Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Taking Mental Days

Have you ever employed the ubiquitous sick day just because you really needed a break? People work so hard these days, and it's showing. Perhaps we've gotten a little lax on self-care, but it isn't unnoticed that as obesity, stress, and mental illness skyrocket, professional pressures likewise rise. I've often heard of people calling in sick to take a day for themselves.

Despite our daydreaming, sick days aren't enjoyable when you're actually ill. Remember high school? You thought you'd take in a few movies, eat junk food, relax. Instead, you sleep all day, are crank and miserable and then stress about the homework and quizzes you'll need to make up.

As work, family, societal demands accumulate, the desire and need to have a day free of worries, obligations, deadlines is obvious. I was talking with one of my mom's coworkers and friends, who suggested that work contracts include a select number of "mental health days" in addition to the set sick days employees are given. Being at your very best, for work or just life, requires that you are happy, healthy, rested, and at peace.

I took a mini mental health day from school last semester when things were getting ultra-busy and out of hand. It was just what I needed. I felt amazing and ready to finish school strong after taking time for myself.

P.S. I seriously recommend trying to get a job at Google. Their employee benefits are insane!

What do you think? Would you call in sick for a mental health day? Should this be something that employers acknowledge as necessary? Is a mental healthy day as real as a sick day? I'd love your thoughts!

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