The benefits of taking a mental health day

And how to ask your boss for one.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, recent research has shown that poor mental health an reduce productivity in workers, and that more employers should prioritise the mental health of their staff if they want to increase productivity levels.

Beyond Blue reports that 3 million Australians suffer from anxiety and depression, and one in eight Australians is currently experiencing high psychological stress, so mental health doesn’t just affect a small number of people, it affects a large portion of Australia’s population.

With that in mind, it’s important that people know when to take a mental health day, and how to ask their boss for a mental health day. We spoke with Noosha Anzab, pychologist at LYSN, about how to do just that.

woman looking stressed at computer
When you feel at the end of your tether, it’s time for a mental health day. (Credit: Getty)

5 reasons why you should take a mental health day

  1. Mental health days are important
    “Mental health days are just as important and valuable as sick leave allowances are for physical ailments.”
  2. Take care of the mind-body connection
    “There is a connection between the body and mind, and a mental health day can ensure the replenishment of these two vital components of our being.”
  3. Hit the brakes
    “Our mental health is impacted by so many factors, work and personal life being the biggest contributors, and sometimes taking a day to hit the brakes and take a moment to calm the mind or the body, tend to self-care or replenish our mental stores is crucial for our wellbeing.”
  4. Avoid burnout
    “Over the course of our personal and work lives humans have the tendency to burn out if we don’t have adequate care and support. This may look like excessive fatigue, feelings of nervousness, heightened stress or the manifestation of psychological distress.”
  5. Stress can impact our work
    “Usually, if we are combatting a mental disorder, our work is impaired equally to how it would be if we were working with physical impairments or ailments, and this is where we see work productivity being lost. Not taking a mental health day can result in us feeling extremely stressed, which can easily turn into psychological or physical injury.”

How to ask your boss for a mental health day

Asking your boss for a mental health day should be quite straight forward, says Noosha.
”It would mean airing your concerns regarding your mental presentation, how the impact is impairing you, and what you’d need to reinvigorate the self,” says Noosha. “This is where open communication can be used to explore how you feel, why you are feeling that particular way and how a mental health day can help prevent a mental health disorder to develop, or how to prevent the worsening of an existing condition.”

You might also like:

Easy little tips for managing mental health 

10 easy ways to take care of your mental health 

8 signs you might be struggling with high-functioning anxiety 

Want to know how your diet could be affecting your mental health? Watch the video below.

Loading the player...

Related stories