Today, I have taken the day off work because I knew that I wasn't in the right place to go into work. When people think about taking the day off work they think about the flu or food poisoning or a really nasty cold. To most, taking the day off of work for mental health seems like skiving or coming up with excuses. Whilst I was at school I had to take a lot of time off due to my mental health, I spent the entire days in bed binge watching TV as if I was physically impaired. My mum used to get me to go on walk with her and I always felt really guilty like I was cheating the sick day.
What I have learnt is that my mental health is just as important as my physical health and it is just as legitimate to have a sick day in order to give your mental health break or because you can't manage on top of what's going on in your head. Just because her people can't see the illness doesn't mean it's not there. Take a sick day, get some fresh air, have some coffee with a friend or curl up and watch a good movie, do whatever it is that is going to help you feel a little bit better the same way that you would if you were physically sick.
I was talking to a friend earlier this week and he explained a new policy that his company had recently put in place. 'Duvet Days'. The company are giving 2 days a year that are independent from holiday or sick days in order to allow people to call in last minute for no other reason than to have a day in bed. I personally think this idea is genius and part of the amazing movement that has started o recognise the responsibility of the employer to make sure that their employees are in a mentally healthy work environment. Even just 2 days where you can take some time just to relax and unwind is so clever because it makes sure that people are in the best place to work and that if needs be they have the opportunity to take some time without using up their holiday or sick days. It recognises that people have lives outside of work and that by making these lives more positive and easier it means that employees are going to be more productive and work harder for their employers because the employers clearly care fro their well being.
Although my job has many faults, and definitely cannot claim to have the quite the mental health motivation as the above mentioned company. One thing that I massively respect is that when disclosing my mental health to my boss I was informed that should I need a day off for my mental health this would be fine. There is a recognition that some days are too much and that people's illnesses are legitimate whether it's something that you can see or not.