Most of us have a backlog of sick days that we never use or that we store in case something goes really wrong. We think we need sick days just when we are vomiting or coughing, whenever we need to give our bodies a break from our regular schedule. However, our mental health also needs those breaks.
There are some days when we just can’t face the world. When we are feeling sad or anxious. Maybe we are going through a tough time, like a breakup or loss of a loved one, or maybe we are struggling with depression or anxiety. Whatever the reason may be, you still might need a mental health day. Just like when we are physical sick with the flu, we are not productive at work or please to be around if we are not of sound mind and body. We need to give ourselves that day to take care of the emotions and feelings we are experience so that we can return to our lives and be the employee, partner, parent, and friend that we are.
When you need to take a mental health day, just tell your employer you are not feeling well. They are not allowed to ask any further questions, so just leave it at that. Some offices may not look so favorably on mental health days, and you shouldn’t have to explain your reasoning.
Mental health days can look different to different people. Sometimes that means laying in bed and watching movies. Other times that means going for a hike and taking yourself out to lunch. Be kind to yourself and give yourself whatever you may need to lift your spirits and feel good about the day.
Be careful about taking too many mental health days. This could raise suspicions among your boss, but also indicate that something bigger, like deep unhappiness in your job or career.
Lastly, do not feel guilty about taking a mental health day. Yes, they are a different kind of sick day, but they are why we have these days and you need the break to be the best version of yourself. So, take that day and feel good about you!