In a world where breaks from schools are constantly non-existant, the one day that I wish all students could have is just a mental health day. A day where we can all have a break, unwind, be stress free, and have time for ourselves. This day is underestimated by so many people and believe that it’s actually just a waste for a day. Some even might say that our weekends are our mental health days – but coming from a student who literally gets piled with homework constantly after Friday, I would disagree. If weekends were truly our mental health days then schools or other careers should stop assigning people work on our days off, but for most, especially schools, that would not be the case. However, there are many benefits to having mental health days.
One of the pros of having this day is that you’re able to have a social life. Like everyone should know, it’s always best to balance your social and work life. It’s probably the best way to be successful and happy at the same time. And having mental health days can give people the time and break they need to do just that. According to time.com, “Studies have shown that social support—whether it comes from friends, family members or a spouse—is strongly associated with better mental and physical health. A robust social life, these studies suggest, can lower stress levels; improve mood; encourage positive health behaviors and discourage damaging ones; boost cardiovascular health; improve illness recovery rates; and aid virtually everything in between.” If I had a day off constantly, I would try to spend most of it with people I love to lighten up my mood and make memories. As a student, it is difficult to have a social life if you really want to do well in school. With my parents, I can rarely leave the house, let alone hang out with friends if I have a ton of work to do. But with mental health days, this would give me the time to have a social life by choice.
Another pro is that it can improve your mental health. With mental health in the name of the day, the primary reason this day could be used for is to do just that, get that mental health in check. With this day, you could remove yourself from the toxic environment you’re surrounded by constantly, if you are. From experience, I always looked forward to the days that I had off just for this reason, a break. I was able to get back into a positive mood, think better of myself, and not worry about toxic people breathing down my neck. It’s also a day where you can get to know yourself and bring yourself happiness. Gundersenhealth.org explains deeper on what you could also do on the day off, “First, take time to decide what you need most. Do you need to relax? Or maybe you need some time with family or friends? Maybe you need a day of shopping and pampering. You know yourself best so think about what it is that would make you feel re-energized. There are plenty of ways to spend your day, whether you decide to catch up on some much-needed sleep, engage in a hobby you enjoy or hang out with a friend. Spend your day on activities that boost your physical and mental wellness.” And if that’s not enough, they also mention how you could even consider taking even a vacation to help you.
And my last point that can anyone can benefit from this day is that your stress can be decreased. With taking this day off to pamper yourself, have a social life, taking care of yourself, and doing these that bring you happiness can help lower your stress. Gundersenhealth.com states, “A mental health day is a day meant to help reduce stress and burnout. It can provide a pause to come back with more energy, less stress and a renewed spirit.”
Overall, mental health days would be beneficial for almost anyone. Everyone deals with stress, most people have mental health issues, and I think everyone will always need a break from reality. Mental health days could be incorporated by having paid vacations, a day specifically to give people a break, more time off, or honestly just make it a national holiday where everyone does nothing (but that wouldn’t be the smartest idea with the economy). If people actually consider this day or just do it on their own time, so many people who are dealing with mental health issues can get that break that they need, people who are in that toxic environment could finally be in a positive space, and have a break from stress!