Do your boss a favor

by Khushboo on November 8, 2011

A couple of Mondays ago, my friend BBM’ed me to to say that she is a ‘rebel’…a rebel for calling in ‘sick’ on a day that she felt completely fine.  Rather than fool her boss, I told her she was actually doing her a favor.  Ever heard of a ‘mental health day’?  Or in others words:

An unscheduled day off from work that involves doing something you enjoy doing, alone or with family and friends.

While it’s tempting to use this as a valid excuse to bunk off work, take an MH day when you’ve hit a wall, stress levels are through the roof, the creativity juices stop flowing and the idea of going to work has stopped exciting you.

Consider this “daycation” as time to recollect your thoughts, get some breathing room and escape the work environment.   Although I’m not an employer by any means, I do think that the quality of hours at work overrides the quantity: what’s the point of sitting at our desk every single day for 8+ hours if the work produced is neither productive nor effective?

As these days are expected to energise, insprire, and refocus workers, doing anything related to the job is not allowed.   In that case, here’s some of the ways I would spend my sick day sick-of -work day:

  • Go for drinks the night before:  Call me a lightweight but I rarely drink on weeknights.  Drinking always makes me feel so out of it the next day which is why I ‘save’ it for Friday/Saturday nights.
  • Shut my alarm off & sleep with my curtains shut: I tend to leave my curtains open so I wake up to natural light and as back-up if I don’t hear my alarm.  Sleeping-in ain’t an issue on my MH day!
  • Run: I lift weights, swim, do the occasional yoga class and cross-train but no exercise leaves me on as much a high as running, both mentally and physically.

  • Pancakes for breakfast: Sweet carbs which qualify as a healthy and wholesome breakfast…it’s no wonder than pancakes make the world go round…or at least my world :) !
  • Spa day: I’m a girlie girl.  I like getting my nails/pedicure/hair done..I’m superficial and I like to be pampered…don’t judge ;) !
  • Lunch out: I love the atmosphere of being in a restaurant, the food and the fact that someone is serving me.  Let’s be honest: who doesn’t wanna be a lady who lunches…enough said!
  • Nap: where sleep is concerned, I am an old woman. My eyes open at the crack of dawn and buy 4:30/5 pm, I am so ready for a little shut eye…it’s too bad my j-o-b tends to come in the way!

You win, your company wins–> sounds pretty genius to me!  And to my friend who I know is reading this: go break some rules or dye your hair pink and then call yourself a ‘rebel’ :) .

How would you spend your mental health day?

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Priyanka November 9, 2011 at 5:08 am

My MH day would be exactly like yours except the drinks part.I am not a drinker but a heavy dinner like really nice carbalicious dinner would be perfect!

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Khushboo Thadani November 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Carbalicious anything is always a good idea :D

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Errign November 9, 2011 at 6:23 am

I literally laughed out loud at the e-card haha.

I would spend it running, then in bed doing nothing but napping and watching crappy TV.

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Khushboo Thadani November 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm

That definitely sounds like a gread MHD…even better if pyjamas are involved!

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Parita @ myinnershakti November 9, 2011 at 6:56 am

On the beach, with a drink in one hand and a good book in the other :) I think MHDs are absolutely necessary and really wish they were mandated for the American workforce!

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Khushboo Thadani November 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Unfortunately it’s not mandated in Mumbai either…in fact I’m sure the idea would be rebuked here!

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Allison (Allison's Delicious Life) November 9, 2011 at 8:50 am

This is such a wonderful point to bring up! Everyone needs a mental health day every now and then. Being sick for 2 weeks this semester sucked, but it was the first time I actually ALLOWED myself to sleep more than 7 hours, rest, and make sure that I was getting enough time for myself. I definitely see the value in this. I would spend my mental health day by waking up at a leisurely hour, making a big/nice breakfast (pancakes sound perfect), meeting up with friends or family for a fun afternoon, then coming home early and watching a movie w/ my boyfriend, eating a delicious dinner, and of course having frozen yogurt or ice cream to end the night :)

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Khushboo Thadani November 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Yess how could I forget some good dessert to round the whole shebang up ;) !

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runningismagical November 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

I think the BEST part about a MH day is the lack of ‘schedule’. My normal routine is so regular and by the time I’m home I’m starved. I’d definitely wake up and go for a run by feel, eat a cinnamon roll from my fav bakery in Seal Beach, shop, lunch with my sisters and wind down with some yoga and a good movie.

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Khushboo Thadani November 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Monday-Friday, my life is pretty much a schedule too..although the structure is nice, I would love the occasionally flexibility to shake things up!

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lovetotrain November 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

i LOVE mental health days. although i don;t take any really.. maybe coz i work in the mental health field ?!

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Khushboo Thadani November 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm

On the contrary, that should give you all the more reason (excuse) to!

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) November 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I love the idea of a MH day – just wish I had the guts to pull one when I was at work! I was the annoying intern who showed up even when I was coughing and spluttering just to finish off that last project.

I have been known to take a MH day off of uni though – once I got to class so late I just didn’t bother and went shopping for the rest of the day instead. Some well deserved retail therapy :)

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Khushboo Thadani November 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I’m just as bad (or more like goood) as you..I feel so guilty calling in sick, even on days where I am genuinely feeling crappy! Agreed about retail therapy….I’d rather give my money to shopkeepers than someone to listen to my problems!

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset November 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

My mom used to allow my brothers and me one mental health day per school year! They were the best :) I would watch tv all day, sleep/nap, read, play video games… whatever I wanted to relax! I am similar now too, all of those things still make me quite happy and rejuvenated :)

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Sara K November 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Oh we are SO the same person! And luckily my work benefits include several “Personal” days per year ;)
Amen to sweet carbs for breakfast- just had my pancakes in fact…except I will be working a 13 hour day. Joy.
And yes to being pampered…always! Which reminds me, I desperately need a gel manicure and to get my disastrous split ends trimmed!

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forgottenbeast November 9, 2011 at 10:21 pm

My “Me” days involve pancakes for breakfast and at least one nap, too. I haven’t taken a day off work in ages, saving up that PTO for the holidays, but it definitely means I’m going to need a mental health break!

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The Healthy Engineer November 10, 2011 at 9:49 am

I don’t work, but believe me when I say that I take mental health days when school gets to be too much. My second-to-last midterm ended today and I’m totally just doing nothing. I haven’t been getting much sleep (4 hours?) so this is what I need now.

Time to stalk H & M’s website for a little holiday shopping pregaming :)

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Meg (A Dash of Meg) November 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Oh I definitely agree with a spa day :D Nothing compares to a good pedicure :D

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onehealthymunchkin November 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I could definitely go for a mental health day right about now! :P Mine would include running, sushi for lunch with some friends, shopping, then a girl’s night with wine, homemade pizza, and movies! :D

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Tara November 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I like to spend my mental health days shopping. Though I haven’t done a spa day in ages!! I could really use one of those. Especially a massage and a pedicure. I need to feel pampered!

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