I can usually feel mine coming on. A few days before, there will be mornings that I just don’t want to get out of bed. I think of plenty of reasons not to, excuses I can come up with for my job, but inevitably, responsibility gets the better of me, and I haul my lazy ass out of my incredibly comfortable, king-size, pillow top bed, and drag my sorry ass into my office to work.
But it never fails. Once that pattern manifests itself, there will soon be a morning when you’re just not going to do it. That morning when you say, “Screw the man! I’m staying the hell home because I want to! I’m not sick at all. I’m just sick of the routine.”
Then comes the decision on what to say when you call your boss. Do you fake an illness? Blame it on your kid? Or just fess up and say you’re taking a mental health day? Depending on which particular supervisor I get, I’ll either go with the ask-no-questions “stomach bug,” or just say, “Listen, if I don’t take today off, I’m going to quit.” If you’re good at your job and a valued employee, they’ll take that seriously and not give you crap about it.
So, now that you’ve called in, what do you do? Do you pull a Ferris Bueller and do absolutely everything you can think of, run errands that you didn’t get to over the weekend, or just lay low and watch t.v. all day.
The one thing I avoid at all costs on a mental health day is errands. For the love of Christmas, this is a spontaneous day off to feed your soul. Does the mower really need to get to the repair shop that day? No, and it’s only going to make your car smell like gasoline. I like to lay low myself. Catch up on my reading, empty out my DVR. Inevitably though, I do feel a little bit guilty. I feel like I need to earn the day in my p.j.s, contributing to society or the economy in no way, and I usually do a little cleaning. A little cleaning though.