How to Ask Your Boss for a Mental Health Day

Life has been a challenge over the past two years. Even though things are starting to look more normal, there’s been an enormous amount of stress and pressure on everyone. As a result, you might be feeling fatigued, drained, and just plain burned out.

Unplugging for a day is a great way to de-stress and get back in balance. You can walk away from deadlines, difficult customers, and tricky office dynamics for at least one day, giving you the space to relax and unwind. It can actually go a long way in helping you get your groove back.

Yet, if you don’t have benefits for “mental health days” (and most companies don’t), should you just take a sick day? Or should you use a vacation day? Here’s what to know and how to approach this situation.

How Can You Ask Your Boss For a Mental Health Day?

Mental Health is a Protected Status

If you’re truly struggling and need time off, a disability-related to mental health is a legally protected status. These more serious cases are covered by FMLA. This is the federal law that permits eligible employees to take time off, usually up to 12 weeks, while maintaining job security. Typically, people use it for maternity or paternity leave, however, you can use it for other family or medical reasons, including certain mental health issues.

Think About What to Say Ahead of Time

Ok, so you don’t have a mental health disability. However, you truly need a day off to deal with burnout and stress. This should be a no-brainer for your boss. However, it can be awkward to ask. How do you approach it?

Keep whatever you’re saying concisely. To do that, think ahead of time about what you want to communicate, so you don’t ramble on. Approach the situation from the mindset that you deserve to take a day off to take care of yourself. Then let your boss know you need to take a day for your health. That’s it. Short and sweet.

What About Specifics?

If your boss asks you for specifics, like “Do you have a doctor’s appointment?,” just be honest. The past two years have been filled with endless struggles and stressors and just about everyone is burned out, as a result. Let your boss know you love your job, you want to do your best, and in order to maintain a high level of performance you need a day off for your mental well-being.

Looking for a Job With a More Compassionate Culture?

If your boss isn’t open to mental health days and you’d like to work for a company that is, OneSource Staffing Solutions can help. Our recruitment team can connect professionals like you to positions that are a better fit for their career goals, needs and lifestyle. Simply search our jobs now or contact us to get started.

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