Thursday, 11 February 2010

Mental Health Day

So far two thousand and ten has been a pretty tough year.

Not so much as a result of reproductive deficiencies, more a combination of work stresses and a general feeling of 'meh'. Although admittedly, knowing by January that with IVF not happening until the end of March at the earliest, a 2010 baby wasn't on the cards hasn't helped matters.

I'm not in the slightest bit prone to depression but I am susceptible to lack of sleep and overwork (remind me why I want a child?). And I am a firm believer that humans are programmed to hibernate throughout the winter, unfortunately my employers don't seem to share my convictions.

Lately I've found functioning tough, I dread the alarm which means that I am inevitably already awake waiting for it to go off, willing it not to. My morning shower doesn't revive me but makes me long for my duvet. I trudge rather than walk to work. And I find myself clock watching even whilst manically trying to keeping on top of the piles of work. And the weekends, with their packed social engagements, do nothing to relieve me.

Every morning for the last week I have toyed with the idea of calling in sick for the first time in over a year. But I'm not sick, I just feel the urge for a break, and I know if I did call in when not dying of some tropical disease I would feel too guilty to 'enjoy' my duvet day. Particularly as a great deal of my stress has been caused by other people's absenteeism.

And then it struck me. An idea so simple I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before.

Yesterday I took a day's holiday.

It was amazing.

Just one day has helped restore my equilibrium, regenerated me, given me the urge to wear make-up for only the second day this year (and bizarrely had me skipping off for a Brazilian*, so I'm clearly not altogether sane).

Now I know, particularly my North America Amigos, that not everyone has the luxury of spare days annual leave kicking around. But the rest of you, I would absolutely urge you when everything gets a bit too much, just step away for a day - honestly it was the smartest thing I've done all year**.

*By which I mean the most painful waxing known to woman, not a young and lithe and lean and lovely Ipaneman boy.

** admittedly there isn't a lot stacking up on the clever list, it is a low-bar.


By the way, I am am finding your comments on my last post absolutely fascinating. Intriguing little glimpses into your relationships with your in-laws, families and the ups and downs of coming out.

Thank you.


  1. I'm feeling the same. February is the dreariest month of they year.

    We'll be rubber-ringing in Whitstable again in no time, though.


  2. Ontario invented this amazing holiday called "Family Day", for no reason other than to squeeze a long weekend into February. This Monday I will be taking my own duvet day. Can't wait!

  3. Good for you! I took a mental health day for the first time in my adult life in the fall and it was incredible. One a quarter should be mandatory..

  4. Damn, a Brazilian. Girl, you are brave!!

    I too think a mental health day needs to be taken very soon. It breaks the monotony of the winter, the crappy weather and still being on the TTC wagon.

  5. Well done! I think taking a day off like that should be standard practice. Nothing like a little unstructured time to regain one's vavavoom. And as for the Brazilian, yeooooooow! We should all follow your example this Valentine's Day. (Except I'm a big whining baby, and I'm afraid that it would really, really hurt:)

  6. I remember the days of taking "banked time" which was unpaid overtime that we were technically entitled to take as leave .... providing our boss OK's it (which was usually the sticking point, but it did sometimes happen:)

  7. I have 'flex time' at work. I have a days worth saved up and I am using it on my birthday.

    A mental health day every now and then should be mandatory.

  8. Here's to rubber ringing in Whitters! we're going as soon as the sun comes out right?? I took Weds morning off and loved it, made the whole week seem OK and I did as much work in the afternoon as I would have had I been there all day (makes me wonder what I do at work...)xx

  9. God, I could have written this post. I have been feeling exactly the same way and, like you, I think it has a lot to do with waiting for the start of IVF. March seems like such a long way off especially when it's so bloody cold and dark.

    I may have to take your advice on the annual leave, although I have only got two days leave to take between now and the end of March so I am trying to hold them back for a rainy day.

    I couldn't comment without mentioning the Brazilian! Really? You had a brazilian?! I keep meaning to get myself booked in for a bikini wax, I'm definitely not brave enough to go that far, just a short back and sides is enough for me.

  10. You've got a Blogger Award waiting for you over on my blog!

  11. I know exactly how you feel (not 'exactly' - I've never had the desire for a Brazilian). I've had the feelings of dread about the alarm, I've counted down the days to the weekend, I resent having "obligations". A few months ago I spoke to my employer and we agreed that I can work a 4 day week! My productivity has increased dramatically even though I work fewer days. Plus, I get a 3 day weekend every week!

    When (if) it comes time to IVF (we're looking at April or May) I will also plan to take some holiday time as well.

  12. yey for mental health days, I'm glad your day off did wonders for your sanity. We used to try go away in February, despite it being the shortest month, for some reason it always drags... personally I used to think it was my body reacting to way too mnay months without real sunshine.

  13. I love me a mental health day! But the Brazilian sounds like you may have just evened out the day. LOL.


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