There has been a recent posting of Madalyn Parker’s email on taking a “mental health day” to her colleagues, and her boss agreed with her taking days off. The beauty of this is that Ms. Parker has recognized that she is (possibly) tired physically and/or mentally, and her boss endorses her days off. Sometimes we work long and hard hours, and our brains do not give us any more information to perform our duties – this is called burnout. When you are burned out, it is time to say, “I am taking a mental health day”, because you can damage your mind, body, and soul if you keep pushing yourself. Not everyone has the capacity to be an “all-nighter”.
You work hard, you play hard, so why not rest easy? My definition of resting easy is to do absolutely nothing! Well, get up and take a shower. Relax your body and mind. Watch silly television shows so you can laugh; personally, I like cartoons. Take a long drive, go to the beach, treat yourself to a spa day, sit in silence and let your brain reset itself. Doing “all-nighters” can be detrimental to your health, and I am happy to see that we are moving away from pushing ourselves hard. Do not get me wrong; if there’s a project that has a deadline, then you work hard and late to get it done on time and correctly. Projects have an end date. There were times when I worked late into the night to get several grant projects moving. After a few days of getting the project moving, my mind and body were exhausted, and I was done. I told my boss I needed time off to recuperate, and he agreed. I enjoyed working hard, and it paid off; therefore, I needed to rest.
So, take that “mental health” day to quickly recharge yourself. Also, take your vacation, and enjoy your weeks off; this is the best way to recharge, refocus, and rejuvenate yourself.