If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know that last week wasn’t a great one for me. I had what I call ‘mental health days’.
I did have a few days off work – but those were pre-planned holidays – but normally I wouldn’t take time off.
But now we’re into a fresh week and I’m thinking about on the week before.
I’ve been questioning whether or not I should have taken more time off – and if it would have been allowed?
I’ve very lucky to have an amazing boss who would have been happy for me to have worked from home, or taken the days off as holidays at short notice.
But not everybody has that luxury – and not everyone has the same type of mental health days.
I had a lot of emotion which built up of the course of a few months and inevitably came crashing down on me.
So I did what any emotional 20-something woman would do. I cried. I watched The Bachelorette, I didn’t go to the gym and I at a whole packet of minstrels to myself.
Mental health comes in all different forms and in comparison I’m very lucky to not have any major mental health issues to deal with.
Whether you’re just having a bad week and need to cry, or you’re having to seek medical help, mental health days are so important and should be something we all give ourselves.
HEALTH IS HEALTH
Mental health is just as important as physical health. But it’s rarely seen this way in society.
In fact, you could be off work sick with a broken leg for half the year and nobody would bat an eye at you.
But if you’re off work with a mental health issue there’s this double standard in place.
Because it’s not a visible illness it can be hard for someone who hasn’t been through it to understand.
This is why it can be so hard for people to decide to take the time off that they deserve.
It can be easy to just dismiss it and not think that it’s actually something that warrants time off.
LITTLE AND OFTEN
For my mental health isn’t something you can just fix quickly. It takes time. A lot of time.
I’ve very good at bottling things up. So much so, that it all just bursts out at the wrong moment and I’m a mess for a few days or a week.
If I’d just slowed down for a minute and given myself the day I needed, then I’d like to think that it would have released that tension which was building up.
Taking time out just for a day or a few hours can really help you to refresh yourself.
I ended up taking 5 days off from the gym, and just lounging around for a week.
When in hindsight if I had just taken one night for myself I could have saved myself a whole week.
WE ALL NEED ME TIME
You might be reading this and think; “I don’t have depression or anxiety so I don’t need a ‘mental health day’.”
If you think that then great!
But don’t forget that whether it’s something small – like being tried from working more than usual – or something a lot more serious, we all need time off.
Thats why we go on holiday and take days off work.
It’s those breaks and me-time moments that keep our mental health and physical health is check.
So take some time for yourself. Run a bath and relax. Go away for the weekend. Whatever it is, it will do you good.
I’d love to know what you think about mental health days and if you think mental health is touched upon enough in the workplace?