If there’s one important thing I could take away from my boss, it’s the phrase “Your eulogy is not going to say that you were a good employee. It’s going to say that you were a great friend, a great parent, and a great spouse, but not a great employee.”
This phrase is a no-brainer and also really easy to forget. A lot of us throw ourselves into our work and forget to take care of ourselves. And if we aren’t slaving away at our passion then we are staying and working these long hours because we don’t want to let our boss or the team down. It’s great to have a good work ethic. It’s also great to take care of your mental health.
People get afraid of asking for a break or time off because they’re worried about repercussions or again that they are letting people down. But the truth is, you’re giving yourself a break.
You need to remember that you have things that you want to do. You have people that you want to spend time with. You have places that you want to go. You have times where you want to be alone. And above all, you need to remember to care about your mental health. When you forget the things you want to be the most reliable employee, your mental health tends to suffer and can lead to depression and other physical issues. So let’s talk about what you can do.
Ask to step away
If the day is getting to you, don’t be afraid to ask your boss to step away for a moment. There is only so much “toughing out” that you can do before you need a break and a breather. Even if it’s five minutes, that is five minutes that can benefit your mental health as the day goes on. That five minutes can get you through the rest of the day, or at least until lunch. Other situations such as grieving while you work will require you to take a step back and compose yourself.
Remember Your Days off are YOURS
There were so many times I gave up a day off when I needed more than ever, especially when I was in college. Unless it is life-threatening, you keep your day off. Remember that you need a day or more to decompress from the week you have whether it’s good or bad. Pick up the hobbies and entertainment that you left behind during the week. It’s your day to enjoy yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Keep Plans
You may have come across a time where you had plans with your friends or your significant other and you were asked to stay late. You could have said no, but part of you either said, “I need the extra money” or “they begged me to stay”. Instead of going out to the bowling alley or a nice date, now you're stuck talking to people who may or may not be that pleasant. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always bad to stay late and earn the extra cash, especially if you need it. The issue is finding the balance of when to say no. This issue also applies to keeping your days off. The balance is hard to keep when you have a dependable or very likable boss. You may feel guilty that you have to decline to help them. But in the end, it’s going to hurt in the grand scheme of things if you don’t put your foot down.