For better or for worse, though, teachers throw themselves into their work like no one else. And this can lead to stress, burnout, and even walking away from the job!
As you know, not just anyone can be a teacher. It Takes A Certain mindset and devotion to help children that transforms someone into a top-flight teacher.
One way to possibly deal with this is to take a “mental health day.” However, this is a Divisive topic: many teachers, parents, and administrators feel like a teacher is better off with just another training day rather than a day off.
Take it from us: that mental health day is much more important than a training day. Here are some reasons why!
Why Is It Called a "Mental Health Day?"
In this article, “mental health day” is, of course, code for “taking the day off.” However, it’s natural to wonder why this particular euphemism sprung up.
The basic idea is that time off is more than time off. It is also a period of self-care that allows teachers to recharge their energy and come back refreshed and reinvigorated.
Sound basic? It is a simple idea. However, many people are resistant to the idea because they do not understand the many benefits it involves.
Deal With Stress
The number one reason to take a mental health day is to deal with your stress. And this works because it takes you away from the sources of your stress (classroom, students, administrators, and so on).
Think about ways you have dealt with stress in your life over the years. Many people like to take a walk, drive somewhere, or simply listen to their favorite music in their bed.
In each of these cases, you are getting more than solitude. You are getting away from your stress, and that’s the single best way to deal with the stress.
Catch Up On Hobbies
Another great way to deal with stress is to do more of the things you love. Unfortunately, teaching often gets in the way of this.
From the outside looking in, many people imagine that teachers have the easiest schedules. What they do not see are all the sleepless nights spent Assessing, lesson planning, responding to e-mails, and so on.
A mental health day gives you the time off to do anything from visiting an art gallery to catching up on your Netflix queue. It does not matter what you do-it matters that you take this time to do what you love.
Many teachers are part of a family. While families are a great source of joy and inspiration, they do not necessarily give you a lot of time on your own.
Ironically, the mental health day can Strengthen those relationships. Why? Because by focusing on what makes you “you,” you have even more energy and joy to share with others.
It sounds a bit philosophical, but nobody gets in a relationship to be with an exact copy of themselves. The other person loves all of the things that make you unique and vibrant.
Similarly, your administration did not hire you to be a copy of another teacher. Instead, they like the unique qualities that you bring to the table.
With a mental health day, you can literally do whatever you want to do. This simple burst of freedom helps light the spark that first made you shine brightly with to everyone in your life.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Now that you’re sold on the idea of a mental health day, there is a larger question to answer. How do you ask for one?
There are two simple approaches you can take. The first one involves simply telling your employers that you are not feeling well. Remember when we talked about self-care? You are not telling your employers a lie because your mental and emotional health are just as important as your physical health.
Alternatively, you can be honest with your need to take a mental health day. Most will understand the necessity for a teacher to recharge their batteries from time to time. And they’d far prefer you to take the occasional day off than burn out and eventually quit your job.
If you’re still not entirely sold on the idea of a mental health day, we want to leave you with one last bit of wisdom: you’re doing this for the mental health of others as well as yourself.
More than most professionals, a teacher’s quality of work depends on the quality of your mind. If you are stressed and miserable, your work suffers. And that means your students do not get the education they deserve.
Trust us: it’s worth it to take the mental health day. You’ll come back healthier, happier, and more productive. In short, everyone wins!