Does your employer offer mental health days? If so, now is the perfect time to plan for them! Most people think of mental health days as time off to take when you feel overwhelmed, but you could actually use them as a tool to prevent mental health struggles before they happen. Check out these tips to plan out your year.
Reserve Time off for Important Events
We’re not talking about planning time for a family vacation. You can certainly do that, but this tip is focused on creating buffer days around stressful times of the year.
For example, let’s say that you have a rocky relationship with your mom’s side of the family, but you still make time for the family reunion every summer. You may want a mental health day before or after the reunion to prepare for or recover from the events.
Stressed about your 20-year high school reunion? Take a mental health day right before it. Know you’re going to be depressed when your child goes to college in the fall? Prepare for it with a mental health day. There is no reason to fight your emotions. Instead, you can accommodate them to process your feelings faster.
Give Yourself Something to Look Forward to
Imagine how great you’d feel in February knowing that you had a paid day off at the end of the month. Even if it’s not paid time off, you may still look forward to an approved day off without consequences. Sprinkle your mental health days throughout the year as a way to reward yourself for your hard work.
Plan One Mental Health Day Per Quarter, If Possible
This tip ties into the idea of sprinkling your mental health days throughout the year. If you have ample time off to reserve at least one day per quarter, do it. Keep in mind when you might be stressed or overwhelmed for those months, and do your best to accommodate your feelings. If you do not have that much time available, prioritize when you are most likely going to need a day off.
Do Not Use up All Your PTO
Try not to reserve all of your days off upfront. You do not know what might happen throughout the year, so you may need some extra days that you cannot account for right now. Give yourself some wiggle room for what may come.
Check Back on Time Off Requests to Ensure They’re Approved
Managers aren’t always eager to approve time off in advance. You may need to check back several times to confirm that your requests are approved. Once that happens, screenshot or print any documentation to verify the approval. This will protect you if your employer tries to withdraw the approval later on.
The mental health specialists here at CNLD Testing & Therapy want to wish you a low-stress year full of growth and prosperity. There are 365 days of opportunity waiting on the horizon. And there’s nothing wrong with using a few of them to sleep, relax, and unwind. You deserve it!