Feel like life’s got you down? Need a mental health day, but can’t seem to take one? Don’t suffer alone. There’s a way to call in sick for mental health!
Learn how today!
Calling in sick for mental health is tricky. Mental health days are essential for managing stress. Asking for one can be scary. Taking time to rest is great for you.
This guide will help you know the importance of mental health days and give tips on how to call in sick. You’ll learn how to plan for a mental health day, create a script for your supervisor or HR, and get guidance on what to do after taking off.
Understanding Mental Health
Mental health is about our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It’s important to be aware of how our mental state affects our daily activities. Stress and work can have a bad effect. So, it’s wise to take time off when needed.
Taking time off for mental health can be good for the employee and employer. Explain the consequences if you don’t have time off. This way, they can make a decision that’s best for everyone.
When taking time off, employers should provide resources. Like private counseling or job coaches. Going back to work after an absence shouldn’t cause extra anxiety. Employers should know when an employee needs more help.
Assessing Your Mental Health
Evaluate if you need time away from work or fewer hours. Taking a break is helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed or if ignoring your mental health could be damaging. Ask yourself these questions:
Do you feel stressed? Is your energy drained? Can you focus on tasks? Do you have trouble sleeping? Are simple things harder than usual? All of these are indications that a day off is a good idea.
If you’re able to take a day off, don’t hesitate to do so. Use this free time to restore balance. If you can’t take the entire day off, try to take small breaks during the day. Schedule lunch breaks and take walks around the office. Self-care is important.
Preparing to Call in Sick
Get ready to call in sick and it’ll help you feel more prepared and confident. When you call, give your boss all the info they need. This will help them plan, and remove any worries about your health or work. Depending on the company’s policy, you may need to give medical proof.
Take a few moments to get ready. Accept how you feel and don’t judge it. This will give you a sense of peace before you make the call.
When you call, stay positive. Don’t focus on negative ideas or words. Tell them what stops you from coming in, but don’t get into too much detail. It might be good to suggest how team goals can be achieved even when you’re not there. This shows you’re still focused on work, even if you’re absent due to mental health.
Making the Call
Making a call to take a mental health day can be hard. People might feel embarrassed or ashamed. Remember, employers must treat you fairly if you are ill, both physically and mentally.
When you make the call, explain what is happening without giving too much detail. If it’s okay, discuss the accommodations you may need when you return. Do not link it to work-life – focus on wellness and recovery instead.
Here are some valid reasons for taking a mental health day:
- Unwellness or low energy
- Stress or burnout
- Increased anxiety
- Grief or depression
- Difficulty concentrating
After the call, take notes – including who you spoke with and when. This will help to stay organized about absences.
After You Call in Sick
Once you call in sick because of mental health, take care of yourself! Get rest and practice relaxation techniques like deep breaths and mindfulness. Talk to someone you trust, like a supportive family member or friend. Get outside and do something calming, like a walk or game. If you can, give yourself a break from work stuff like emails and reports.
Discuss with your therapist or doctor medicines that may help during this tough time. Also, create self-care techniques that help long-term. This could be getting a hobby, exercising, eating mindfully, and doing cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to assist with the issues.
Returning to Work
When you’re ready, it’s vital to get back to work. Discuss with your treatment provider what is suitable for you and when the time is right. Employers should realize mental illness is like any other illness and must be given time to heal. Many employers offer employee assistance programs that have experts in mental health issues. Getting help from a professional before returning to work can be helpful.
Remember that recovery from a mental health issue doesn’t happen quickly, so give yourself time. If you are having difficulty managing symptoms while returning to work, tell your supervisor immediately so extra support can be organized.
Depending on how open you are about mental health issues, you may want to talk to coworkers when you come back. Our society’s view on mental health has improved, but there are still stigmas around it. Don’t be afraid to rely on compassionate colleagues who understand the value of a healthy mind and body!
Resources for Mental Health Support
It can be tricky to talk to your employer about needing time off for mental health. It’s key to remember that employers should value their employees’ well-being. Here are some resources to help with the conversation.
Start by assessing your personal situation and what you want from the convo. Are there any special strategies or accommodations that could help? Have ideas ready so you can suggest them or provide evidence.
Know the laws in your state related to taking time off for mental health. Understand things like the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other laws and company policies.
Seek help if needed outside of work to remain productive and keep stress to a minimum. Talk to mental health specialists or organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Other helpful organizations include the American Psychological Association (APA), Mental Health America (MHA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Getting advice from someone who has dealt with similar issues may help when talking to employers.