Oh, the topic of mental health. A topic I am always willing to talk about and raise awareness of. I guess in a way this post is going to be kind of a life update as well as a mental health post.

Let's rewind back to the start of December 2021 - a time of which is joyous, festive and exciting. However, it wasn't like that for me at all. My mental health took a drastic downturn to the point I felt like there was no return to normality. I think a combination of life, work and stress led to me feeling so rotten. I couldn't even tell you what triggered it for me. But the turning point came on Christmas Eve where it all became too much. Christmas Day was a bust for me as I didn't feel joyous at all - which is definitely NOT how it should be!

A flatlay of pink diaries

So, near the end of December, I made the big decision to take time off work for mental health reasons. You'd think with my life, I'd be getting time off for CF, but instead, my mental health decided it would be the one to make me take leave from my job. So I grabbed the diary at work and I marked down which week I would decide to stay away from work and that was that. 

I'm currently at the end of my week off, and it's just been so satisfying to not have to think about work! My mental wellbeing and overall wellness have improved and I feel a lot better in myself. Not 100% still, but getting there. 

I am fortunate that I only work part-time and it was simple for me to book time off work. However, I know it's not easy for others to do the same. If you feel that you're in the position that your mental health is negatively impacting your work, it will be worth asking your employer/GP to go on sick leave. To allow yourself to recuperate and just focus on yourself. Employers need to manage the situation carefully and not discriminate against yourself.

A flatlay of pink diaries

Ultimately, your mental health should be a top priority. As well as your physical health. If you feel you need to take time off work for your mental health, you should do that. I made the mistake of letting myself get to a dangerously low level with my mental health, which I deeply regret. I felt I would be letting my bosses and my workmates down if I took time off, but ultimately, I was letting myself down. 

You most certainly can't carry out your job to the best of your ability if your mental health is not in a good place. I have learned that doing my job. There are only so many mistakes you can make before a customer complains that I'm giving them a cappuccino rather than a latte. 

Anyway, I hope that by me talking about the situation I am in so openly, inspires others to believe it is ok to take time off work for mental health reasons. I know it is daunting to be so open about your mental health to your employers and even your work colleagues, it's a subject that is difficult to open up about. With me, there is always that fear of being judged, not just in my current job, but in my previous jobs. There is always a stigma attached to the topic of mental health and I would love for the stigma to be unattached. We need to normalise people taking time off work for mental health reasons. As I said before, mental health is just as vital as physical health, and if you need to go on leave, you should do it. 

A flatlay of pink diaries

Believe me, when I say, the feeling you get when you know that time off is working is so satisfying. I like to think that when I do return to work, my head will be in a better place and I will go back feeling refreshed and more motivated to serve coffees and toast toasties. 

I hope this post has helped you. Just remember that my DM's are always open if you need somebody to talk to. Making that first step is always tough, but it'll be worth it in the end. 

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