Have you ever called in sick to work because you needed a break? Needing a break to relax and focus on yourself is normal, but the idea of “self-care” days hasn’t entered the mainstream vernacular just yet. In an interview featured in the US News & World Report, Dr. Alison Ross defines self-care as
taking a few moments on a regular basis to check in with oneself, to take stock of how they’re doing emotionally and physically. Are they exhausted? Overwhelmed? Burned-out? Stressed out? Completely depleted? Many people don’t do this in an ongoing way; they just go, go, go with regards to their work life and their home life, and this contributes to feelings of unhappiness, resentment and a sense of hopelessness about being on an endless treadmill they can’t get off of.”
Dr. Ross encourages everyone to carve out “me time” that includes taking time to do something pleasurable. “This can include taking a mental health day off from their job,” she says.
When is legitimate to play hooky?
There are many legitimate reasons for a mental health day off. Work can be stressful, tedious and very demanding, and over time without a break it can be “soul crushing,” Ross says. Office politics can be odious and, at times, difficult to manage. Outside the workplace, challenging life events such as the death of a loved one, an unexpected illness in a family member or friend or the break-up of a meaningful relationship can also be reasons to take a mental health day. “A break from work can provide distance, literally and emotionally, in ways that can facilitate better coping strategies for addressing them,” she says.
To read more about what a mental healthcare day looks like, click here.
Reach out today
If you feel that work and the day-to-day grind is putting a strain on your mental health, getting some professional guidance can help. To explore your options for therapy in Midtown Manhattan, contact Dr. Alison Ross. You can get in touch by phone or through the contact form.