In America, over 44 million adults have a mental health condition. Mental health should be taken as seriously as a physical injury, yet many Americans decide to ignore it in the workplace. Why does a person’s well-being come second to their livelihood? Yes, making money is important and essential to life, but at what cost to a person’s sanity?
If someone discovers that their job is getting in the way of their mental health, they could take a sick day. Granted not all jobs let you leave when you need to, but if it's possible, work something out with your boss or find ways to address the issue at hand until you can get to a safe place.
This can be as easy as counting from one to 10, squeezing a stress ball or humming your favorite song to distract yourself. Not all mental health situations are this easy to handle, but sometimes finding a temporary way to distract yourself from your mental health in the office or in class is essential to making it through the day.
Many Americans keep this “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” notion to push off taking care of themselves, but what good will this mindset do if those individuals are suffering from mental breakdowns and panic attacks because they've pushed themselves too far? Instead of pushing off sleep and mental health, people should take time out of their days to brighten their moods. This can be done through yoga, sleeping, hiking, really whatever it takes for you to be in a better state of mind– even if it’s just for a little while.
People shouldn't feel guilty for taking time for themselves either. It is human to leave your job once in a while to get the time you need to collect yourself. Jobs should offer safe spaces in the office to promote this effort whether it be through meditation rooms or quiet areas.
There should a joint action to create a safe mental health space for employees, but for now, make sure to take of yourself when your work life starts to pile onto you. Needing time for yourself doesn’t mean you lack work ethic, it means you're human.