I just took today as a vacation day, but the importance of taking time off for yourself is so important for your mental health.
Remember Keanu Reeves was Shane Falco in The Replacements before becoming Mr. John Wick.
As I mentioned before, I primarily work remotely and many people immediately think it is cool you are able to take care of so many personal things because you are at home, doing laundry, watching your children, grocery shopping, going to doctor’s appointments, etc.
That doesn’t work for me…
When I work, I am completely “dialed in” to the point where I haven’t been taking breaks, lunches or even stepping away from my desk, which is a stand-up desk I use the entire day and night when working. It is better than sitting and recommending one if you do not have it already.
I own it and the only one that can change it…
I am making more of an effort to take the breaks that I need to maintain my mental health. I am also doing well eating healthy and working out during the week.
Taking a mental health day from work is a valuable and necessary practice for maintaining your overall well-being. Just like you might take a sick day when you have a physical ailment, it’s important to recognize when you need a break to address your mental health. Here are some steps to consider when taking a mental health day:
- Check Company Policies: Review your company’s policies regarding time off, sick leave, or personal days. Some organizations have specific policies for mental health days, while others may categorize them under personal or sick days.
- Plan Ahead: Whenever possible, plan your mental health day in advance. This allows you to communicate your absence to your supervisor and colleagues, making it easier for them to manage workloads during your absence.
- Be Honest: When requesting the day off, be honest with your supervisor or HR department about the reason. You don’t need to provide specific details if you’re not comfortable, but letting them know it’s for mental health reasons can help reduce any stigma around it.
- Request Time Off: Follow your company’s procedures for requesting time off. This might involve submitting a formal request through HR, using an online system, or informing your supervisor directly.
- Prepare for Your Absence: To minimize disruption to your team and workload, try to complete any urgent tasks or hand over responsibilities to a colleague if necessary. Create an out-of-office message for your email and update your calendar to reflect your absence.
- Set Boundaries: Use your mental health day as an opportunity to disconnect from work-related stressors. Avoid checking work emails or taking work calls. Instead, focus on self-care activities that help you recharge.
- Self-Care: Use your mental health day to engage in activities that promote relaxation and well-being. This might include meditation, exercise, spending time in nature, reading, journaling, or pursuing hobbies you enjoy.
- Reflect and Recharge: Take time to reflect on your mental health and what you need to do to maintain it. Consider seeking professional help or support if you’re dealing with ongoing mental health challenges.
- Communicate with Your Team: When you return to work, consider sharing with your team that you took a mental health day. This can help reduce stigma and encourage open conversations about mental health in the workplace.
- Monitor Your Progress: Pay attention to how you feel after your mental health day. If you’re still struggling, it might be a sign that you need more extended support or time off. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional for guidance.
Remember that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Mental health days can be a proactive way to manage stress, prevent burnout, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Take a break before turning into Baba Yaga (“the boogeyman”)
How am I spending my day today? Going to the grocery store with my wife. See you in aisle 5 at Jewel Osco (see my previous post). “Yeah I’m thinking I’m back!”