There is a stigma that surrounds “mental health,” and how it’s portrayed in the media. There is a spectrum of where one can fall and it’s not always about the person that has a continuous conversation with an imagined individual that no one else sees or that person out on a rampage, for no apparent reason. There are times where you could just be having a hard time with things and just need an outlet or maybe your normal way of dealing with things no longer works so you may just need a new set of techniques to get you back to where you need to be. Our perspective on what “mental health” is, is clouded by what we are shown instead of what is realistic at times. We are human, we have unexpected situations that can arise and really throw us for a loop and sometimes we just really need to reboot and get back to taking care of self and focusing on things that make us feel the way we should.
I read an article a few weeks back about an employee telling her supervisor that she wanted to take a mental health day and the response from the supervisor couldn’t have been more perfect. It was just a message of encouragement and support and it had me thinking, what if more people made this a habit and got the support that this employee received?
- Would it be easier to cope with the stressors at work, after coming back from a day of “self-care”?
- Would burnout levels be reduced?
- Would this help in focusing more on overall balance and self-care?
- Would it be more acceptable to take some “ME” time? Which can lead to more awareness on when you do need to take that time for yourself because once you become in tune with your true needs in certain moments, it becomes a continuous focus.
When was the last time you took a personal day and focused on “self-care?” That means not continuing to check work emails, looking at social media, thinking about all the stuff you need to finish up for work, just a day where you focus on something that makes you smile, makes you have positive thoughts makes you focus on what you’re doing in the moment instead of what all you have to get done the following day.
Taking days out for yourself is needed and it may take some time for our environment to accept that having days like this is beneficial for overall productivity but it truly starts with acceptance, accepting that mental health days are needed, accepting that you deserve a day like this and as our culture changes in understanding the positive benefits of mental health days, we start to implement healthier strategies that focus on overall balance.
All I want to leave you with is this, truly take out days for yourself and actually take that time for YOU, each week or day if you have to, but just like it’s important to schedule meetings, appointments and activities with others, it’s just as important to schedule time for you and actually sticking to it because we all deserve it. Right? Use that PTO.;)
Any thoughts about this, I would love to hear.