Although employers are generally more accepting of mental health issues today, it may be wise to disclose only limited information.
“I think it's fine to take a day off for personal reasons and not feel obligated to disclose your exact emotional state,” Costa said. “Often, even after just a day of rest, we are able to do some mending and find ourselves in a better place.”
Resist the feelings of guilt and worrying about falling behind.
“Ultimately, when we rest and rejuvenate our brains and bodies, we will sustain ourselves and perform better,” she said. “We just have to switch away from the conditioning that baits us into thinking we have to ‘keep going’ at all costs.”
There are also ways to avoid having a mental breakdown through consistent self-care.
“Make sure you are deep breathing and delegate when you can,” Costa said. “Don't hold all the stress in — you are not alone, and being aware and proactive about it helps reduce the risk of burnout.”
Leah Barison, a licensed mental health counselor, also believes that it’s important to take a mental health day off of work, especially considering she’s in the mental health field.
“Developing an internal meter for your emotional energy level is a great skill to help gauge whether it’s time for a mental health day,” she said.
For example, here are four questions she suggests that you ask yourself:
1) Are you having trouble concentrating?
2) Are you feeling irritable?
3) Have you lost interest in things that used to excite you?
4) Are you neglecting things that you know make you feel good because you just don’t have the time or motivation?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, it may be time to consider a mental health day, or personal day, for yourself.
“I recommend turning off your alarm, letting your body get whatever sleep it needs, and eating a healthy breakfast before doing anything else,” Barison said.
Yoga, meditation and stretching are great activity choices to help increase positivity and personal growth, she added.
“If you’ve been worrying about that to-do list, consider doing one or two items — but remember, today is about you,” Barison said.