Time Out from Work

By Shereen Shabnam

As I am travelling less around the globe since the pandemic left my favourite destinations under lockdown, there is a constant need to take a break from work. It’s not just for my mental wellbeing, but taking a day off to recharge so I can return to work energised and reinvigorated.

Here’s how to invest in your overall wellbeing and feel confident taking a mental health day.

Why take a day off for “Me Time’

A personal day off aims to reduce stress and prevent burnout. We all feel mentally fragile and vulnerable sometimes and having me time of a personal day off is as normal and valid as your sick leave or your mental health day off.

The day can include downtime to get mental clarity, reflect or relax, practice mindfulness, relax the mind and body back, connecting with others to create a sense of belonging, for physical activity to re-energise, or time to plan how best to move forward if going through challenging situations.

What to do on your day off

Put down your own needs on paper that will help you energise and prioritise the mind and body wellness. This helps you to live and work in ways that are important and meaningful especially when it comes to work life balance.

Getting the most out of your day

We often prioritise the needs of others above our own, so the first step on your personal day off is to focus on you. Recognition and self-awareness is key – if you feel that you are not feeling 100% emotionally, psychologically or physically, then make that area of your life a priority on this day and take the first steps to recover and heal.

Ways you can spend your personal day

Catching up on sleep would be top on my agenda but most people take time out to read, go for nature walks, meet up with friends and family, have a spa day, get some exercise either at the gym, cycling etc, heading to the. movies, gardening and in Dubai, our favourite activity tends to be retail therapy at the city’s many malls.

Taking regular personal days off every few months

Taking one day or few days away from work is the first step in ensuring that you are prioritising and valuing your own needs by creating new boundaries and practising self-compassion. It helps you heal and come back stronger to tackle your everyday challenges at work or in other areas of your life.

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