Why You Should Take That Mental Health Day
Admit it - there have been days you've felt you've needed a day to take care of yourself and your mental health. Yet, for some reason, you felt like this was an illegitimate reason to tell your boss you couldn't come to work. Even though we know that mental health is just as important as physical health, society has led us to believe taking a day off to take care of yourself isn't a valid enough reason to call in.
But, according to a study by the National Business Group on Health, taking a day to take care of yourself when it feels necessary is actually beneficial to not only you, but also your company. According to the report, mental illness and substance abuse disorders cost employers an estimated $17 billion each year, in addition to 217 million days of lost work. So while you may feel like you're being lazy, dramatic, or any other adjective we use to downplay our mental health, you are actually benefiting both yourself and the company by giving yourself some time off.
For this reason, some companies are beginning to offer employees mental health days. Tonyalynne Wildhaber of The Courage Practice says mental health days are a necessary way to prioritize the people within the company. "Mental health days are just as important as sick days, vacation, or any other form of paid time off," she says. In order to maximize workplace productivity and ensure high-quality work from employees, it is "essential they have flexible, paid time to contribute to their whole health and wellness," Tonyalynne states.
Additionally, taking a mental health day is an important way to discuss and remove the stigma associated with mental health. John M. O'Connor of Career Pro Inc., understands the importance of fighting that stigma, as he states "we live in our minds just as much as we live in our bodies. Celebrate this and call it a "brain break" or something. Remove any and all stigmas."
So there you have it. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed and like you need to take some time to care for yourself, do it. Not only are you benefiting yourself, your productivity, and creativity, you are benefiting your company as a whole.