• Mental health is a legit reason for taking a sick day
  • Frame your sick day request around physiological stresses
  • Take care of yourself so that you can be happy and productive
It doesn’t happen every year, but there are those years when you don’t get crazy sick to the point where you have to take days off from work. Yes, you may get under the weather or perhaps catch a simple cold. Either way, it’s not enough to justify burning a sick day or two.

These are the times when you’re able to bank a bunch of sick days at work. And in most cases, sick days don’t usually carry over to the following year. It’s almost always a “use it or lose it” policy, which is kinda bullshit in our opinion.

You should be able to use sick days for those days when you just don’t feel like going to work. It’s hard motivating yourself when you’re not feelin’ it on these kinda days.

And this kind of situation isn’t worthy of burning a precious vacation day. None of us are lucky enough to work at a company with kickass perks like having unlimited PTO. So, we’ve gotta save vacation days for real vacations, not short breaks.

The solution is to use your sick days for these short breaks. The problem is how to do it without raising eyebrows or drawing negative attention from your boss. 

Mental Health Is Important For Overall Health

For most companies, sick days are meant to be used when you’re actually sick and unable to work. It’s for those days when you’ve got that full-on head-to-toe body ache and can’t get outta bed. Even thinking hurts. You know what we’re talking about here.

On these kinda days, it’s fucking impossible to work. So, having paid days off for illness and recovery is crucial. This is simple and straightforward.

What’s less clear is when you’re not sick but just not feeling it, mentally exhausted or stressed as fuck and need some time off. You often question if this really qualifies for using a sick day.

The short answer is YES!

Mental health is a key part of your overall health. There are tons of research like this study from the UK that shows that mental and physical health are interdependent. Meaning, if you’re suffering from mental stress, exhaustion, anxiety, etc, it can often lead to physiological issues like high blood pressure, persistent aches, weight gain, cardiac disease and increased susceptibility to viruses and other illnesses.

The opposite is true too. When you’re feeling happy, relaxed, calm, joyful, etc. your body naturally builds and boosts positive emotions and hormones. And these all contribute to stronger overall health.

How To Claim Your Sick Day For Mental Health

When you’re sick in the traditional sense, it’s easy to tell your boss that you can’t work. It’s usually a quick email or phone call as a heads up followed by completing a sick day request. Then, your boss approves the request and it’s done.

When you’re just overwhelmed at work and really need to get away from all the madness, it’s much harder to get your boss’s approval because you’re not technically sick. You’re just fed up with all the bullshit.

If you try to use a sick day for personal time off, it probably won’t get approved. And, you’ll have to burn a normal vacation day instead. This sucks.

The better option is to use a sick day rather than a vacation day. This is because you can use up sick days before they expire for the year and keep accruing vacation days for a kickass long vacation.

In order to do this, you need to frame your sick day request around the physiological pains that you’re enduring from the stresses of work. Work stress can and often leads to all sorts of physical ailments. This could be things like tension headaches that you’re suffering from due to all the fires you’ve been putting out at work lately.

Or, maybe you’re experiencing dizziness from all the digital eye strain from staring at your monitor all day long. And, if you’ve been cranking on some big reports, you may be dealing with hand cramps from all the non-stop typing.

See how framing the request this way makes it more likely that you can use a sick day? This is how you gotta make the sick day request.

If you’ve been communicating with your boss frequently and they know that you got a lot on your plate, then your mental health day request will be even easier, maybe even expected.

More Self-Care For More Happiness & Productivity

You bust your ass week in and week out. And, there are times when you’ll keep cranking away on all the grunt work even though you feel like shit. That’s a sign of your dedication and commitment to the quality of your work. After all, you have a personal brand to uphold.

However, you’re gonna get to a tipping point where you’re either going to lose your shit or collapse from total exhaustion. This is when it’s important to press pause on life and take a sick day for mental rest and recovery.

You gotta manage work stress and keep your overall health a top priority. This includes your mental health too. It’s all about balance and moderation.

Take care of yourself for a happier and more productive life.

Feel Better,

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