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Need a Mental Health Day? Signs you need a break

“Burnout occurs when your body and mind can no longer keep up with the tasks you demand of them. Don’t try to force yourself to do the impossible.”― Del Suggs

burnout and stressed

When you find yourself mentally and physically exhausted from all life throws at you, do you think you have the right to take a day off? Your inner voice that might sound just like your grandparents is probably answering with an astounding “HELL NO, take your ass to work”. Respectfully nana and pop pop, you are wrong!

For many years we have existed under the guise that if you aren’t deathly sick and on your deathbed that you must go to work and just suck it all up. The pandemic stopped that from happening as much for which I am eternally grateful for. We have sick days and we are becoming more comfortable with actually using them. But what about our emotional, mental, and spiritual health? Can we take a day just to practice self-care and not feel like we have to go and get a doctor’s note to cover our ass? Many companies and organizations have begun implementing mental health days which as a mental health professional I think it’s sad it wasn’t already a thing. Sometimes you just need a day to sleep in, catch up on your favorite shows, and do whatever else to make yourself happy and recharge your battery. I have heard from a few people that they schedule at least one mental health day every 3-4 months to make sure they are good to go emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Sounds like a good idea right?

You might be thinking, Irena, how do I know if I need a mental health day? Well there are many signs that one is warranted but here are 6:

image of what it might feel like when you need a mental health day

Increased anger and irritability: Have an attitude for no apparent reason other than the fact that you had to wake up and leave the house? Well a day off to recharge is definitely helpful to get rid of the ‘tude and back to your baseline mood.

Physical symptoms or aches and pains: Our body will tell us quick, fast, and in a hurry if we are doing too much. Depending on the person, when stress is high, you could have increased body aches and pains, headaches or migraines, and even gastrointestinal upsets when a mental health day is on the horizon.

Changes in eating and sleeping habits: Eating more than usual or your appetite has disappeared? What about your sleep? Has that been out of whack recently? Both of these areas are essential in terms of your overall wellness and so taking a day off to recharge will pay off in the long run in all areas of your life.

Loss of interests in things once enjoyed: When you no longer engage in the things that once brought you happiness and joy, “Houston, we have a problem!”. Schedule that mental health day and do something you know will make you feel extra good all over.

Increased stress and worry: When you dread going to work and all you want to do is stay at home under the covers where its safe and warm, it’s time to take a break.

Not feeling like yourself: You know yourself best and if you are feeling off, then you gotta do something about it. Feeling unlike yourself could look and feel like a myriad of things and honestly only you and possibly those close to you know what that could mean. The longer you don’t feel like yourself the closer you are getting to burnout.

how to avoid burnout

So if you are still wondering if you should take a mental health day and you are experience more than two of these symptoms, then it’s time to schedule that day off. Plan a spa day, take a day trip to somewhere you’ve been meaning to go, spend some time with family…do whatever you feel you need to do. Just make sure you do something…your mental, physical, and spiritual health will thank you later.

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