How to Ask Your Boss for a Mental Health Day
We're not going to sugarcoat it for you: Life has been pretty rough lately. Chances are, you've worked from home for a year (and counting), been unable to see your loved ones, and had to bear witness to the not-so-sunny news cycle. That, compounded with the average stresses of your day-to-day life can be a lot.
Sometimes, you need time to unplug; a day where you don't have to think about deadlines, office dynamics, or the cheesy icebreaker you'll bust out during your next Zoom meeting. While weekends and vacations are important and helpful reset opportunities, an additional mental health day can be exactly what you need to relax, reflect, and reset.
"If you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed and have noticed it negatively affecting your work or home life, you may want to consider taking a mental health day," explains Kelli M. Waters, LCSW, CAADC, and director of care for Listeners On Call. "Mental health days help to create a balanced work culture and cultivate healthy and happy employees. Companies who empower their employees to take care of their well-being can help to foster better employee performance."
Though you might not hesitate to take a sick day if you're feeling under the weather, mental health days seem more complicated, not to mention nerve-wracking to request.
"Asking for a mental health day should be just as simple as asking for a day away from work because of the flu or a planned vacation," explains Heather Lyons, PhD, a psychologist and owner of the Baltimore Therapy Group. "Furthermore, disability related to mental health is a legally protected status. That being said, the stigma related to mental health care is real and American forms of healthcare aren't geared to consider preventative wellness."
So, how are you supposed to ask your boss for a mental health day? To help, we're breaking down the steps to requesting—and getting—that crucial time to yourself.