Originally published in September of 2016 on lovelyingrey, edited.
It’s May, which if you didn’t know, is Mental Health Month. So while you may be trying to improve, improve, improve, I wanted to talk to you about the importance of taking a mental health day – and just how much taking a break can actually help you in the long run.
There are many people in workplaces across America suffering with depression, severe anxiety and a multitude of other mental health issues. So when they start to feel ill and like their health may be taking a toll on their work performance, shouldn’t they treat it like any other illness? (I mean, let’s face it, if you were sick with the flu you wouldn’t be scrambling to come to work.) Why should mental health be any different than physical health?
While everyone no doubt deals with stress at their jobs, people with mental health issues may have a harder time coping with the stress and getting through it. Taking control of thoughts and emotions is an important process in managing your stress. So if you feel that you may need time to do this outside of the office, that’s what mental health days are for.
Pulled from the Forbes article “How To Know When You Need A Mental Health Day,” here are a few times when you might need to let your boss know you won’t be coming into the office:
- When you’re distracted by something you need to address. If you’re behind on your bills and taking a day off to tackle your budget could help you feel as though you’re back in control, it may make sense to take a day to address it so you can reduce your anxiety.
- When you’ve been neglecting yourself. Just like electronic devices need recharging, it’s important to take time to charge your own batteries. A little alone time or an opportunity to practice some self-care can help you perform better.
- When you need to attend appointments to care for your mental health. Whether you need to see your doctor to get your medication adjusted or to schedule an appointment with your therapist, taking a day off to address your mental health needs is instrumental in helping you be your best.
If your mental health is in a fragile state, please consider taking a mental health day. If your company doesn’t offer mental health days, take a personal day. And if your company doesn’t offer personal days, write to your boss and explain that in order to continue to be an efficient employee, you need this day (or two!) to make sure that you are able to perform your best. If they care about your well-being and your ability to perform your job to the best of your ability, they should understand that you may need a mental health day.