Magalie René was interviewed on KTLA 5 news about the importance of mental health following Simone Biles’ decision at the Tokyo Olympics. The introduction of this conversation was well-timed, as returning to work and COVID burnout are problems many people are currently grappling with.
Taking a mental health day is no different from a normal sick day. There is no shame in feeling sad, angry, burnt out, or simply low energy, just as there is no shame in coming down with a fever or dealing with a migraine.
The decision Simone Biles made that day was so important to the mental health conversation. To see one of the world’s greatest athletes, who trains for hours a day, take a step back and say, “You know what? I’m not going to finish competing. I’m not OK right now and I need to put me first,” is INCREDIBLY powerful, because even the healthiest and fittest individuals struggle with mental health. There is a common misconception that if you’re physically healthy, then you are mentally. But the truth is that everyone struggles internally.
And it’s OK.
You’re not weak, a slacker, or being fragile for choosing to rest. Your taking a day to reset isn’t contributing to a “society of fragility,” It’s actually the opposite!
Resting and re-setting helps us:
bring our best selves back to work
perform at our highest level
build compassionate work cultures
Additionally, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for doing what you need to do to reset. Handle it responsibly but know it’s EFFECTIVE to recover (athletes like Simone do it all the time!) especially considering the circumstances we’re living through right now.
If you’re unsure how to identify when you need a “sad day” off or what you should do to reset, I share some tips in the interview.