When to Take a Mental Health Day

If you woke up tomorrow with a fever, the flu, or a bad stomach virus- would you stay home to keep from infecting others? Or just to give yourself time to rest and feel better?

Most of us take sick days when we are, well, sick. But what about when we are feeling exhausted in other ways? So stress, exhausted and drained that crawling out of the bed brings you to tears? If we can take sick days to improve physical health, why not a mental health day?

We don’t mean call in when you are in a bad mood, or just feeling a little tired. But if you are seriously stressed and starting to feel it physically, it is TIME for a mental health day.

Physical illness is contagious. When you are stressed, guess what- you are still contagious- spreading your bad mood to everyone- but even worse, allowing stress to keep you from giving 100, or even 75% at work.

You are only HUMAN. Sometimes you simply need a day to mentally recharge and reset. That may be sleeping, spending time with someone you love, curling up with a good book, or sitting outside and enjoying nature.

Some tips for taking a guilt-free mental-health day:

  • Schedule it in advance. Request a day off so that you can plan and not have to catch up after. This also gives your boss a head’s up.
  • Timing. Taking the day off in the middle of a big project or deadline may only increase your stress afterwards, and may create stress for you while you are trying to recharge.
  • PLAN. Who will cover for you? What will happen to the work that doesn’t get done? What are you going to do the day you are out?

Sometimes, working through the stress can be better than staying home and wallowing in it. Just don’t be afraid to take a day now and then when you need it and you KNOW that it will be beneficial.

If you do not deal with your stress before it is too late, that sick day WILL be a sick day after all!