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Why You Should Take A Personal Day

Are you feeling pulled from every angle with no relief in sight? It may time for a break.

It’s tough to drop everything sometimes, but it’s even worse to keep running on empty. It’s likely that your employer gives you both vacation and personal days off. Don’t be afraid to use that personal day to take a mental health break, rest and recover.

All days off are not created equally.

Your employer may offer many types of paid time off. And this could leave you a little confused.

  •       Vacation days are typically reserved for vacation-specific events and time traveling or doing other enjoyable activities.
  •       PTO (paid time off) days are used more broadly and can tack onto vacation time. These days can be used for various reasons. The difference is, they’re usually planned in advance rather than coming up last minute due to an emergency or illness.
  •       Sick days are used when you feel too ill to go to work. Everything from a common cold to more serious issues like pneumonia are bucketed under sick days. Sick time can also cover time for surgery or if an illness requires hospitalization. Feel free to also use this time when you need to stay home because the kids or other loved ones are sick and require your care.
  •       Personal days fit into the remaining categories. When something comes up that needs your attention, or when you just need to stay away for a day, make it a personal one.

Some employers may encompass everything into one or a few categories, and consequently, not mind which day you use for what. But for some workplaces, and in certain personal instances, it could make a difference.

When should I take a personal day?

There are many reasons when it’s OK to take a personal day. Remember to communicate with your manager and express gratitude after the fact. And if you’re an entrepreneur or self-employed, don’t fight the fatigue. Personal days are a good reset to sharpen your focus and get your creative juices flowing.

Here are 4 good reasons to take a personal day.

Drawing of a woman out running errands.

1. Personal errands and tasks.

Even though we spend roughly 40 (or more) hours per week working, our lives outside of work are still rocking and rolling. You may find that much needed tasks start piling up as you keep putting them off working late hours to meet deadlines. Take a day and catch up on what you need to get done outside of the office.

Drawing of a person sick in bed.

2. Take care of a loved one.

 If you have an extended family member or close family friend that needs care, take time to attend to them. You may be able to use a sick day for this, but personal time would work too.

A father taking care of his two young children.

3. Family obligations or appointments.

 Parent-teacher conferences, doctor’s appointments or special events and ceremonies are a good reason to use a personal day. Funerals also fit under this category if your employer doesn’t offer bereavement days.

Drawing of a person looking very stressed, with objects of responsibility flying around them.

4. You feel overwhelmed.

 It’s no surprise that many people feel anxious and stressed on a regular basis. Burnout is real. Don’t be afraid to tap into those personal days to take care of yourself. Avoid the burnout by simply taking time off to recharge.

Additional tips to manage burnout and maintain your mental health.

  • Exercise regularly. Set aside time for intentional movement. This has been known to be a great stress reliever for most people.
  • Eat a balanced diet. A diet rich in whole foods and fresh fruits and veggies will make sure your body stays nourished and functioning well.
  •  Stay hydrated. Drink more water and plenty of it. Hydration helps with digestion, mental clarity and may even improve your health. Add a refreshing True Lemon drink enhancer to jazz up the flavor and drink more water deliciously.
  • Get enough sleep. Rest and recovery is equally as important as productivity. Give your body and brain a chance to power off and shut down for the day so you can wake up refreshed and ready to go tomorrow. Aim for seven to eight quality hours of shut eye each night.

Amy Cimo

Written by

Amy Cimo is a Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and Wellness Enthusiast based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After going through her own health journey, she found her passion in helping others find balance between nutrition, physical activity and mindset to live healthy and be truly happy. Amy attended Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2021 through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a Certified Nutrition Coach in 2022 through Precision Nutrition.