Recently, Oregon students have lobbied and won the allowance of designated "mental health days," where students are allowed to be excused for mental or behavioral health reasons — just like sick days, but rearing your emotional health. Oregon students fought for this in order to reduce the stigma around mental illness, and how providing wellness for your emotional and behavioral health is just as vital as being proactive on physical health. Oregon did it right but allowing these days, and here are five other reasons why other states should follow in their footsteps.
1. Having time to meet with a therapist or doctor
Most kids and adults don't have the time to meet with a therapist during the 8–5 week. Taking two Mondays off during the month could allow children, college students, and working adults to meet with a mental health physician to work out some issues regarding stress, depression, or even venting about stuff going on in life. Having a mental health day would be vital to allow busy lives to get some help from real professionals.
2. Being able to sleep it off
Good sleep is needed for a healthy mindset. However, there are complications with this as well. K-12 students already don't get enough sleep as they need for cognitive growth, whereas college students and adults have more on their plate — work, school, taking care of families, etc. Having mental health days could allow them to catch up on some well-needed sleep, which will allow them to be more productive and motivated throughout the weeks.
3. Having quality time with family
It's proven time and time again that families and loved ones may not spend enough time with each other, and that is truly bad for the heart and mind. Taking a day off to relax with family and friends may be exactly what children and adults need in order to emotionally feel more better, and feel less depressed. With these days, they would be able to enjoy each others' company, share laughs, and talk about stresses with one another.
4. Time for self-care
Getting your nails or hair done, taking that kickboxing class, writing in a journal, or even doing face masks with your best friend could help ease any unwanted anxieties and depression you may be feeling. Self-care is the best care, however, it may be hard to approach this during the workdays. Taking a mental day to care for yourself is the best thing you could do for yourself.
5. Being able to have alone time
Sometimes, you need to cry it out. Alone, in the comfort of your own sanctuary. These days would be beneficial to everyone, as everyone needs to have a little alone time to think and destress from the anxieties you may have. These days would be beneficial to that, as they wouldn't have to be designated like a holiday, but rather sporadic so you can get away from family, loved ones, and even your nosy coworker.