Wellness days are an opportunity to step away from work and focus on yourself. They can be used for a variety of activities, including meditation, yoga and exercise classes.
Taking time to rejuvenate and relax is important for mental health. But when is a wellness day right for you?
What is a wellness day?
A wellness day is a designated time off that allows employees to relax, recharge and get in the right headspace for their job. These days can help reduce stress, anxiety and exhaustion.
Colleges are offering these days as a way to support students’ mental health. At Northeastern University in Boston, for example, administrators are encouraging students to take up to two wellness days this semester.
The idea has caught on in colleges nationwide, and has even been adopted by employers. Grinnell College in Iowa, for example, has a program called Working Differently Days, where classes are canceled twice a semester.
These days also serve as an opportunity for students to bond with their teachers and peers in a new way, building relationships that will be useful when they graduate. They can engage in activities such as yoga, martial arts, dancing, knitting, coloring, board games and origami.
Why do we need a wellness day?
Wellness day programs are a common strategy for companies to promote preventive care, reduce the number of sick days employees take and foster a healthy workplace. Employees earn credits by participating in health-related activities such as joining a gym, taking a nutrition class or monitoring their blood pressure, which are then redeemed for time off.
In addition to promoting the health of employees, wellness days also boost productivity and morale. However, employers need to make sure they allot the right number of wellbeing days, ensuring employees are able to use them effectively without disrupting their work schedule.
For schools, wellness days offer an opportunity for students to rest and recharge while building connections with teachers and classmates. Yoga, martial arts, dance, knitting and coloring are all examples of activities that help students relieve stress and anxiety during the school day.
How do we celebrate a wellness day?
Wellness Day is a global event that encourages us to look after our body, mind, and soul. It is an entirely not-for-profit day, a social project dedicated to living well and raising awareness about the importance of self-care.
Incorporate wellness into your daily routine and you will see a difference in your overall health. From a simple yoga class or meditation session, to a fitness challenge and healthy meals, there are so many ways to promote wellbeing.
When you incorporate wellness into your daily life, it becomes a regular habit. You will become healthier, less stressed, and happier.
You can celebrate Wellness Day by going to the spa, getting a massage, or taking up a new exercise. Or you can simply spend the day relaxing, unwinding, and enjoying your favorite movie or snack. However you choose to honor Global Wellness Day, you will feel amazing! You can even go to the gym for an invigorating workout and end your wellness day on a high note.
What are the benefits of a wellness day?
Every pay period, a full-time employee may take one 8 hour day off (Wellness Day) for personal growth and improvement.
Wellness is about taking charge of our health by improving physical and mental wellbeing, and removing risky behaviors like smoking. When people make healthy choices, they are happier, have less absenteeism and are more productive.
When a person improves their diet and gets more exercise, they also reduce their risks for high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. And when they get better sleep, they have more energy and are more creative and focused at work.
This is why many universities are now offering wellness days. Markie Pasternak with the national student network Active Minds says it’s a sign of administrators and brass prioritizing mental health on campus.