Health & Wellness

Why We All Need a Mental Health Day

May 24, 2015
Why We Need A Mental Health Day

When I left one of my jobs, I left with $15,000 worth of sick leave accrued (unfortunately not paid out). Yes – that’s a lot of sick leave not taken over a 10 year period.

Back then, my attitude was that if you weren’t ready to be admitted to hospital you packed your tissues and Panadol and took your germs or headache to work. Taking a day off because I felt mentally fatigued would have been unheard of! Telephoning work and saying “Sorry won’t be in today I’m feeling a little mentally fatigued” would not have been well received.

Why We Need A Mental Health Day

Now that I am older (not too old) and hopefully a little wiser, I can see how pushing myself and not wanting to let anyone down was detrimental to my wellbeing. To be honest, in hindsight, I’m not even sure struggling into work was worth it or appreciated by my employer.

Life is full of struggles for all of us. Even though we hear how hectic it is living in today’s society, our parents and previous generations had struggles of their own during their lifetime – that is just life. It is the way we deal with things that life throws at us that matters.

Make time to Rest, Recover and RefreshClick To Tweet

Fortunately, some employers today are more mindful of their employees’ welfare and taking a ‘Mental Health Day’ is not so frowned upon. There are still employers who need to recognize this, however the change is happening, if at a slower pace than we would like. It isn’t just employees in the workforce who need Mental Health Days, employers and those who work for themselves need to take them too.

Everyone needs a #MentalHealthDay Click To Tweet

If you don’t work and are retired or a stay-at-home mum or dad, life is still hectic, you still feel mentally fatigued. Just because you aren’t going out to work for your employment each day, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a mental health day.


Make Time for ‘Me Time’

We all become mentally fatigued and if you are feeling low or stressed and feel the need to ‘step out of the world’ for one day – do it and don’t feel guilty! I actually like to call these days my ‘Me Time’ days.

  • Watch a movie
  • read a book
  • listen to music
  • go for a walk
  • have a coffee with a friend
  • catch up on sleep.

It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it is something that will nurture you and make you feel relaxed and happy in the moment.

[bctt tweet=”Do something for you. Take some ‘ME’ time and Nurture yourself”]

At this point, I know you are thinking – “It’s okay for her to suggest this but I can’t afford to take time off work” or “who will look after the kids”. “I can’t afford the time” was my mantra until I discovered, much to my surprise, that the world kept turning – with or without me. Yes, my pride took a hit but that is the reality.

Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to take the kids for a day. 

You can do a ‘deal’ with friends who have children and offer to mind their children for a day in return.  There is always a way if you really want to do it.

So next time you are feeling a little overwhelmed with life, take a day for yourself and indulge. You will feel so much better for it.

Let’s Keep Sizzling!

Important Note:  Of course, if you feel this way constantly it may be more serious and you should seek medical advice or at least talk to someone about it. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones.





Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Barb Knowles May 25, 2015 at 00:24

    I just read your post via your comment on the Meet and Greet. I look forward to continue reading and sharing with you. I’m 61 and oddly peaking professionally just now. I hope that you check my blog out, too. I love your article on mental health days…..So true!

    • Reply sue May 25, 2015 at 07:50

      Hello Barb!!! Thank you for the comments I will definitely check out your blog. I’m glad you enjoyed my article. Speak soon!

  • Reply McKenzie May 25, 2015 at 11:48

    Very insightful! I often get asked to work on Sundays, to which I swiftly reply, “Sorry, that’s my mental health day.” I wish more people would adopt your advice… the world would be a much more stress-free place. The business will always survive a day without you. 🙂

    • Reply sue May 25, 2015 at 12:30

      Thank you McKenzie! Yes it is hard not to I was so guilty of over committing so I’ve learned from experience. Thank you for taking the time to comment and have a lovely day!

  • Reply Debbie Rodrigues June 3, 2015 at 20:27

    I had a very good relationship with my previous bosses and for the few days that I needed it, they never complained about me arriving a little later or something like that. I do not feel comfortable to do the same in my present position though.
    We force ourselves too much when we are young. I wish I had been wiser.
    Great post, Sue!

    • Reply sue June 4, 2015 at 09:46

      Yes the attitude of the company is very important. When I worked they would not have tolerated a ‘Mental health Day’. You sometimes just need a day to do nothing but recharge. Unfortunately, wisdom only comes with age – thanks for commenting I appreciate it.

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt June 5, 2015 at 15:05

    This is another fabulous post, Sue. Sorry I’m so late getting to these. I can’t believe you had that many hours of sick leave and did not get paid out. Fortunately, I did when I retired, but good ole Uncle Sam took a fat chunk. I think Australia and Canada and European countries are so much farther ahead of the US in this and in leisure education. Luckily, I worked for a public leisure organization and when stress got to me, my boss understood when I just needed to leave early.
    As a side note, I am amazed at how much we are alike in our blogs and our Sizzlin Toward Sixty attitude 🙂

    • Reply sue June 5, 2015 at 16:59

      It is hard to keep up replying to posts on link ups I know. Yes we do have similar attitudes that is why I enjoy your posts so much.

  • Reply Amy June 10, 2015 at 21:50

    Yes! I’m the worst at this! I wake up every morning, excited about the work that is before me. But I do try to take time off on Sundays. “Sabbath” means “Stop.” And when I do take a good break on the Sabbath, I always return to my work rested and refreshed on Monday.

    • Reply sue June 11, 2015 at 12:10

      Well I think having a Stop day is great Amy. At least you wake up with enthusiasm which unfortunately a lot of people don’t. Thanks for commenting and enjoy your’Sabbath’

  • Reply Amy June 12, 2015 at 03:20

    I used to do so many extra hours at work and never take any sick days. But all of that changed when I had my son. I started to realize the more time I spend at work, the less time I have with my family. Everyone needs a Mental Health Day once in a while. Thanks for sharing. #ConfessionsLinkUp

    • Reply sue June 12, 2015 at 08:57

      Yes having a family soon changes things. Make sure you enjoy every moment with them and thanks for commenting again.

  • Reply Chantal June 14, 2015 at 23:38

    Great post! I thinking taking a mental health day is far more accepted in today’s society, that being said I feel that some still believe there is a stigma attached. This is a perfect post to talk about the issues and remind people that they need to care for themselves first! Thanks for joining the Link-It To Me Link Party, I hope you will party with us again next week!

    • Reply sue June 15, 2015 at 08:33

      Hi Chantal I’m glad you liked the post. You are right that we still feel a little guilty if we want to take one but we do need to look after ourselves. I’ll see you next week!

  • Reply Corinne Rodrigues July 3, 2015 at 16:58

    Ah that makes me feel so much better, Sue. My Dad often made me feel guilty for taking a day off once in two months or so, just to relax. Somehow, he thought it was a disloyal thing to do when I was technically not ill!
    Now I work for myself and am happy to give myself a break once in a way!

    • Reply sue July 7, 2015 at 13:06

      Well I used to go to work at all costs, Corinne however now I am older I see that it was self-imposed. We certainly need a day occasionally to recharge. Thanks for commenting and see you at #FridayReflections bext next week

  • Reply Mackenzie Glanville ( July 3, 2015 at 22:11

    I love this post because it is just so important to look after ourselves mentally as much as we can. I burnt out last year because I never looked after me, I got to a point where I found it almost impossible to cope. I now know that looking after me makes me a better mum, wife , daughter etc. I had heard it said but didn’t believe it until I learnt the hard way. Thanks Sue xx

    • Reply sue July 7, 2015 at 13:07

      Yes you have to experience it all and then you can try to pull back on unnecessary things in life. It is healthy to have ‘a day off’ occasionally apart from the weekends. Thanks Mackenzie for commenting and your great linkup at #FridayReflections

  • Reply Lela July 6, 2015 at 02:33

    This is such a great article. I sometimes forget to take time for myself and this story is a nice reminder that mental health days really are important for one’s well being. Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Thursday! Hope to see you next week!

    • Reply sue July 7, 2015 at 13:10

      Thank you Lela! Yes sometimes we need others to remind us to look after oneself. Thanks for stopping by and see you next Thursday.

  • Reply Janine July 7, 2015 at 18:03

    Great article. I used to be the same, thus the number of times I have burnt out. Im so glad I am more willing to look after my mental health these days. I think some people are still learning that it is not a selfish act, but rather one that helps you handle life, all it has to give, as well as to be there for our loved ones in a better mindset.

  • Reply Jayni July 8, 2015 at 04:19

    Thank you for sharing this! I can remember the one time I took a “Mental Health Day.” I was using some sick time for a doctor’s appointment, and left the appointment finding out the real gender of my baby. My brain was in shock that after 5 weeks of being told I was having, and making plans, for a girl, I was going to be blessed with a baby boy. I called work to use up a whole sick day because I just couldn’t focus on anything else!

    And I’ve also seen the benefits of taking a mental health day, especially as a SAHM. I’ve found that when my husband and I can get a sitter and spend some time together, we come back much more relaxed and better parents.

    • Reply sue July 8, 2015 at 12:01

      My pleasure Jayni and thanks for stopping by. It is very important to your relationship and to your child that you take time out. You are correct when you say after time with just the two of you, you come back more relaxed and of course better parents for it.

  • Reply Jebbica July 10, 2015 at 00:47

    I totally agree, Sue! What do you like to do on your mental health days? Sometimes I just like to stay home and watch TV and veg. But I think I should really take a day sometime where I do a bunch of kiddie things, like mini golf or going to the arcade! It really does improve job performance to have a little time off sometimes.

    • Reply sue July 10, 2015 at 08:20

      Well I like to just spend some quiet time at home with a good book, or like you TV. Just a veg-out where I don’t have to be anywhere at any particular time. I love those days. You are right about job performance if you are feeling refreshed you are more productive. Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply cathy July 14, 2015 at 09:54

    I love the job I have now, more laid back and supportive, especially with what I am going through right now with my health. I find that taking “me” days helps me to be a healthier person, more able to help others.

    (I too left a job years ago with over 300 hours of sick time accumulated. Because I was never sick, or more accurately, rarely took time off for any reason.)

    Good post!

    • Reply sue July 15, 2015 at 13:38

      That is how I feel now. I didn’t always feel that way and would ‘soldier on’ but now I realize that didn’t do anyone any good especially me. Thanks for the comment and talk soon.

  • Reply Mandi January 11, 2017 at 23:32

    As a nurse, mental health says aren’t really an option. I definitely can’t call in unless I’m actually ill. However, I wholeheartedly support this for others and, in fact, I allow my kids to choose one mental health day off school per year. Mental health and rest are very important.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 12, 2017 at 09:16

      Nurses are so important to us all and probably not valued enough Mandi. Thanks for stopping by and at least you are preparing your children with ways to cope with the stresses of life.

  • Reply Don't stress, cut yourself some slack & move forward - Sizzling Towards 60 July 27, 2017 at 01:01

    […] I think that sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves – I know I do.  I feel that I have let myself down if I don’t achieve something I’ve set out to do.  Learning to accept and relax a little is just as important in achieving anything in life, because if our mindset isn’t in the right place we won’t achieve anything. It is important to consider our mental health and the importance of taking a mental health day. […]

  • I love hearing from you and your comments are important to me

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: