Can You Take Sick Days For Mental Health?

Do you have some days where you feel like everything is kind of crashing down around you? Inside your mind? You still go to work though.

People think of sick days as days you take off to heal and recover from a physical illness such as a fever, cold, or the flu. It is not that simple. Taking a “sick day” can also be for your mental health. Have you ever caught yourself at work or in your social life feeling like you are losing your mind? I know I have.

In this post I will describe why and how these “sick days” can be used to nurture your mental health. Plus I will be sharing my full-proof tip to balance your mental health while thriving in the office and with your peers.

What Is a “Sick Day”?

The classic term “sick day” refers to paid time off from any occupation that can be used to a certain number of days when you are ill. But the vast majority of the time people think of these “sick days” as meant for recovery from a physical illness. Sick days can and should also be used to help with mental illness and nurturing mental health because mental issues can be just as debilitating as physical illnesses.

Nurturing Mental Health

Nurturing your mental health is so important even for the most mentally aware and stable person. Bad days are a part of life, and sometimes your mind feels simply fried. Therefore, there has to be a way to find peace in everyday life. Everyday life is incredibly challenging, rewarding, and sometimes, absolutely exhausting physically and mentally. So the big question is like I said before, is balancing your mental health and your everyday life.

Move Towards Balance With Mindfulness

Now that we understand that nurturing mental health is so important as it affects every aspect of life and that taking “sick days” to nurture mental health is not only acceptable, but should be encouraged, we have to understand how to actually move towards balance. Mindfulness brings your attention to the precise moment that you are living in. With practice, being mindful of life, or even thinking about your inner self, is such a peaceful feeling. The book: Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday provides simple yet revolutionary techniques that promote mental health and wellness in the everyday life. We all work, have conversations with others, and desire peace and stability in life inside and out. This book makes all of these complicated components of life fit together like a puzzle.

The Bottom Line

You can only give to anything besides yourself with your overflow. Think of it like a bucket. If your bucket is not full, how can you give your best version of yourself to anyone else? To your job? Practicing mindfulness will fill your bucket. So take a “sick day” to practice mindfulness and invest in yourself. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Using only this book and your own peaceful thoughts that come from being mindful will produce results that will enhance your already unique self.

8 thoughts on “Can You Take Sick Days For Mental Health?”

  1. Hey this is a great article! This is so right, I have heard and know many use sick day for physical illness but never think about taking a break for their mental health. I believe people need to more aware and educated on looking after their mental health. Your mind is just as important as your physical health!

    • Hi! Thanks so much for your comment I really appreciate it! Yes, your mind is so important! Your comment is very motivating also!

  2. When I am overwhelmed by life,” I use the phrase ” I need a Mental Health day!” It allows coworkers and colleagues to understand I need time to regroup, and there is no rebuttal on how many days I will be out of the office. Besides that, it starts a conversation about how people handle stress in their daily routine and identifies some who perhaps are struggling internally. 

    • Hi! That is awesome! I love that! Sometimes it feels like everything is piling up and taking time to regroup is so important! 

  3. Hi, Nick!
    What a great review! Mental health is as much if not a lot more important than physical health. At least I think so but most people take sick days when they get a cold or the flu. Many employers don’t understand that sometimes workers could be more productive if they get the chance to nurture their mental health. A work in progress I guess…
    Thanks a lot for sharing and keep safe!

    • Hi! Thanks so much! You are so right about employers. I think it might be because they simply don’t even think about it. Employers can easily get too concerned with production and forget about the person. It absolutely is a work in progress and we are making progress by continuing to spread awareness. Thank you and keep safe as well!

  4. This is such an important topic especially in the times we are in. Mental Health is a much-talked-about topic now than before, although I’ve never heard it being accepted as a reason for a sickie.

    You are right in saying mental illness is just as bad as a physical illness but I don’t think all workplaces will see it as such.  That change will bring a lot of balance to many lives. Mental Health Days at work could be a way out for some workplaces and discourage fewer absences from work.

    • Hi! I could not agree more because mental health days usually are not accepted as a valid reason for a sick day. the issue with that is if your mental health is not where it needs to be how can you do what workplaces expect? I totally agree that that change will bring some balance to people’s lives and open dialogue between the workplace and the employee might work wonders there. I totally agree that mental health days would discourage work absences. Also if there is not enough understanding then an employee might still be at work but not really “be there”. Thank you for your comments!


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