Men’s Performance Coach, Mike Campbell revealed exclusively to DMARGE how to take a day off from work for your mental health, even if don’t think you can afford to do so financially.
Taking a day or two off from work because you’re sick is seriously essential – especially in the wake of the COVID pandemic. However, taking a day off because your mental health isn’t feeling too crash hot (this includes feeling flat, burnt out or just feeling like you need a day to reset) is just as important.
Of course, not everyone has the luxury of taking time off work. Some men work casually or on a freelance basis and a day off, even if it’s classified as sick leave, means no pay cheque. And for many men, especially considering the crazy current state of the economy, every single pay cheque is extremely necessary.
Never fear if this is hitting a little too close to home… DMARGE exclusively spoke to Mike Campbell, Men’s Performance Coach, and asked for his professional advice on how to take a sick day for your mental health when you literally can’t afford to.
Essentially, Mike highly recommends having an open discussion with your boss or superiors. Just be honest, and admit that you would like a day (or two) off because of your mental health needs and would spend the day ensuring you return to work feeling fresh and restored.
“[Taking a day off for mental health] can be extremely challenging, especially when financial security isn’t guaranteed. However, if you are someone needing time, then the first and often simplest step is to speak with whoever pays your wages and ask if they are open to a discussion about your wellbeing.”Mike Campbell
“Share that you greatly value your employment and you are feeling the need for a day for mental health and while you are casual etc, would they be open to supporting you by giving you the grace of a day off. Express your commitment to honouring the day and using it when essential. This might receive a no, but you will never know if you don’t ask.”
Of course, some workplaces won’t be able to provide you with a paid sick day if that’s not in your employment contract. But, as Mike says, there’s seriously no harm in asking and your workplace could help in other ways once they’re aware that you’re struggling with your mental health – for example, they could lighten your workload or allow you to leave earlier.
If you follow Mike’s advice and are successful, you don’t want to waste your paid mental health day though. You should make sure you use it to your advantage and actually try to improve your mental health.
“Don’t spend the day on your phone or device consuming information and content. Give yourself a break. Most men tend to have very little time simply being; sitting alone with themselves and their thoughts and feelings when they aren’t busy doing something. For some men, their mental and emotional well-being needs more time at rest.”Mike Campbell
“However, for some men that is so wildly removed from what is normal and comfortable that it is terrifying to face what comes up there, so initially… they might be too challenged by this. So, perhaps they need good company, some exercise, and some time in nature. Find what will work for you that is restorative and nourishing and doesn’t just fill more time and space until the pressure builds again.”
If you ask for a paid mental health day and your workplace isn’t able to oblige, Mike’s tips are still useful; just prioritise ditching your phone and either resting alone or getting some exercise with good company and out in nature on the days you do have off if your mental health isn’t one hundred per cent.