Protect your happiness with a mental health day – here’s how to tell if/when you need one

Protect your happiness with a mental health day – here’s how to tell if/when you need one

Happiness can and should be promoted.

But happiness can and should also be protected.

Taking care of our mental health is important for all sorts of reasons and in recent times, the idea of a “mental health day” has received some attention. So here’s how you can tell if and when you need to take one…

via by Amy Morin

Madalyn Parker recently made headlines when she sent an email to her colleagues saying she would be taking two days off to address her mental health. Her CEO responded by thanking her for reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.

She tweeted his positive response and the story went viral. Clearly, not all bosses encourage employees to take mental health days. And many employees wonder if a mental health day is the same as “playing hooky.”

As a psychotherapist, I’ve had many conversations with people about mental health days. I’ve encountered people who feel too guilty to take a day off–they’re convinced you need to be vomiting or have a fever to be ‘sick.’

But I’ve also met people who take mental health days because they’re sick of their jobs. And taking a day off doesn’t necessarily help their mental health.

So before you take a mental health day, here are five questions you should ask yourself:

1. Why do I need a mental health day?

Before you declare you’re going to take the day off, spend a few minutes thinking about your mental health. Try to identify the problems you’re facing.

Are you experiencing serious emotional turmoil? Are you having trouble regulating your thoughts? Is your behavior unproductive? Naming the problem can be the first step in addressing it.

2. How will I spend my time?

Skipping work to binge watch Netflix won’t necessarily make you feel better. In fact, it could make you worse.

If you’re experiencing depression, for example, staying in bed all day may keep you stuck in a depressed state. Similarly, watching TV to escape your anxiety will only provide temporary fix. Your anxiety will return the minute you stop distracting yourself.

So think about how you’ll spend your mental health day. What activities can you engage in to help you feel better? Whether you decide a long jog in the park is just what you need or you prefer to do yoga by the beach, think carefully about how you’ll spend your time…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE