As reported by Forbes, in 2021, 47.4 million employees voluntarily quit their jobs; a phenomenon later called The Great Resignation. Burnout is cited as the topmost reason workers choose to leave.
Burnout is a state of constant emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. It results from excessive stress, worry, pressure, and a lack of concentration.
What is a Job Burnout?
Job burnout is specific to stressful work conditions. It is a reaction to prolonged work-related demands, performance expectations, stringent deadlines, and rigorous grind culture. Avoiding symptoms like irritability, anxiety, physical strain, lack of focus, declining productivity, and loss of interest will result in burnout.
What is a Mental Health Day?
A Mental Health Day is a day away from work to care for your mental and emotional well-being. Like sick days for physical health, taking time off for self-care as a Mental Health Day is also vital. It lets you detach from your daily stressors and helps you rejuvenate. It gives you the time to take a break, unwind, and regain energy. You can prevent burnout incidents by regularly taking breaks; and mental health days for yourself.
Reasons You Need a Mental Health Day
Let’s explore the many benefits of Mental Health Day and the reasons you need it:
- Helps Stay Focused
Constant work stress and mental pressure lead to a lack of focus. Once in a while, everyone feels frustration and exhaustion at work. It’s true for professionals worldwide, especially caregivers and social workers. They work tirelessly to improve people’s lives and help them feel safe, included and cared for. Yet, amidst their duties, they ignore their well-being and health. It is critical that self care for social workers is a priority to ensure utmost dedication to the community and people. Take a day off, meditate, read, and spend time in nature to reconnect with your purpose. We tend to concentrate better when we feel happy and content inside.
- Increases Productivity
The first thing burnout will impact is your work performance and output. Extensive work hours, never-ending meetings, and the influx of emails will drain your energy and productivity. A Mental Health Day is vital to take a fresh start on your deliverables and schedule efficiently. Spend time in nature, talk to a friend, or play with your pet to unwind. You will feel energetic, active, and ready to put your best foot forward the next day.
- Improves Physical Health
Although burnout is a mental and emotional state, it drastically affects your physical health and well-being. Physical symptoms of burnout include backache, headache, stiff muscles, poor appetite, and irregular sleep. Time off from work will improve your physical and mental well-being. Indulge in outdoor activities like a jog, a run, a game of football, or a family picnic. Give your body a break; it needs it to function properly.
- Strengthens Relationships
A poor mental state will affect your well-being, productivity, and personal and professional relationships. Work stress can lead to unreasonable behavior towards friends, family, and co-workers and can create a rift. We tend to exert our inner frustration and irritability on the people around us. Take care of your well-being to strengthen your relationships and be emotionally available to people you care about. You cannot play an active role in your personal life if you are drained inside.
- Reduces Risk of Mental Illness
A prolonged state of burnout is likely to result in anxiety and depression. You will develop a mental illness if you constantly feel hopeless, numb, unproductive, exhausted, and upset. Therefore, check your symptoms and take the necessary steps to avoid mental health risks. Unfortunately, we usually ignore the signs and do not pay attention until the situation becomes critical. Be proactive and maintain a healthy lifestyle with mandatory off days for your overall well-being.
- Helps You Stay Grounded
When you take a Mental Health Day, you commit to your health and prosperity. As you take care of your well-being, you inculcate an inner sense of gratitude. When you connect with yourself, you will notice the significance of simple things in life. Simply admiration for nature, people, and the environment will help you stay grounded, content, and peaceful. A small lifestyle change will improve the quality of your work, relationships, and health.
How to Spend a Mental Health Day?
Now that you are convinced of the tremendous Mental Health Day benefits, let’s look at the ways to make your day productive:
- Put your electronic devices away for a day
- Set an out-of-office response to your work emails
- Do not work from home or attend work calls
- Spend time in nature; go for a walk, a hike, swim, or simply watch the sunset
- Talk to a childhood friend
- Play with your kids
- Treat yourself to a foot massage
- Read your favorite book
- Cook dinner for your family
- Write in a journal
- Have a good night’s sleep
There is no right way to spend a Mental Health Day. Indulge in activities that make you happy, bring you joy, and help you regain your focus. The goal is to look beyond work, release stress, and promote mental and emotional well-being.
How to Ask your Employer?
Fortunately, after the coronavirus pandemic, the conversation around mental health and job burnout is normalizing. Many employers are genuinely concerned about employees’ mental health and accommodate their need to take time off. However, mental health is still a stigma for many organizations, and there’s a long way to go. Treat it as a sick day if you are reluctant to ask for a mental health day. You can take the day off simply because you don’t feel well without getting into details.
It’s essential to take regular Mental Health Days to avoid burnout and stay well. Taking time off work improves productivity, focus, relationships, and physical health and helps you stay grounded. Involve in healthy activities to promote your mental and physical well-being and reduce the risk of mental illnesses.