would actually be beneficial for everyone.

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