I’m home from work today, cozying up on the couch being lazy. Strep throat is circulating through my classroom, and every other person I know has a sinus infection. Am I next to fill my script for antibiotics? I barely got through the work day yesterday. I was exhausted. My head was pounding, and my students’ excited Christmas spirit only made it worse. By noon I had already lined up a substitute teacher and a doctor’s appointment for today. I couldn’t wait for a day on the couch to recuperate. But then a weird thing happened. As I taught my class after lunch, I miraculously felt better. Was it all in my head? Were my symptoms psychosomatic? I spent my morning ticking off my symptoms to co-workers and listening to them tell me I looked terrible. The sinus pressure increased. A student came back after missing 2 days of school explaining that she had strep. Suddenly I had a sore throat. But by the time I had arranged for my sick day, I was already feeling better. Now today I don’t have a headache anymore, and my sore throat disappeared after I ate breakfast. I was even contemplating going to the gym and canceling my doctor’s appointment. I almost feel guilty for calling in sick. Am I really sick? Or did I simply need a personal day to recover from all the holiday craziness? Maybe it’s just the holiday preparations that’s making me so tired. Maybe talking about being sick made me actually feel sick. Maybe just thinking about a day off made me feel better. Maybe I needed an excuse to take a mental health day and enjoy some quiet time alone. Maybe the only prescription I need is some simple R & R. Regardless of the reason, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy my day off with my fanny parked on the couch while the kids are at school. And I’m not going to feel guilty about it. Do you ever take a mental health day off from work? Do you ever feel guilty for doing it?