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How Dare You Take A Mental Health Day?!

Yesterday, I took a mental health day.

I’ve had a lot on my plate lately, most of it dealing with an occupation-related transition, and about half-way through my first cup of coffee yesterday morning, I decided I needed a mental health day.

Not many people knew about it simply because, aside from a few texts and a trip to Papa John’s (yes, Papa John’s – we’ll talk about that later), I didn’t really talk to anyone.

The one person I did call, though, had an…interesting reaction when she found out.

The conversation went a little something like this:

FRIEND: “What’d you do today?”

ME: “Nothing. I took a mental health day and did absolutely nothing.”


ME: (After a few seconds of stunned silence.) “I’ve been pretty stressed out, trying to make this transition as smooth as possible. It’s a lot to juggle. I needed a day to just not do anything. I don’t feel guilty about it.”

FRIEND: (After a few seconds of her own silence.) “Well…I didn’t say you should feel guilty about it. I’m just surprised. I thought you a had a lot to do.”

ME: “I do. That’s why I had to take a break.”

Don’t misunderstand – my friend isn’t clueless about mental health days or how important they can be. I think she just didn’t realize how stressed I’d been, and so she was surprised to learn I’d take an entire day off – a Monday, no less – in the midst of everything I have going on.

Despite it being a day of rest, I was mindful during yesterday’s mental health day and plan to share some of what I learned later this week.

In the meantime, share with us your thoughts about mental health days. Have you ever felt guilty about taking a mental health day? Have you ever felt the need to justify taking one?

How Dare You Take A Mental Health Day?!

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2012). How Dare You Take A Mental Health Day?!. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 15, 2019, from


Last updated: 17 Jul 2012
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