Signs You Need to Take a Mental Health Day

happy mental health awareness week!

I thought this would be a great time to talk about mental health days and mental health in general.  

For a long time, mental health has been stigmatized and seen as something of little importance.  Our society encourages “powering through” when we’re not feeling well, especially when it’s related to mental health struggles.  But we need to realize that taking care of our brain is just as important – if not more – as taking care of the rest of our bodies.  We take sick days when we’re physically unwell; we need to normalize taking days off when our brain isn’t in good shape.

So how do you know if you need a break?  Here are some signs you need to take a mental health day.

you’re having a hard time focusing

Focus is something we all need to be able to do if we want to get anything done.  This is especially important for time spent at work and school, but if your mental health is struggling, chances are your ability to focus is as well.  Taking a day off could help reset your mind and give it the break it needs to be able to function optimally.

you’re struggling with anxiety

Doing anything when you’re super anxious is not easy… anxiety makes every task – no matter how big or small – feel huge.  If you’re struggling with anxiety, taking a day off can help you relax and give your brain some time to take a breather from all the busyness of life.

you just don’t feel good

Sometimes you just don’t feel good.  There might not be a particular reason and nothing you try boosts your mood.  That’s okay!!  It happens to everyone; we have off days.  Not every second of every day is going to be positive, and that’s okay.  If you need to take a day off, go right ahead.

you’re incredibly tired

When I’m really tired, I am either sleep-deprived or really hungry.  But either way, my mood and outlook shifts when I feel exhausted.  Being tired is not going to help you at school, work, or anywhere else, so take the day off and try eating some food, drinking your water, and taking a nap.  

you’re irritable

Being irritable is another attitude you probably want to keep away from work, school, and daily life.  There are many reasons you might feel this way, so go easy on yourself and figure out what helps.  Taking a day off can do wonders for improving your mood, so it might be a good thing to try in this situation.

you don’t feel like yourself

Ever wake up and just feel… “off”?  It’s definitely one of my least favorite feelings, but it’s often unavoidable.  If you’re having one of those days, take a break to get back to yourself.  Take the day off, don’t worry about your responsibilities (unless it’s, like, really important) and do your favorite things – or whatever makes you feel good that day. (:

you’re on edge

If you’re feeling on edge, taking a mental health day could be exactly what you need.  Stay home, relax, do what makes you feel good and know that everything will be alright. (:

you desperately need a break

If you’re already feeling like you need a break, take that as a sign to take a mental health day as soon as possible.  Maybe your weekends or days off aren’t really cutting it anymore… that’s okay!  Just make sure to take a day off before you completely burn out.

your immune system is lacking

Getting sick a lot in a short amount of time can be a sign of declining mental health since it’s closely linked to your immune system.  If you’ve been feeling under the weather physically, take a day off to make sure your health doesn’t get any worse.  

you’re completely overwhelmed

Being overwhelmed is never fun, and while it might sound counterintuitive to take a break off while you have a lot to take care of, it can actually be beneficial.  Taking some time for yourself will help you refresh and be ready to accomplish all your goals when you’re ready to get back out there!

Bottom line is: take a mental health break when you feel you need it!!  Chances are, if you’re questioning whether or not you need a day off, you probably do.  Know that these feelings will not last forever, and you are not alone.  I hope you feel better soon!  I’m rootin’ for ya. (:

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