Stress and anxiety are one of the most common and inevitable problems in the world. An estimated 40 million people experience stress and anxiety every day in their lives, be it students, workers, employers, doctors, etc.
How do you know if you qualify for a “stress leave”?
Feeling stressed lately but unsure if it is at another level to request leave at work, you may need to consult a doctor first. Firstly, to be qualified for the leave, you might be enduring a lot from a medical condition. If your doctor examines and finds that you really are extremely stressed and need medication, you will get a leave from work.
Do not be doubtful. If you are experiencing symptoms and require help, go to your doctor as soon as possible. If you are dismissive of your condition, it will only get worse, and you might get more stressed. During your visit, be open and clear about your emotions, and you will be helped.
What to Say to your doctor when meeting them?
Many may feel uncomfortable with sharing their thoughts with their doctor, but if you are scared, your doctor may have trouble helping you with the diagnosis.
We suggest you to:
- Be as open as possible
- Talk about work and anxiety
- Talk about how to feel better
- Request for follow-ups
If you are able to do so, make sure you take the reports and check them carefully and see how much medication and days for leave your doctor has given you. Listen to your physician carefully to get better faster.
How to tell your employer?
The most dreaded stage for most is talking to your employer. But we can ensure you do not worry too much about this part, as it might increase your stress. It might be scary to talk to your boss about leaving, but medical leave is considerable and should be prioritized. It is part of your rights as a basic human being to be given off when you need medical help.
Firstly, you need to show your employer your medical report that your physician has given you. Tell them that you have been suffering a lot lately from high levels of stress and anxiety due to an unbearable workload and that you need to leave from it. You should go ahead and consult one of the HR heads or other bosses and explain your situation clearly. Some tips would be to:
Why you are so stressed lately
Unbearable workload and late-night shifts
Not being considerate of your situation
Key points from your doctor’s diagnosis
Many people find it more comfortable to speak to their friends and family too before talking to a doctor or employer. We suggest you take some time off your day and consult a nearby, close person to you and express your thoughts clearly to them. You can even talk to people who have first and experienced this at work and get perfect advice from them. It is never easy, but we believe that you are brave and can do it.
Many employees worry their job might be given to someone else if they ask for leave, or they might not be paid if they wanted a leave. In this situation, firstly present a medical report showing clear evidence for your stress, then you can do the following:
- Communicate openly to your employer, telling them every detail and to empathize with your situation
- Be direct and honest
Since laws about leave can vary from country to country, we believe you to read about your country’s one.
Decide whether you’re a fit for the FMLA
An easier way to request work leave would be to determine if you are fit for the FMLA law which is the “family medical leave act’ introduced and implemented by over 50 companies worldwide. To be approved for this law, you need to work at least over a year and 1250 hours for your respective companies. If you have proven to work for your company for the above, you are also qualified for the stress leave with legal protection.
To request the leave, you need to consult your HR department and tell them you are eligible for the FMLA act and request legal stress leave with a doctor’s report. They will then give you to fill out all the necessary paperwork, finish them, and be free to take your leave from there.
Focus on How to Recover and Get Back to Work:
When you finally get the leave, make sure you do your best to recover. It is obviously not easy for you, but we believe that you should do the following to get better as soon as possible.
Firstly do not feel guilty for your leave, there is absolutely no need to be sad or worry about your work. You took it to replenish yourself and your mind from everyday life. Take this time to relax and enjoy. Remember what your doctor advised you to do.
Find out why you feel so stressed lately. Can it be because of a lack of social time spent? Lack of entertainment, or just not taking care of yourself? If you identify any of these, you can take many steps like going out shopping or watching a movie with your friends and family. You can go to a spa or museum or book shop to just sit back and relax. Go for a hike, or just take a vacation and go to the beach with a friend. Sit back, have fun and focus on how to get back your motivation and be ready to jump back to work. At the same time, do not forget to eat well and balanced nutritious drinks and meals.
Remember always to love yourself and put yourself at first, then think about other people.