Back in July I took 4 days off work for my mental health.
I had taken a Monday off work as I felt I needed to proactively take some extra rest, do some life admin and feel a bit more in control. But as Monday evening drew in I found myself absolutely dreading the sight of my inbox the next day, then endless questions and tasks and the problems I would need to sort out.
To be honest the very idea of work was making me feel utterly exhausted, like I wanted to stay in bed. I had a lovely weekend full of walks and yoga and a nice massage on Sunday. But still I felt like the sky was falling down.
So on Tuesday morning, I was sat in bed, wondering if I could really be off sick for my MENTAL health. I mean the company I work for are very vocal and open about looking after your physical and mental wellbeing. But I still wasn’t sure if – career wise – this was the right thing to do.
So I was reading and pondering and feeling very stressed and upset about work and stressed about not going to work, and stressed about how I was feeling. So obviously I started googling everything to see what justified a mental health sick day. And that is when I found this article: METRO | When Should You Take a Mental Health Sick Day?
The article suggested that it was right to do this in the following circumstances:
You’re dreading going into work ✔️ I think I covered that off above.
You have an appointment – taking time out to see a therapist, counsellor about your mental health is valid and necessary! You should not feel guilty about this.
You’re struggling to get into work – struggling to get on public transport due to mental health reason, being unable to get yourself out of bed and get washed and dressed, or being unable to face people are all part of this.
You need a day to be proactive – this is how it started for me, but I soon realised that I needed a break from work and as the week went on I did start to be calmer and more in control. By Sunday evening I was ready to go back. Taking a proactive day before it becomes too much, or if you have been feeling mentally unwell for a while can help to reset and prevent a longer term problem.
The article finished up with these three questions, think about this the next time you are tempted to force yourself to go in. I took a few days and my wellbeing, performance and happiness increased as a result!
Three questions to answer if you’re considering a mental health sick day:
- Is going into work going to make me feel better or worse?
- Will you do a good job at work today?
- Do you really need to be at work today?