Celebrate National Mental Health Awareness Month by Taking a Mental Health Day from Work
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental health is as important as physical health in my opinion. I would like to advocate for everyone to take a mental health day at minimum if not days/week from their work this month. Schedule it in now, perhaps you and your colleagues can advocate for paid time off from your employer if they do not provide personal or wellness paid days off. Taking sick days when not physically sick is still ever present as employees need a mental break. Most companies are seeing use of EAP services rise as employees are seeking more support with the resources provided to them.
Taking a mental health day from work can be extremely important for your overall well-being. It is a direct form of self care. Doing so on a regular basis can help you avoid burnout, improve your mood, help you get some much-needed rest, and rejuvenate you. Especially for those that have high stress jobs in the helping fields; self-care days off work are essential to avoid burnout.
Companies Provide Paid Mental Health Days to Avoid Employee Burnout and Improve Company Culture
One of the many insights learned as a result of the pandemic is that work can be what we make it as it relates to location; in office or from home (virtual). Some companies are beginning to shift to a more preventative strategy to reduce burnout in their employees as well as improve the company culture by offering paid mental health day/days or a week off.
In 2021, web browser Mozilla shut down the entire company for a “Wellness Week.” Fidelity Investments provided employees five additional paid “relief days” in 2021 to be used for personal and family needs. Hotelier Marriott International added three paid “TakeCare Days Off” in 2021 on the Fridays before Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. LinkedIn provided its employees an extra paid week off in April 2021. Bumble, the woman-led dating app gave all of its employees a paid week off in June 2021 amid reports of pandemic-induced burnout. This is a positive trend in my mind that indicates how critical company culture and the mental health of employees are to any business.
Signs It’s Time for a Mental Health Day
Signs of Burnout
You begin to notice loss of motivation, decreased satisfaction and decreased sense of accomplishment, or an increasingly cynical and negative outlook.
Change in Job Performance
A sudden or progressive shift downward in your job performance is a key factor to be self-aware of. Maybe you recently received a bad review, missed a deadline, or had a conflict with a boss or co-worker.
You’ve been feeling increasingly overwhelmed and irritable. Feeling stressed indicates you need to evaluate both your internal and external resources.
Recent Loss, Grief, or Bereavement
Experiencing recent loss, grief, and bereavement can deplete your sense of mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical health; short-term or long-term.
You Just Feel… Off
Sometimes we don’t feel like ourselves, but we can’t quite put our finger on what’s wrong. This is a sign you need a break.
Getting Sick More Often
When we are stressed, our immune systems can often become compromised, and it’s harder for us to fight off colds or viruses.
If you find a mental health day/break didn’t quite do the trick, you may have more going on in your life. Please reach out to me if you are interested in starting therapy.