The Critical Importance of Mental Health Days


    Many employees are afraid to call out when they’re feeling emotionally ill. This typically is not the company’s fault, but more of a personal struggle stemming from guilt and shame. Sometimes, workers believe they should push or distract themselves. But there’s a fine line between “giving in” and looking after yourself.

    “Self-care is vital to your success, not only on the job, but in life,” said Vicki Salemi, a Monster career expert. “If you’re not sleeping well, feeling depressed, sad, alone, overwhelmed … it’s completely acceptable, and in fact should be encouraged, to take mental health days to take care of yourself.”

    Mental health should be treated with as much importance as physical health. If you’d call out for a fever, why not for a panic attack? Here’s how to benefit from mental health days.

    Your mind is going to scream at you. Or, if you’re lucky, it’ll merely whisper in your ear throughout the day, telling you your emotions and reactions are invalid. Let those thoughts exist. Don’t actively invite them in, but don’t kick them out either.

    “A common reason why many refuse to take mental health days is because they feel guilty, ashamed, weak and a million other overwhelming emotions,” said Salemi. “Their thoughts convince them that they’re giving in, playing victim, being dramatic, when really, it’s quite the opposite.”

    By taking a mental health day, you are choosing to help yourself get better. If you woke up with a migraine, would you force yourself to follow the routine of your day when you can barely keep your eyes open without vomiting? (I hope not.) Odds are, you’d acknowledge the pain, call out sick and do whatever it takes to feel better.

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