3 Signs It’s Time to Take a Mental Health Day
We know what to do when we start running fever—it’s time to call in sick to work, to hand off caring for the children to a capable spouse, partner, family member, or friend, and give your body time to heal.
But, for some reason, most of us don’t have the same reaction when we are exhausted, overwhelmed, or stressed…
Why is that?
What is it that makes us take care of ourselves in some instances…but push ourselves to power through in others?
The answer may lie in the way we view physical and mental health. For many of us, we’ve been trained to take a day off when we have a cold, but to embrace a mind-over-matter approach for anything else.
The problem is, if we continue to ignore our body’s repeated alarm that all is not well, we run the risk of making things worse.
To that end, we’ve gathered 3 signs that may indicate it’s time for you to schedule a mental health day…stat.
You feel detached
It is so easy to become consumed with ticking things off your to-do list, whether you work in an office or out of the home. From meetings to deadlines to running kids to school and extracurricular activities, keeping an overly full schedule can cause you to disconnect from family and friends…and leave you feeling isolated.
If you realize you haven’t checked in with the people you love most, it may be time to take a mental health day and schedule some catch-up time with the people who bring joy to your life.
You can’t sleep
Not sleeping can do a number on both your physical and mental health. Too often, we allow work and tasks to build up, and we spend the hours we should be sleeping obsessing over how behind we are. This, in turn, leaves us exhausted and unproductive the next day…which leads to more poor sleep. And the cycle continues.
Taking a self-care day to sleep in, enjoy a long nap in the middle of the day, or cuddle up for an early bedtime just might be the thing you need to reset your internal clock.
You keep getting sick
Living life in a perpetual state of stress can make you susceptible to illness. When our nerves are frazzled, the body releases the stress hormone corticosteroid which lowers the our levels of white blood cells and prevents us from effectively fighting off “bad bugs”.
If you find yourself getting sick repeatedly, it may be time to take a day off, check in with your doctor, and evaluate areas of life that might be causing you stress.
Ideally, mental health days should be a regular part of your schedule. The best time to take a mental health day is before your start showing signs that you need one. Practicing regular self-care ensures your emotional cup stays filled and you are able to refuel your body and spirit before your mental health tank hits empty.