The Surprising Power of Taking a Mental Health Day

Most of us understand the importance of maintaining good physical health – from getting regular exercise to eating healthy food. But what about our mental health? Unfortunately, that is something many of us neglect.

According to the 2017 Stress in America survey, conducted by the American Psychological Association, 61 percent of respondents reported feeling stress at work, making it the third most-common source of stress for Americans. While some amount of stress is normal for most employees – especially when meeting deadlines and doing important projects at work – too much stress can reduce job performance and lead to burnout.

As important as the physical health of your employees is, their mental health is just as important. Exhaustion and stress overload are very real dangers for many employees, and as a leader, it’s up to you to make sure that your people have ample opportunities to fully unplug from their jobs – even if just for a little while.


Consider offering your employees a one-day break – a mental health day – so they can unplug from their jobs for a full 24 hours and then return to the office refreshed and renewed. There’s no end to the benefits a mental health day will bring for your people – and for your business and customers. Here are a few powerful positives:

Your employees will be more productive when they return.
When employees take a day away from the workplace and get unplugged from the constant phone calls, meetings and other demands of their jobs, they’ll have the opportunity to turn their focus to the rest of their lives – family, friends, projects around the house, a drive to the beach, a hike in the hills. And when they get back to work, they’ll be refreshed and ready to re-engage in their jobs, making them more productive and effective.

Your employees will make some progress on their personal to-do lists.
Employees working long hours on projects that seem to last forever can have a hard time taking care of all the personal tasks they need to get done outside of work. A mental health day allows them to finish important to-do lists that can contribute positively to their lives overall, from getting laundry done to just taking a few hours to go relax and see a movie.

Your employees can avoid workplace burnout.
Work is one of the leading causes of stress, and if this stress is not addressed, it can become a very real problem for the employees who have it – and for the businesses in which they work. A mental health day can provide some much-needed relief from the stress of being overwhelmed at the office.

Your employees can catch up on much-needed sleep.
No one wants members of their team to be sleepy and unproductive at work. If your employees find it hard to get enough sleep during their normal schedules, an entire day off can provide them with an opportunity to catch up on sleep, a major workplace performance enhancer.

By giving your employees a chance to recharge, you’ll not only help with their productivity but also have an opportunity to show you care about their well-being – and that can have a big impact on their overall job satisfaction.

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