Everyone needs the occasional mental health day, so do your duty and get under the duvet.
What's wrong with pulling an old-fashioned sickie? I fail to see that the odd mental health day is the reason for our piss-poor productivity figures.
In fact, maybe productivity would go up if we all took a day off sometimes to get our mojo running again.
And, by golly, this week I was in screaming need of a wallow under the duvet with a chick-lit nov and a packet of squiggly biscuits. How do most people manage the stress of the school holidays? Do tell. It is not the fact of having the skippies at home - we made Thomas the Tank Engine finger puppets and lurid cupcakes - just the gaping chasm between the amount of time children get off and the amount adults do.
When John Key announced changes to labour law this week there wasn't much help with solving that problem. And sometimes the need for a mental health day just sneaks up on you. This week I had a cough like a rattly goods train, no doubt from painting my fence in the cold, then my 2-year-old knocked over the 40-litre tin of white paint inside the house and my dog ate my son's hearing aid. Oh, you get the picture.
I tried to soothe my nerves by reading a trashy magazine but the story of Mike Hosking and Kate Hawkesby's "amazing love affair" made me go rushing for my antidepressants. Cheers for that.
Stories about shiny happy people with five-carat engagement rings and "clean cars, a well run house ... it's perfect" should come with a health warning. This story is not representative of real life. The Hosking/Hawkesbys are obviously aliens. Most people trying to "blend" a family of five children would be pulsating stressbuckets. They would be needing a mental health day. More than one. "As a guide, it's always best to take at least two days off sick to make things more believable," socialite Tara Palmer Tomkinson writes in her guide to pulling a sickie.
But don't take my word that sickies are good for you. Even the Economist has cottoned on to the issue of employees' mental health. This month it reported companies as diverse as BT, Rolls-Royce and Grant Thornton have introduced mental-health programmes. These range from training managers to spot problems to rehabilitating those suffering breakdowns.
It quotes figures showing a sixth of the British workforce suffers from depression or stress and that mental ill-health costs British employers almost US$26 billion ($36 billion) a year. American research suggests that "presenteeism" (whereby the walking wounded turn up to work without contributing) costs twice as much as absenteeism. BT reports that its programmes have reduced levels of sickness absence due to mental-health problems by 30 per cent.
I think I need to take some more of Tara Palmer Tomkinson's advice. "Never feel guilty about pulling a sickie. A rested and happy employee is a good employee. Every extra day you spend under that duvet is actually helping your boss. He should be grateful that you are thinking laterally." So put down that paper and have a snooze.