Let’s Talk: Mental Health Sick Days

Today, I’m taking a mental health day off work. It’s the first time I’ve done this at my new job (which I’ve now been at for over 7 months) – and it’s the first time that I’ve allowed myself to do this, without an ounce of guilt or remorse about doing so.

I’ve had some frustrating and upsetting things happen over the course of this week (which I’ve learned to finally stop sharing with the internet!) and although I adore my job with all my heart, being at a place of work where I’m constantly reading about sickness – alongside the hope and positivity I see, can really start to weigh down on you.

I’ve tried to power through. I’ve tried talking to people around me about it and I’ve managed to get through from Monday to Thursday, maintaining my usually joking, happy and smiling attitude. However, inevitably I’ve cracked.

I woke up loads last night, tossing and turning. Turning my alarm off this morning I felt heavy, sick and anxious. I didn’t want to put a brave face on today. I wanted to sit in my PJs, with my cat, read books and have a bath. I wanted a day to dissociate from everything – and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I commute and going into the office takes me just over an hour or so. I would have to go to meetings today, I would have to manage my to-do list, phone-calls and expectations from other people – and it’s one of those days that I know that I’m not up to the task at hand.

I know it can feel silly or undeserved to take a time out when it’s your brain that isn’t playing ball. I did consider working from home and powering through once again, but for once, I’ve decided to treat myself with the same kindness that I would to anyone else in my situation. Taking a pause.

My mental health is leaps and bounds better than it used to be. A year or two has made a staggering difference to my OCD, my anxiety and my general mood… BUT, I’m human. Things get me down in the same way that they would anyone else, and my mental health deserves some rest and relaxation.

Mental health days are now a rarer occurrence for me, but they are still a necessity. I’m so lucky that I’ve got a manager who I can confide in and be completely honest with, but remember that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s no guilt in doing the same as I am.

Remember, your psychological wellness is JUST AS IMPORTANT as your mental wellness. You wouldn’t be barging on the tube and into the office with a broken leg, so why would you do it with a poorly brain?

With that, I’m going to get back to my book, take a long walk and have a bath. Cya soon internet.

Rach

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