Mental health days are becoming more common, but it can be hard to know when it’s time to dedicate a day to our psychological and emotional well being. Here are 7 signs that you may need to take a mental health day:
1. You’re fatigued
Do you feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get? Stress can take a significant toll on our bodies and cause us to feel tired from the time that we wake up until it’s time to go back to bed. Fatigue may also be a sign that you don’t have a healthy work-life balance. Try taking a day to rest and reset and get some of your energy back.
2. You worry about work outside of the work day
If work is constantly on your mind, it’s likely time for a mental health day. We all need time to do the things that we enjoy, but that’s hard to do if you’re struggling to get work out of your head. Leave the stress at the office and disconnect for a day, so you have time to engage in some self-care.
3. You can’t focus
Not being able to focus while at work is another hint that it’s likely time to take a day off for your mental health. Feelings of overwhelming stress make it harder to focus and stay on task. Plus, an inability to focus is only going to increase your stress when you feel like you’re not getting anything done. Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques on your day off to improve concentration.
4. You’re irritable
If you feel like the smallest inconvenience will set you off or you are always on edge, you’re likely dealing with a lot of stress. Concerns at work shouldn’t negatively impact your relationship with family, friends, and coworkers; and if you find that they are, it might be time for a break. Taking a mental health day can help relieve some of the pressure you feel while at the office.
5. You don’t feel like yourself
When we’re under a lot of pressure, it is common to notice that we don’t enjoy certain things that we used to or that our emotions are heightened. If you find yourself experiencing intense anxiety or depressive symptoms, consider getting in touch with a therapist who can help you better manage stress.
6. You keep getting sick
Intense stress often worsens our immune system and impacts physical health. If you keep finding yourself with cold-like symptoms, a mental health day might be just what you need. Use a day off to make sure you are keeping up with exercise, a healthy diet, and a regular sleep schedule.
7. The quality of your work worsens
All of the above signs that tell us it’s time to day a mental health day can have a significant effect on the quality of our work. Taking an entire day off of work can do wonders for your productivity when you return to the office!
Alyssa Meixelsperger, LSW