Taking a "sick day" is generally well-accepted as a legitimate excuse for not coming in to work. But still, in this day and age of supposed enlightenment, using a sick day for mental/psychological reasons is often frowned upon or given the "side eye."
Mental health is just as important as the physical, sometimes even more vital for overall well-being. If you believe a mental health day is just what you need to feel your best, go ahead and take care of yourself - mind, body, and spirit.
Not sure when a mental health day would be called for? Of course, everyone is different with specific issues to contend with, but these 3 reasons are universal and the perfect reasons to take a day to yourself to get back on track.
1. You're Overtired
Too many sleepless nights or inadequate sleep can take a real toll on mental health. Your body needs adequate rest in order to function at its peak, from head to toe. Running on empty in the sleep department will create a domino effect, making each task more difficult and less productive than the last, making you even more exhausted.
As per Inc., "(Science shows) sleep deprivation creates a host of negative effects, from decreased creativity to radically compromised mental performance." And Huffington Post adds, "Experts agree that an ideal workday would start at 10 a.m. so employees can sleep and be at their most productive, but since that's likely not happening anytime soon, a mental health day can help alleviate some of the exhaustion."
Take a day to sleep until you awaken naturally and take it easy all day. Nap if the mood strikes you and catch up on those missed hours of precious sleep. You'll be amazed how much more alert, patient, quick-thinking, and productive you'll be after getting that rejuvenating rest.
2. You're Stressed Out
Stress can radically mess with your mind. Pressure in the workplace, home or family issues, money woes, or other drama in your life can heighten stress causing an eventual mental breakdown if not dealt with before it spirals out of control. A mental health day can help you to decompress and de-stress, leaving you in a better state of mind to get back to work and do your job without distraction.
Huffington Post says, "Research shows that work is one of the leading causes of stress. Workplace burnout can become a serious issue if it's not addressed properly." This probably comes as no surprise to most.
Self adds, "With all mental health issues, whether diagnosable illnesses or just extreme stress that's causing issues, it's important to recognize that prevention is so much better than intervention." So take that mental health day before it's too late and you've gone off the deep end. One day off won't ruin your career. Conversely, it can save it, and your sanity!
3. You Feel Something Coming On
You've no doubt heard that "mind over matter" can help cure or solve many of life's dilemmas. One of which is giving your body an extra boost of natural "medicine" if you feel an illness coming on. Rather than try to make your way through the day with a pounding headache or other aches and pains, preemptively call in sick to give yourself a day to battle what could otherwise become a full-blown illness.
Rest has amazing powers to ward off life's woes such as illness. Even if you don't stay in bed all day, do something relaxing like catching up on some light reading, working on your knitting, or just cuddling with your pet.
As Huffington Post notes, "Mental health days allow you to unplug from your inbox and refocus — and that can make you a happier, healthier employee." And Self adds, "Anything that makes you happy is a boon to your health in comparison to the detrimental effects of stress on everything from your heart to your skin."