Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mental Health Day

This is part 2 of my previous post.

When I went back to work once most of the plague left me, I hit the ground running on all that I needed to accomplish. I had three days left in the work week to get things accomplished before the weekend. I had a commitment that following Monday that would require my time away from my desk, which made it all the more crucial to make those three days count. To throw things off a little more, I was scheduled to be away from work that Tuesday, too.

Why wasn't I there that Tuesday? I took a mental health day.

One of the things my boss told me during my performance review is that I should take time off when necessary. I earn vacation and sick time each month, and I hardly use any of it. The sick time isn't such a big deal because it never "expires." However, at the end of a fiscal year, however many vacation hours an employee has over 160 is lost. In 2012, I had 161 hours at the end of June, so I left one hour early one day so I wouldn't lose that hour. I'm having the same "problem" this year.

I scheduled time off during Richie's spring break because we have family coming to visit, so that will take up a good chunk of time. However, looking at the accrued time and seeing what I will earn by the end of June still has me over 160 hours. Thus, I planned a mental health day to use up an extra eight hours. I put in for that day off weeks before I had that plague, and I did feel guilty for missing two days of work, then missing another one as a planned vacation day.

And then the guilt subsided because it is increasingly clear to me that if I don't take care of myself, my work suffers.

I take pride in my work. I don't cut corners and I don't joke around when it comes to my work responsibilities. But burning out isn't going to get me to where I want to be in my career. I'm thrilled to have a boss who recognizes my hard work, and I'm even more thankful that she has encouraged me to take time off for myself.

This won't be a habit it. During my mental health day, I was reminded that I'm not a lady of leisure.

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