Employee planning her mental health day

By Bond Collective Staff

Now, more than ever, allowing your team to take a mental health day is vital for keeping your business successful.

With all the stress and strife spreading around the world, it’s very easy for your employees to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Feelings like these lead to a decrease in productivity, disengagement from the work at hand, and even conflict that didn’t exist before.

All of that affects the efficient operation of your business — usually for the worse.

But you can prevent mental and physical burnout from becoming an issue in your company by giving your team time off to decompress and relax.

In this article, we’ll discuss the signs to look for and give you tips for helping your employees recover during a mental health day.

What Is A Mental Health Day?

As the name suggests, a mental health day is time off from work that an employee uses to relieve stress and recover from burnout.

Mental health days lie at the opposite end of the spectrum from sick days that an employee uses to recuperate from a physical illness.

As we’ll see below, sometimes the need for a mental health day manifests itself as chronic physical symptoms, indicating that a team member is worn out and needs some time off.

Signs Your Team Needs A Mental Health Day

Employee resting on a mental health day

Burnout is an all-too-common occurrence these days — especially in light of recent world events that have changed the way teams of all sizes do business.

Whether you’re managing a handful of employees all working from home or a team of 20 or more, you need to be on the lookout for indications that one or more individuals need a mental health day.

If you see these signs developing amongst your team, discuss with them the option of taking some time off.

1) Chronic Daytime Fatigue

It’s natural for your employees to feel tired sometimes.

But if they’re exhausted day after day and week after week — even after a good night’s sleep — there could be some mental and emotional issues manifesting themselves as physical symptoms.

Talk with them about taking a day off to recover.

2) Decreased Productivity

Productivity is a very fluid quality of your team; it will fluctuate up and down depending on a variety of factors.

But when an employee’s productivity is significantly down from their norm — and stays that way for days or weeks — it could be a sign that burnout is imminent and they need to take a mental health day.

3) Increased Reliance On Caffeine Or Other Stimulants

Employees drinkng coffee

We all rely on our morning and mid-afternoon coffee to get us through the workday.

But when an employee is consuming four, five, six, or more cups of coffee in a day — or they escalate to multiple energy drinks while at the office — it may be time to meet with the team member to find out how they’re doing.

4) Difficulty Focusing

Again, difficulty focusing may happen now and then, but when it’s all day, every day, it’s time to be concerned.

There may be something going on in their personal life that’s distracting them from their work. Or they could be on the verge of burnout and in need of a mental health day.

5) Personalization Of Work-Related Frustrations

When they’re working at 100 percent, your employees can handle most of the work-related frustrations that occur during the day.

But when they’re mentally exhausted, they may take those frustrations personally and react in ways that are out of character from their normal behavior.

Tips For A Rejuvenating Mental Health Day

Don’t just give your employees a mental health day; help them make the most of it so they can return to work refreshed, recharged, and revitalized.

Below, we provide tips for a rejuvenating mental health day that can help your team get back to 100 percent.

1) Set Goals For The Mental Health Day

It’s all too easy to let a mental health day slip away without accomplishing anything. Instead of just “winging it,” encourage your employees to set goals for their time.

Even if those goals are just to sleep in, eat a healthy breakfast, and read until dinner, this gives them a sense of accomplishment that goes a long way toward recharging their batteries.

2) Get At Least 8-10 Hours Of Sleep

A very real danger of the mental health day is trying to pack in too much activity, starting with getting up before dawn to fit everything in.

Suggest that the employee turn off their alarm and sleep at least 8-10 hours — or until they’re naturally awake. A good night’s sleep is one of the best remedies for burnout and should be an integral part of their time off.

3) Eat A Healthy Breakfast

Eating a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning provides the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body and brain need to keep things running efficiently.

And when we say a “healthy” breakfast, we don’t mean a doughnut and coffee. Instead, we’re talking about something like a spinach-based smoothie with carrots, frozen fruit, and protein powder.

If your team member isn’t in the habit of eating breakfast, supply them with a gift certificate to a local cafe so they’ll have more motivation to go.

4) Do Something Enjoyable

Yoga at the beach on a mental health day

Urge your employees to take the time to do something they enjoy during their mental health day.

This may be something they don’t get to do on a regular basis or something they do every day but always with work in the back of their mind.

Excellent ideas include:

  • Get a massage

  • Read a book

  • Paint

  • Draw

  • Meditate

  • Bake

  • Catch up with friends

Working in one or two things they really enjoy — while resisting the temptation to do too much — is a great way for them to recover from stress.

5) Eat Lunch & Dinner

Keeping their body fueled is one of the best ways employees can make the most of their time off, so help them see the need to avoid skipping meals during their mental health day.

When their body is healthy, their brain functions more efficiently, which allows them to focus and maintain their energy longer. That will help them recover both mentally and physically.

Consider providing your team members with gift cards to their favorite restaurant so they don’t have to worry about preparation, cooking, or clean up.

6) Take A Nap

We’ve all wanted to lie down and take a nap during the workday. Now’s their chance to do just that without feeling guilty.

Instruct your employees to pay attention to how they’re feeling during their mental health day. Stress the importance of stretching out on the couch for 20 minutes to rest their eyes if they’re groggy in the afternoon.

A nap is a great way to give their body the time it needs to return to 100 percent.

7) Exercise

Fitting in a round of their favorite exercise is an ideal way for your employees to spend a few hours during their mental health day.

Present the team member with a spot in a yoga class at a nearby studio or a day-pass to the local gym to motivate them to exercise.

If that’s not their thing, encourage them to just go for a walk, hike, or run. Even a low impact activity like stretching can help them feel revived and ready to return to work at full capacity.

Promote Mental Health With The Right Workspace

Bond Collective Coworking Space

Instead of always reacting to employee burnout with more mental health days, prevent that burnout from happening in the first place.

An attractive, efficient, and worry-free workspace — like those at Bond Collective — is one of the best ways to keep energy, engagement, and productivity high while maintaining the mental health of your team.

Each of Bond Collective’s shared working environments incorporates inspiring design elements like natural light, open floor plans, tasteful and professional decor, and multipurpose workspaces.

Bond Collective also provides benefits you won’t find anywhere else, such as:

  • Daily on-site cleaning

  • Guest reception and greeting

  • Private-label mail service

  • Lightning-fast

  • Wi-Fi

  • Concession food market

  • Conference Rooms

  • Black-and-white printing

  • 24-hour access

  • Bike storage

These amenities — and others too numerous to mention — eliminate the stress of maintaining your own office and allow you and your team to focus on the work at hand rather than whose turn it is to clean the copier or the kitchen.

To learn more about how Bond Collective’s boutique coworking spaces can help reduce the need for a mental health day, visit any one of our many locations in the United States, including workspaces in New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas.

Or call us today to find out more about everything we have to offer. And while you’re at it, schedule a tour to experience first-hand how the sophisticated and professional work environments at Bond Collective can benefit your business.