Mental health days are just as important as sick days from work, but most Americans push their mental health to the backburner. At Urban Balance, we provide stress management solutions for working adults in Hinsdale, IL. Many of the patients in our depression treatment programs reach out because they feel overwhelmed in their day-to-day lives. Taking a mental health day is often the ideal solution.
Before you work yourself into a downward spiral, decide if it’s time for a personal break. Here are some signs you need a mental health day.
Sometimes, You Can’t Just “Get over It”
“Oh just get over it!” You’ve probably heard that a dozen times in your adult life. You wouldn’t tell someone to “get over” the flu, but people are quick to say so about anxiety or depression. When it comes to your mental health, you need to know your breaking point. You may need a few days to sort through your emotions, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Working on your mental health is not a sign of weakness. You’ve acknowledged a problem and found a solution. Would you call someone weak for going to the doctor when they have the flu? Of course not. Keep that in mind when deciding to take a mental health day.
Surefire Signs You Need a Mental Health Day
Here are some situations that show you need a mental health day:
- Something is weighing so heavily on your mind that it is affecting your performance at work
- Small tasks that you normally breeze through now feel overwhelming
- You need to see your therapist and have not been able to do so with your schedule
- You need to see your doctor or psychiatrist (this may only require a half-day)
- The stress of going to work in the morning keeps you up all night
- You have not had sound sleep in several days
- You feel like you’re one second away from a mental breakdown
You know your mind and body better than anyone else. However, adults often feel like they’re capable of more than they actually are. You may not notice some of the issues above, but your friends or coworkers will. “Wow Sally, are you OK? You look so tired.” Listen to their concerns, and truly think about how you’re feeling. If you need a mental health day, talk to your employer taking one.
Times to Take a Mental Health Day, Regardless of the Signs
There are some times when taking a mental health day is a necessity, no matter how you’re feeling in the moment. These include:
- After the death of a loved one
- After receiving tragic news
- After a traumatic event (robbery, car accident, housefire, etc.)
Your body and mind may be in shock during these times, so you feel fine on the surface. If you take a mental health day though, the emotions from the event will come rushing in. This gives you time to process your feelings and talk to your therapist about the trauma. You can grieve, cry, get angry, get sad and come to terms with what is happened. Then you’ll be ready to return to work.
Know Your Work Policy for Mental Health Days
Every workplace has its own rules about mental health days. Some employers provide mental health or “personal days” for their employees, separate from sick days or vacation days. Others allow workers to take mental health breaks, but they have to use one of their sick days to cover it. Your job may have special rules for bereavement days after a loved one passes away. These are all policies you will need to review so you understand how your absence will be paid and reported.
If you need help with stress management, depression, work/life balance, or any other obstacle, contact one of our therapist offices in Hinsdale, St. Louis, or the Greater Chicago area. You may schedule an appointment by phone by calling (888) 726-7170, or you may send an email to email@example.com.