5 Signs it’s Time to Take a Mental Health Day
Burnout can happen to the best of us. Here’s 5 signs you need a day off.
It hits us when we’re least expecting it. One day you’re on top of your game, the next day you’re struggling to get your tasks over and done with. Perhaps you’re feeling emotionally exhausted, being a little too much of a cynic, or maybe even developed a chronic negative response to specific situations. Whether you’re an employee at a large organization or the mom to some very special but rowdy children, mental health burn-out can happen to people from all different walks of life.
Some might compare our mental health to air traffic control. When we’re feeling burnt out, our lives fail to “take-off”. We’re confused, unproductive, and not sure where or how to “land” once again into greener — feeling better – pastures. While being dutiful (to your work, to your family, etc.) is an incredible trait, it is also important to take time for ourselves. Our mental health as an important part not only in the way we feel but also in the way we behave on a daily basis. We’ve broken down 5 signs you need a day off your mental health:
1. Feelings of dread
We get it, you “hate” going to the grocery store. That’s not the type of ‘dread’ we’re talking about.
Are you so exhausted that you dread even going to places you once used to love? Perhaps what once used to be a very fulfilling work environment now gives you immense feelings of dissatisfaction? Take a moment to recognize your current situation. At first glance it is easy to dismiss these feelings as “temporary” or to push ourselves to get through them because we “have to”. Think about it. What was once easy to take on, may now seem almost impossible on a daily basis.
2. Impacted physically
The truth is mental health does not just affect our…well, minds. It can have a significant toll on how we experience life on a physical level.
Ever had that feeling of physical exhaustion even though you’ve done nothing but sit at your desk? Experiencing persistent tension in your muscles, headaches, brain fog, and very low energy levels? It may be time to take a day for your mental health.
3. Higher levels of Anxiety or/and Depression
Have you noticed that you’re experiencing higher than normal levels of anxiety, recurrent episodes even? If you’re not sure, here’s a hint: Anxiety can present itself in racing thoughts to panic attacks, chest tightness, abdominal discomfort, or shortness of breath.
It may be easy to dismiss. We have all experienced some sort of anxiety at least once or twice in our lives after all. However, severe anxiety is extremely debilitating. If you’re experiencing recurring anxiety episodes, unable to stop racing thoughts, or having trouble coping with daily tasks, it’s time to not only take a day off but pay a visit to your local wellness centre.
4. Sleepless Nights
Ever spent your night looking at the ceiling because you just can’t fall asleep? We’re pretty sure we’ve all been there.
The average person needs seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, when we’re experiencing low levels of mental wellness it is easier said than done. Some conditions such as chronic stress or anxiety can lead to insomnia — difficulty falling or staying asleep despite feeling exhausted.
If you’re experiencing something similar, take a day off to sleep in and take care of your body and mind. You’ll find yourself feeling much more energized and productive.
5. More frequent substance use
Increased substance abuse during life’s harder times has become so common place in Hollywood movies, it is almost cliché. While most of us can relate, it is definitely not the most effective way to feel better. Relief through substance abuse is temporary and can amplify negative emotions.
If you’ve found yourself abusing the bottle (or/and other drugs) more often than usual, it’s time to take a day for your mental health.
I don’t think taking a break will benefit me.
It’s understandable to be hesitant to take a day off from our usual routine. This is especially so when we feel responsible for others’ wellbeing (i.e. co-workers, children).
Taking a break will help you return to your responsibilities feeling much more energized, a lot more productive and maybe even feeling more creative than ever. You may even find yourself more engaged in your personal and workplace relationships.
What’s more, taking care of our mental health is easier when you’ve got the support of a personal therapist. Booking regular therapy sessions can help improve the way we handle situations, including mental health burn out and chronic stress.
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