Why We Need To Normalise Taking Time Off Work For Mental Health

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. 
46 comments
  1. Mental health is so important! It should always come first x

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  2. the pst came at the right time as I’ve been feeling rather anxious aren’t and stressed. I think I need to take some time to rest even though I have so much to do. But mental health is so so important.

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    1. Mental health is so important lovely and I hope you find the time to take some time away for yourself x

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  3. I am so glad to have read this and that you are speaking about it, we always think about physical health and not enough about mental health!

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    1. A lot of us forget about our mental health as, in these current times, physical health has become the main focus. Purely because of the pandemic!

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  4. It's great that you were able to book time off so quickly! I think taking time off for mental health will always be a tricky subject as they'll always be those who will use it as an excuse (who are not actually struggling), sadly. I guess it's like anything, a few spoil it for the rest!

    Corinne x

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    1. I'm so glad that I was able to take the time off quickly too. I hate that those few people spoil it for the rest of us, mental health is no joke at all! x

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  5. Thank you for sharing your experiences Lucy. I think prioritising your mental health is so important! I hope you're staying the new week with a bang! Sending lots of love x

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    1. It's so important to prioritise your mental health! I hope you're having a good week so far too Claire! x

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  6. I'm sorry you had a tough time before Christmas Lucy, but putting yourself first and making your mental health a priority is a great move. I think I need to listen to my mind more and do the same if I'm going through a rough patch. Thanks for being so open about your struggles, you're inspiring x

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    1. Make sure you listen to your mind when you feel like you're going through a rough patch Kelly, it's so important to listen to yourself. Thank you so much for reading lovely! x

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  7. Yes! Mental health is just as important and physical health and I think employers need so much training on how to help and support their staff. Thank you for sharing your opinion!
    Lauren - bournemouthgirl.com

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    1. I agree, I do think employers need more training in how to help their employees with mental health and supporting their staff x

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  8. Its great that you're being so open about how you're feeling. My mental health has definitely taken a downturn too recently.

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    1. I hope you are ok Kelly, my DM's are always open if you need a chat x

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  9. Mental health days/time are what should be the norm nowadays, and I am glad you took the time off when you needed it. I hope it was good for you ❤️

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    1. It should definitely be made to be the norm. Thank you lovely!

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  10. So glad you decided to prioritise your mental health and take the time off you needed - hope you feel much better for it!
    Amy x
    callmeamy.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Amy, I feel a lot better than I did before! x

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  11. I totally agree with this post. I've never been a big one on taking days off work or going off sick but the last two years have shown me different!
    Rosie

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    1. I've been one to find it hard to take time off work when needing to, but I think now, f*ck it, if I need time off, I'm taking it!

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  12. This is a great post. We need to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. Thank you for sharing and the reminder.

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    1. Definitely, mental health is just as important as physical health x

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  13. This is definitely something that needs to be spoken about me often. I'm so glad that it is starting to become more acceptable to take time off with mental health problems, as I remember a time when it was really taboo xx

    Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/

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    1. I hope the conversation of taking time off for mental health at work can start too Hannah! xx

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  14. Thank you for writing this post Lucy, taking time off for mental health definitely needs to be recognised more. I'm so glad you did it and are talking about it x

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    1. Thank you Caroline, I'm glad I took the time off too x

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  15. Before the pandemic I always used to make sure I got away for some winter sun to alleviate my SAD symptoms so the last few winters have been tricky - it's definitely something we need to learn to prioritise

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    1. We definitely all need to prioritise taking time away for our mental health, SAD is so hard for people who have it and are going through it right now x

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  16. I could not agree with this blog post more sweetie!

    Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

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  17. I know quite a few places that do mental health wellness days as an addition to your annual leave which I think is fab. It means you don't have the stress of doing something on your annual leave and it's a great way to make you do something whatever it is for yourself. However I also agree you need to be able to have a good relationship where your company can give you mental health days however many you may need xx

    www.iridescentplaces.com

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    1. It's so good that some workplaces do have mental wellness days, I wish that all companies would do that for their employees! xx

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  18. I'm sad you hadn't pass the Christmas Day as you wished. But it's so true, we so often forget about ourselves and our mental health. We are all focused on how work better, how organize everything, and we just forget that sometimes we need just some breaks, some moments to relax and do things we deeply love. Thanks for sharing awareness about this topic :)

    xx Dasynka
    http://dasynka.com/

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    1. You're right lovely, we forget about ourselves and how we are feeling because of work and life admin etc xx

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  19. I am so glad you are highlighting this Lucy, mental health is so important.After all mental health and physical health go hand in hand, and each can impact the other, so we should take more notice when the mental side is not 100%.
    Fab post!
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

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    1. They do go hand in hand and if one is bad, it impacts the other! xx

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  20. I am very lucky that my work promote wellbeing and mental health regularly, so I think it needs to be talked about more if I'm honest!

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    1. That's so good to hear that your work promote mental health and wellbeing Amie! x

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  21. This is so important, I lost my job in 2016 due to being diagnosed with anxiety and I had to drag them through employment tribunal which made things so much worse! It's so important MH is taken seriously xx

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    1. I'm glad you took them to a tribunal Alice, good for you and rightly so! I'm sorry that it made things worse for you lovely. Employers need to take MH seriously and be more empathetic towards people with bad MH xx

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  22. Kudos for recognizing what you needed and making a plan to help you take care of yourself. I agree that Mental health with employers can so unpredictable - but requesting the time and making it a priority is something within your control that's important. I'm glad you had the week off to take care of you.

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    1. You sometimes just don't know how employers are going to react when you take time off for mental health, some can be supportive and others may not x

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  23. taking time off work is so important. we are taking a bit of a break during our destination wedding / honeymoon in May.:)

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  24. This is so important! It’s so normalized to take time off for our physical health, but our mental health isn’t always prioritized. This is a great reminder that our mental and physical health are equally as important. Thank you for sharing!

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