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When to Take a Personal Day to Deal with Grief

When to Take a Personal Day to Deal with Grief

Noun; Personal Day. According to the dictionary a personal day is defined as a paid or unpaid day of leave from work for reasons other than illness or vacation, take at the employee’s discretion.


According to Gettysburg college, American’s will spend approximately ⅓ of their lives at work. That can total up to 90,000 hours of work.  Throughout this time life happens. Relationships build and break. Children are born. We are touched by love and companionship. At some point we are touched by death, heartbreak and the grief that goes along with it.  If a loved one dies most people will take time off to deal with the immediate trauma and all the decisions and planning that needs to be taken care of. Most bosses are understanding of that and allow the time needed.  Some return to work to get their minds off of their grief, some return to work because they need the income. After some time has passed, life goes on but that does not mean that your grief ends.


There are times when grief becomes unbearable. It comes in waves, some small and shallow and other times it crashes down.  So how do you know if you should continue to power through or take some personal time to work on healing and facing the grief?


Signs that you need to take a personal day


  • You can not focus on the tasks at hand. You are fully capable of doing the job, but your mind just can not stay focused long enough to get it done.




  • You find yourself getting emotional and even crying in the middle of the day at the drop of a hat.




  • You are experiencing regular or excessive headaches or other body aches or discomfort without an explanation.




  • You do not get enough sleep at night because you mind won’t shut off long enough to relax. As a result you lack energy to attack the day.




  • Home or personal maintenance is falling by the wayside. The house is a disaster and you haven’t washed your hair in days. 



If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you might need to take a personal day.  Even after the initial grief of dealing with the death of a loved one settles down, it can come up again. Do not be afraid to take the time for yourself to relax with a book, go to a spa, or just simply sleep in and do nothing all day. Keeping your physical and mental health stable will only help in your grief journey.


Make sure to use this time to connect with your support system. They can be an integral part of getting back on track and “refilling your cup.” Soon you can return to work and continue to be productive going forward. 

For other helpful articles on grief, check out our blog.

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