Why You Should Take That Mental Health Day

Listen, I can’t get out of bed or pu

I’m writing this from bed, in an oversized mustard yellow jumper from H&M that I’m just in love with, off sick from work, updating my CV and actually having the loveliest time. There’s a cup of tea beside me and a Spotify playlist playing in the background. (I’m all about just listening to random Spotify playlists lately and adding anything that catches my attention to my ‘for listening to again later’ list).

Even though I’ve started to hate my job, have a bit of a hangover and have no idea what my next move should be career wise. Living the high life, right?

Employers have a thing about mental health days. They don’t really ‘officially’ recognise it as an actual illness that you can just call in with for a day or two.

Like, I can’t imagine what my manager would say if I rang him up and said: ‘Listen, I can’t get out of bed or put on makeup or be a functioning adult today because I’m kind of afraid to leave the house and face my life, and no, I’m not sure why, and yes, I am about to cry’. So, today I have ‘food poisoning’, and I think it’s going to span into tomorrow, because food poisoning normally lasts 2-3 days. I was contemplating working from home as a compromise, until I ran into my neighbour in the lift, and he and his fiancé have planned a mental health day for tomorrow too, which made me feel a lot less guilty. Everyone does it. I am perfectly normal (on a side note, I have the chillest, friendliest neighbours in the world, and they don’t even judge me for having bottles of wine/beer/prosecco for the recycling every single time I run into them when taking out my bin).

I mean, yeah, in my head, my mother is judging me for taking time off, and my dad is silently judging me as well (one colleague is judging me out loud and bitterly, but it’s hard to take him too seriously, he’s one of life’s naturally grumpy people). My parents have impeccable work ethics, they rarely take sick days. My dad had a heart attack a few years ago and after six months of time for recovery his company doctor was fully prepared to give him another six months. My dad told him he was incredibly bored and politely (I assume) informed him he was returning to work, and that was that.

Luckily, I’m an adult, and like any adult, I have no intention of even implying to my parents that I took time off work. Nope. If they ask how work is going when I go home for Mothers Day this weekend, I’m going to tell them it’s going just fine.

But guys, seriously, sometimes you just need a mental health day or two. Regardless of whether or not you have ever had any kind of mental illness. Where you read and drink tea and watch Netflix and avoid leaving the house at all costs. Because leaving the house means putting on makeup and looking presentable to the outside world, making eye contact with strangers and having to stretch to polite small talk. Sometimes that is just too freaking hard. Sometimes the outside world is a scary awful place and it’s ok if the idea of going out in it makes you want to cry.

There’s something nice about being at home alone when you would normally be at work, and the rest of the world is (well, the rest of the people who live on the floor of my apartment block are anyway). It’s quiet and peaceful, and it feels totally different than it would if I were just sitting doing all of this on a Saturday. I feel less afraid about life, well rested (even though I’m not getting any more or less sleep), more centred.

So I’m hiding out for a while, and I feel better already. Like I’ll be able to take on the world again come Monday.

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