Have you ever felt nervous or afraid to take time off from work to look after your mental health? Don’t be afraid to take a “sad day” for your mental health.
“Work stress” is something that we commonly experience in the workplace. Many of us feel that there is always pressure on us to improve our work performance and increase our productivity. Work stress often occurs when our capabilities or needs do not meet the requirements of our jobs. This could arise from a number of sources, such as work overload, time pressure to meet deadlines, not liking the job, and having to deal with difficult people at work.
How do you know if you need a “sad day”? The signs that you need to take time away from work may not necessarily be obvious. Indicators include changes in your mood, productivity, or ability to concentrate. You may also notice that you are less patient and more irritable than usual or are having trouble sleeping.
The bottom line: Given the extraordinary stressors of the last year and a half, regardless of your specific symptoms, “if you feel like you might benefit from a mental health day, you have earned one,” said Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, whose recent podcast explored the benefits of the “sad day” and the importance of building a culture of compassion within the workplace.
What do you do during a “sad day”? In deciding how to use a mental health day, it helps to think about what brought you to this point in the first place. Do your personal relationships need attention? Are you exhausted from your workload and desperate to disconnect from everything? Did you have a particularly stressful week and want to spend some time decompressing? Maybe it is a combination of several things. Besides learning to relax and doing “self-care” activities, try to seek help, such as talking to a counselor. Many organisations are hiring counsellors in their workplaces due to higher awareness about the importance of mental health in today’s community.
For example, here at Aventis, as part of the Aventis CARE Programme to promote mental wellness and workplace counselling services, we are offering complimentary 5 sessions of pro-bono counselling and coaching for all our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Many times, we keep things to ourselves to avoid burdening our loved ones with our problems. It is sometimes advisable to seek help. Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand, and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%.
Aventis welcome all our students and alumni to try our pro-bono counselling sessions, click here to book now!