Why you should take a mental health day and not feel guilty about it
Lysn is an online health platform which allows you to obtain psychology services online. You can find a qualified Australian psychologist that suits your needs, book an online video consultation, and have a video call with your chosen psychologist by video teleconferencing using your computer or laptop.
Lysn Psychologist, Noosha Anzab talks to She Does This about the importance of taking mental health days....
Taking a day off from work for any reason can invariably make anyone feel guilty. No matter whether it’s a legitimate excuse like being sick with the flu, or a sneaky day off for a hangover, it's never an easy conversation to have with your boss.
Asking for a day off can provoke a myriad of emotions from both parties, especially if there is a lot of work happening. Most people will have experienced the fear and guilt that comes with this, not to mention the added workload the next day when they’re back in the workplace. Somehow, the idea of a mental health day is more stressful than what it ought to be and we need to change the lenses which we view this from.
We need to stop pushing ourselves mentally and develop boundaries around our mental capacity like we would our physical.
It’s no surprise then that asking for a day off for mental health reasons doesn’t come easily. Talking about mental health in general can be a difficult topic to bring up with those close to us, let alone our boss.
However what people often don’t factor in is the ramifications of not taking a day off if we aren't feeling emotionally or mentally well. When someone is feeling unbalanced, it has an impact on their personal and professional lives. Our mental health can bleed into our physical, so we might start to feel fatigued or burnt out. Physical exhaustion can hinder our ability to cope and compromise our mental capacity. Our mental health has a flow-on effect into so many other areas of our lives. Taking a mental health day from work should be a priority for us personally, and even more of a significance for our employers, professional growth and performance.
A mental health day can give us the opportunity to hit the refresh button, recoup and take some time out to make ourselves that little bit more grounded. It can allow us to pause, process and unwind a little. It can allow time for reflection, organisation or just simply give us the opportunity to practice self-care and self-kindness.
There's no reason why we should feel guilty about taking a mental health day – our mental health should be just as important as your physical health, if not more important.
If you're taking a mental health day, be sure to use the time wisely and really embrace it for exactly what it is. If you are feeling stressed or run down, do activities that are going to alleviate some of that pressure.
Whether it’s a well-deserved sleep in, a drawn-out bath, meditating or a day out in nature doing nothing in particular - these are acts of self-care that can help to get you feeling more balanced again. If your day off doesn’t help, consider other options. Speaking to a suitable Psychologist, whether via phone or video-based sessions through services like Lysn are a great place to start. This level of professional help can help determine how to take self-care up a notch and really encourage restfulness and recuperation.
Otherwise, talk to your GP for a referral to a Psychologist or seek out services like Beyond Blue, SANE Australia and Lifeline, who all offer free over the phone counselling services.