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To take a sick day for my emotional well-being?

(43 Posts)
mumtomaxwell Thu 28-Mar-19 23:15:12

I’m not very well emotionally and I can’t face work tomorrow. It’s been a long time coming and actually I can’t just battle through another day. I’ve managed miraculously to get a GP apt in the morning so I want to phone in sick. But I don’t know what to say.

I’m a teacher and in our last staff meeting our SLT talked about how grateful they were to those people who still came in when they “feel under the weather” and “supported their team” So actually I feel terribly guilty for even thinking of going off sick.

ssd Thu 28-Mar-19 23:17:00

Take the day off, yoy sound like you need it.

dellacucina Thu 28-Mar-19 23:18:14

No. Take the day off.

Likethewind321 Thu 28-Mar-19 23:24:04

I knew you were a teacher before I even opened your post.
Take the day off.

jiggsymalone Thu 28-Mar-19 23:29:54

Take the day off. I'm also a teacher and went through a period where I was really struggling to cope (staff shortages and I was covering the workload of 3 people) to the point that my husband said if I didn't call in sick he was going to do it for me. I battled through and kept going in and have come through the other side and things are a bit better, but the stress has had an impact on my physical health in a way that I couldn't have imagined. Look after yourself, take a day or get signed off for longer if you need it.

Likethewind321 Thu 28-Mar-19 23:30:56

By the way I used to teach, I’ve also been pushed to the point of taking a MH day.
Maybe this weekend think about what needs to change in your career?
Do you need to change your responsibility level?
Your hours?
Your school?
Your sector?
Your career?

Because things are unsustainable at the moment, and it IS one of these that needs to change, not you.

BusyBB Thu 28-Mar-19 23:37:49

You don't need to say why you are not coming in when you phone up, just that you are unwell. You can decide while you are off if you tell them the truth or say you had a tummy bug, as you may not want the label and judgement that unfortunately often comes with mental health!

mumtomaxwell Thu 28-Mar-19 23:39:15

I will take the day... have no idea how to say it, but I can’t go in.

I’m worried about the fall out when I go back after the weekend. But you’re right Likethewind something has to change. This crushing sense of overwhelm is too much.

SpoonBlender Thu 28-Mar-19 23:44:50

You don't need to say why. Just that you're too sick to come in. Don't try and justify it.

beeyourself Thu 28-Mar-19 23:55:23

Definitely take the day off. Tell them you're not well enough to go in & leave it at that.

How long until you break for Easter? 1-2 weeks? Can you make it until then?

I think you will need to speak to the Head/SLT because it sounds like you're heading for burnout.

Likethewind321 Thu 28-Mar-19 23:55:36

You shouldn’t have to give a reason, but if you feel you have to, food poisoning. flowers

sailorcherries Fri 29-Mar-19 00:26:36

I feel your pain. I finish at 2.30 tomorrow for our two week Spring break, followed by two four day weeks each side of the Easter weekend. If I didn't have these holidays coming up I'd be getting signed off sick.

SurgeHopper Fri 29-Mar-19 00:31:51

Don't justify, say your sick is all.

RainbowMum11 Fri 29-Mar-19 00:38:38

My 'couple of days off' because I was struggling emotionally is me here now, 6 weeks off and off still for the foreseeable, with what has been explained as me having had a nervous breakdown.
It's the longest I've been off for years (mat leave only, and then worked through & went back really soon) and it doesn't feel like I've had any time off at all.
It's so important to look after your mental health, you can't do your job properly or function properly if you're struggling.

stopitandtidyupp Fri 29-Mar-19 02:37:00

Teacher here too. My staff handbook says saying ' unwell' is not enough a reason has to be given.
Say S and V bug. Then see what the doctor says.
Hugs. Something needs to change in Teaching.

brizzlemint Fri 29-Mar-19 02:55:12

Stress can bring on a migraine, it sounds like you need the day and possibly longer.

Monty27 Fri 29-Mar-19 03:15:31

And have a lovely duvet day. You sound like you need it. flowers

ThriftyMcThrifty Fri 29-Mar-19 03:34:20

Gosh yes, take the day off and don’t give it another thought.

mumtomaxwell Fri 29-Mar-19 06:05:37

Thank you. I’ve messaged my dept colleagues already and just about to email cover/ring in.

I feel guilty and pathetic. Just need space to think. We break up for Easter next Fri thank goodness!

eggofmantumbi Fri 29-Mar-19 06:09:44

Not pathetic.... Not at all. I've just handed in notice for my TLR because I was getting to the edge with my responsibility. I'd be leaving teaching if I could. I probably will when childcare isn't a concern....

HeronLanyon Fri 29-Mar-19 06:10:21

Please try not t feel guilty op. You need the day and good for you for realising it. Hope gp appointment goes well.

twinnywinny14 Fri 29-Mar-19 06:12:51

I was a primary teacher for 12yrs and reached the point that you are at about 4 years ago. I called in sick with the intention to go back after the weekend but never returned. I was signed off for two weeks and resigned while off sick. It was the best thing I have ever done. Yes it was hard financially and I’m now working long days but I’m so much happier and home is home. Life is too short to spend it like this, please put yourself first. If your school is supportive then speak with them about things, unfortunately mine weren’t so I didn’t have that choice

ememem84 Fri 29-Mar-19 06:13:27

Not at all.

So glad you’ve called in. Teachers have it super tough at present (maybe they always did I don’t know). You guys do an amazing job, remember that, and are hugely under valued (dsis is a teacher so I see it from the “other side” now. It’s not all 9-3 and month and months holiday as I thought!)

Go to your gp. Have a chat. And take care of you. Xxx

Bobbiepin Fri 29-Mar-19 06:15:54

Teacher here too. I went in feeling under the weather- big mistake. Turns out I was pushing myself too hard, collapsed at work and spent the next week in hospital. Good for you for taking the day.

FlipperSkipper Fri 29-Mar-19 06:17:35

I'm glad you've rung in. I'm not a teacher but I've been limping through having bad days and realised there's been more bad than good and ended up signed off for two weeks. Look after yourself.

Decormad38 Fri 29-Mar-19 06:19:25

They should be the ones feeling guilty not you. Treat yourself your amazing to even be in this career. flowerscake

Di11y Fri 29-Mar-19 06:19:56

my dh battled through and had a breakdown, there were other factors and a history of depression and anxiety, but he's only just back to work 5 months later.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 29-Mar-19 06:32:05

Take a day and do whatever you can to calm your mojo flowers

What does your body want to do ?

Do it and focus on resting your head

MrsBertBibby Fri 29-Mar-19 06:40:28

Well done. I don't know how you teachers manage.

Purplecatshopaholic Fri 29-Mar-19 06:47:25

Take the Day Off. You clearly need it. You need a rest and maybe a bit of reflection on life in general. Dont feel guilty - going in when you are not well helps no one.

Chosennone Fri 29-Mar-19 06:53:41

I knew you'd be a teacher too. Most of us have been there 😪 a while ago i was signed off for 4 months with stress, i really needed to physically and mentally re build. I moved jobs in that time, to a better and more supportive school.

Is there anything your Union can do to support you? Workload? Don't feel guilty. SLT have a duty kf care and shouldn't be guilt teilling their staff.

UniversalAunt Fri 29-Mar-19 06:57:31

You are experiencing stress.
This will be affecting you physically as much as it is emotionally & psychologically.

Be honest & frank with your GP about how you really are.
This is your health & you are primary custodian.
For all the ra-ra messages from your SLT, none of them are as invested in your health as you are.

Your holidays are for enjoyment, spending time with family & friends, & top up your batteries, NOT to recover from a position of flat out exhaustion. This is reasonable.

PETRONELLAS Fri 29-Mar-19 06:59:26

Prepare yourself today for not having the Sunday night sick feeling as it can start even now!

madcatladyforever Fri 29-Mar-19 07:03:11

I would give my reason as mental health. I've done this in the NHS as it's useful to keep track of its progress in case any further incidents occur.
It also means you can get help from occupational health.
It doesn't have the stigma it used to, I worked with children in the NHS for much of the time and it doesn't affect your job.

brizzlemint Fri 29-Mar-19 07:06:00

Well done. Put yourself first - you are important. If you are feeling guilty - don't. The children will be fine and by you resting and looking after yourself they will benefit as well.

If any teacher haters come along being judgemental then ignore, ignore and ignore. They haven't been there, done that and we have.

flowers brew and nice [biscuits] for you today.

Ledkr Fri 29-Mar-19 07:23:40

I had to do this on Wednesday. I'm a sw and the workload is immense and I have been steadily experiencing lots of physical symptoms which I think are caused by it.
I battled through Mon and Tues and fell into bed exhausted by 9 each night.
Then Wednesday I woke with a cracking migraine.
I know I need longer but am struggling with leaving my poor colegues with my work as well as theirs as we are all struggling.

Mumsymumphy Fri 29-Mar-19 07:25:09

Teacher here. Absolutely do not feel guilty. Hopefully you'll see a sympathetic doctor who will sign you off with stress. Look after No. 1 because nobody else will. You need to be in top form to be able to teach and cope with the stupid amounts of stress the teaching involves. In fact, I find the 'teaching bit' is the least stressful of it all- it's all the other shit that is ridiculous. Never-ending paperwork, marking, planning, subject co-ordination, policies, meetings, pressure from the top, expectations of perfection, constant scrutiny, feedback, parents, bad management- I could go on.

I was having heart palpitations by the time I booked a doctors appointment. Had an ECG, checks etc all ok, it was physical symptoms of stress, it manifests itself in all sorts of ways. Got signed off for 4 weeks. The doctor had teacher friends and had seen first hand the effects teaching has.

Have the time off that you need and just do absolutely nothing. Don't waste a second feeling guilty. Hope you feel better soon thanks

UniversalAunt Sat 30-Mar-19 12:11:44

@mumtomaxwell, I hope the GP apppointment went well & you got some helpful advice.

flowers to all the posters on this thread.
I wish you all recovery & lifelong wellbeing.
Stress is for sabre-tooth fighting type stuff, not for earning an everyday living.

Had I known then what I know now, I would not have gone all those extra (pointless & gruelling) miles for such short term return.

Good health & resilence (for your own life, not to meet workplace objectives) are precious. Tend well.

mumtomaxwell Sat 30-Mar-19 14:45:09

Thank you @UniversalAunt that is a wise view.

She’s booked me in again for a few weeks’ time and in the meantime I’ve got some low dose meds to see if they help.

I’ve also had a chat with my head of dept and explained how bad I feel. I can’t wait for the two week break so I can regroup and have a think.

Mammylamb Sat 30-Mar-19 14:59:09

I’m not a teacher, but I notice this happens a lot with teachers. Has this always been the case? It just sounds like the profession is getting harder and harder to work in

LloydColeandtheCoconuts Sat 30-Mar-19 15:30:34

It's the same at my school. You have to give a reason. So bloody annoying!
I'm sorry you feel this way OP. I used to feel that way about my previous school so I left. In a much better place now - literally and emotionally. I hope you feel better soonsmile

LakieLady Sat 30-Mar-19 15:37:44

I think every job in the public sector has got harder because of cuts, absurd targets and performance indicators and new government "initiatives".

I've seen it in teaching, nursing, police, prisons and probation, housing, social work - at this rate, we won't have a public sector. There's hardly anyone in our local community mental health team who was in the team 5 years ago, all the health visitors I used to know have retired or left, a friend who was a theatre sister jacked it in and now does 3 night shifts a week in a care home and the occasional medical repatriation for an insurance company. Another friend who was a primary HT took early retirement last year and a colleague's police sergeant husband is doing the same.

The loss of knowledge and experience in these services is massive, and means the level of service is not as good.

It's a bloody tragedy, really.

PregnantSea Sat 30-Mar-19 16:03:34

Life is short. Your happiness and wellbeing matters. You are a grown up and you are the best person to decide if you need a sick day. I hate this martyr culture that so many work places have cultivated. Unless someone is taking the piss and having every Monday off then there's no serious issue.

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