It’s World Mental Health Day on October 10th, 2022! This day was first celebrated in 1992 and is meant to help raise awareness about mental health issues, reduce stigmas surrounding mental illness, and encourage workplaces, institutions, and individuals to prioritize their mental health. According to research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety and depressive disorders cost more than a trillion dollars globally in lost productivity each year.
In our increasingly busy lives, mental health ends up being the last thing we all think of as we strive to stay on top of our daily tasks, duties, jobs, careers, learning experiences, and days. Yet on 10.10.22, we all have an opportunity to make mental health and well-being a priority. By looking at ways to share our experiences and help others, as well as ourselves, find more stable ground every day to prosper, thrive, and stay calm.
The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. This is an opportunity to encourage co-workers, family, and friends to discuss and open up about challenges they might face daily that affect and are being affected by their work, lifestyle, or world events.
As an outcome of the social distancing, lockdowns, and closures caused by the pandemic, more and more people became isolated and felt they lacked access or the means to mental health care. The limitations and restrictions related to lockdowns and closures have led to millions of people feeling stressed, isolated, alone, and unable to get the help they need. Everyone, everywhere in the world, deals with varying levels of stress. This is particularly difficult to manage if you also have symptoms of depression or anxiety. During this time, many people have experienced a heightened sense of stress. They feel overwhelmed, and coupled with isolation, they were limited or had no access to their communities and families and health care professionals to attend to them or to reach out to.
This day encourages us to take a ‘mental health’ day – whether it be on the 10th of October, or another date; taking time from work, school, and whatever duties you normally have in a day is a great way to hit the internal reset button. A mental health day is when you take off from work or school and minimize any commitments or responsibilities. You use this time to focus on relieving stress, relaxing, having fun, and preventing burnout. Obviously, one day will not solve any underlying problems that have led to burnout, yet a mental health day can provide a much-needed break to pause, regroup, and come back with greater levels of energy and a fresh, less-stressed perspective and outlook.
Benefits of a Mental Health Day:
Exhaustion takes over when we are overwhelmed by our daily responsibilities of being a parent, an employee, a spouse, a friend, or a family member. When this happens, it’s important to take time for yourself. This time will help to:
- Clear your head
- Have fun and do something you enjoy
- Process your emotions
- Improve sleep quality
- Help you to relax
- Reduce stress
With the acknowledgment by many employers that their employees need to be healthy in mind and body in order to be productive, continue to work, and produce, workplaces are now offering mental health days. These days are designed to give employees in all types of industries a break from the stress and hardships of their daily job. It is important to be able to get away from the demands of work to maintain a work-life balance. This is even more important if we hope to avoid the potential stress-related health problems and want to prevent worker burnout and eventual staffing turnover issues.
Signs that you may need a mental health day:
- Decreased motivation
- Negative thoughts
- Decreased performance at work or school or in life
- Physical exhaustion
- Mental fatigue or fog
- Signs that you don’t ‘feel like yourself’
If any of the signs listed above fits how you currently feel, inquire about the options available to you to help you strategize your health and wellbeing. Although World Mental Health Day is 10.10 – the whole month of May is also Mental Health Awareness Month which has been observed in the US since 1949. Everyone experiences mental health challenges in some capacity and taking a day off (or even a few hours off) to support positive mental health growth has many benefits.
Rejuv at Work offers several options for Mind-Body classes and/or workshops such as: Meditation, Stretch at Your Desk, Deskercise, Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. These are all ways to help reduce and manage stress and anxiety; as well as promote a healthier and happier outlook and work environment. We also offer other fitness classes such as Zumba, HIIT, Bootcamp, and classes of all kinds that help with cardiovascular and strength training to balance out the more mindful classes. We also offer workshops on specialty topics such as Wellness, Meditation, and Massage.