Planning a mental health day, is important. As students we’re already faced with our own issues including personal relationships, academic performance, income and debt, or that guy in your group who won’t check their emails (and the assignment is due tomorrow). In reality, these issues won’t just go away once we graduate and if we don’t learn how to relieve or handle stress now, it’ll be much difficult when we’re older. This can be done, by taking a day off every once in a while.
In fact, according to mental experts, in order to stay productive and perform at our best, we should take a mental health day every now and then. ComPsych, an employee assistance program, has reported that 82% of employees have said that they took a mental health day in order to recharge their mental battery. This is a great number to keep in mind, as it only reiterates the growing trend, and need for it, especially in today’s society, and for students .
We’re finally around the mid-semester mark and assignment due dates are kicking in, I personally believe its the perfect time for one. But how about you? How are you going? If you don’t know whether or not you need a mental health day, just sit back and think about it. If:
- your sleeping pattern has changed, and you find yourself tossing and turning or whether you’ve experienced a disrupted sleeping pattern
- you’re already ‘feeling the stress’ and may blow new issues or ‘stresses’ out of proportion
- you have a short fuse with family or friends (don’t have your friends walking on the tips of their toes around you)
- you’ve stopped being productive, and you’re stuck thinking inside the box
- just don’t find yourself caring anymore - no one should come into uni or into work just to make it through the day, when you start finding yourself saying ‘I just don’t give a shit’, it’s definitely time to recharge
… it’s probably time for a day off.
Firstly, identify what you need out of your mental health day. If you’re physically exhausted, take it easy and rest. If you need a break from all the hard work, or if assignments are starting to fry up your brain, spend the day out doors and do something fun. It’s important to reflect on what you believe you would benefit the most from, as well as the changes you can make to your life that could help relieve stress in the future.
|Me, on a mental health day|
If you need to simply relax, stay in bed the whole day. You need it! Stay in your pajamas, order in some pizza and just do nothing for the day. As long as you don’t make this a habit, but keep it productive, it should be fine. For example, catch up on sleep, read a book, or even go outside. It’s probably best to go for a walk, a swim or a jog, take up yoga or my personal favourite, get a massage. Do something your body will thank you for!
If you need some fun, grab a friend and just get out. Do something you normally love doing, that you don’t do enough — and no that won't necessarily mean shopping. To tie in with the previous way to stay relax, opt for a day at a spa or a run down the beach. When you’re looking for fun, it’s important to engage and reconnect with important people. If work or uni takes you away from your mates, it’s always best to make time for them.
As for the guilt-free experience: just remember, your mind, your body and your work will thank you for it!