Advice on Taking a Leave of Absence that Won’t Hurt

The modern drive to perform well and achieve great things has a lot of momentum behind it, and some employees can sometimes feel emotionally overwhelmed by even the smallest of failures or mistakes. Taking a leave of absence is an especially stressful process for many people, as there can be feelings of shame or anxiety about being able to return to work.

Relevant for both therapists and their clients, a discussion piece over at canada.com takes a look at why we sometimes feel in upheaval about taking time off of work, and also suggests a few steps for making it a positive and relaxing experience, such as not waiting too long to take a break.

Reference:

Crawshaw, C. (2009, September 25). Look before you leap into leave of absence: You shouldn’t wait until you’ve completely lost control on the job. Canada.com. Retrieved from http://www.canada.com/health/Look+before+leap+into+leave+absence/1177091/story.html

© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • MarthaT.

    MarthaT.

    July 13th, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    I took a leave of absence and never regretted doing so. We were in the midst of a merger. My department had suddenly doubled in size, I had moved house and my husband had been made redundant the week after we did so. I imagined my superior would go ballistic. He didn’t. He came through for me. He said to take all the time I needed and my job would be there when I was ready to come back. He was true to his word.

  • Shannon

    Shannon

    July 14th, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Earlier in my nursing career I had just really hit the wall on both a personal and professional level and really thought that taking a short term leave of absence would help me. I was so right and have never regretted one day since having done that. I have never missed out on any promotions or important job assignments because of my decision to take that leave- as a matter of fact I think that my supervisor thought better of me for being honest and giving her the heads up of what was going on with me and she complteely agreed that it was a good decision. Now I can just take short mini vacations and feel good about life, and it was as simple as that rest giving me the time to get refocused on the things I wanted most and the time to sort it all out to have the energy to carry on.

  • Sandy

    Sandy

    July 15th, 2009 at 3:55 AM

    OMG! this relates so well with me. I feel when its my turn to take vacation, that I am needed to help and assist my co-workers. I enjoy every minute of my vacation, but I find myself calling in at least once or twice to make sure everything is okay. I always know when I come back, my desk will be flooded with files that needs to be worked on. Just because I take vacation, doesn’t mean my workplace stops working and that means more for me when I get back. Sometimes I need a vacation from my vacation.

  • Hollis

    Hollis

    July 17th, 2009 at 12:00 PM

    It is an interesting side note to explore the fact that the boss who seems like he or she will be the most opposed to you taking the leave of absence is probably the one who is ultimately going to miss you the most while you are gone. This means that he or she relies upon you a lot, and while a part if them wants you to take care of yourself there is another selfish side that does not want to let go because you probably make his or her life at work a whole lot easier. I think it is a good idea to sit down with the boss and explain to him that in order for you to stay at the top of your game and to continue to be able to give 100 percent at work that you need time to take care of yourself too and a short leave of absence can be a fabulous way to do all of that. In the end the boss will appreciate you even more when you come back. Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder!

  • Don

    Don

    July 21st, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    Just be honest with your employer. That little attribute that we dismiss as dead does still go a long way even in today’s job market. I know that as an employer I like for my employees to feel like they can come to me and talk about their problems and feel like maybe I can help them out with some advice and ideas. I do not understand being one of those overbearing people who make everyone that works for them crazy and afriad to go to them. I would much rather give a good employee a little leave time than lose them for good.

  • Mei

    Mei

    August 5th, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    I want to take a leave of absence but I am worried my boss won’t let me. I’ve worked for the company for 15 years now and 3 years ago, I found out I have anxiety. It’s getting worse and worse and the medication I’m prescribed bothers me. I’m at a breaking point where I just want to up and go. I’m not sure how I would do this and wonder if I should get a note from my doctor.

  • Robert R

    Robert R

    March 31st, 2015 at 3:16 PM

    Some good tips here, also you should always try to put yourself in your employers shoes. Explain why your leave of absence will benefit them (not just you).

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