Taking a Mental Health Day
Do you ever get up in the morning and wonder if it would be okay for you to take a mental health day? If so, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, research from the American Psychological Association shows that today’s workforce is experiencing job burnout at alarming rates. Managing work related stress can be especially difficult for people dealing with depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns.
What are Mental Health Days?
Mental Health Days allow you to take a pause from the stress of work or school and focus on your mental health. A Mental Health Day could look like: like engaging in self care, connecting with your support system, resting, spending time in nature, or doing whatever helps you to refresh and recharge. Taking a mental health day every once in a while can help you cope with work-related stress and potentially help you avoid burnout.
Signs it’s Time for a Mental Health Day
The following are some red flags that are letting you know you need to put your mental health first:
You Feel Run Down
Being stressed and overworked can take a toll on your mind and body. If you’ve been feeling run down for a period of time, take a break.
You Feel Angry More Often
When we feel stressed and burned out, we become angry far more easily and far more often. If you find you have been getting easily irritated, this is a sign it may be time for a mental health day.
Worsening Depression and Anxiety Symptoms
Managing mental health conditions such as depression can be difficult when you are experiencing chronic stress. One suggestion is to use a mood tracking app so you are aware if your symptoms are worsening. This may be a sign that you need some time off, or an indication that it’s time to seek support.
You’re Having a Hard Time Focusing
When we’re stressed, our mental faculties take a hit and we can’t focus as easily. This makes it incredibly hard to get any work done. (Which of course just makes us feel more stressed!)
If you notice it’s become more difficult to get your work done, it may be time to schedule a day for resting and destressing.
Alternatives to a Mental Health Day
It’s important to acknowledge that not everyone has access to the ability to take a mental health day due to financial reasons, work environment, and other factors. In this case, you may want to consider setting aside some time on your day off to focus on yourself. Some activities that may help you de-stress include sitting in nature, meditation, intentional rest, exercise, or taking time to do something you’ve been putting off such as reading a book or getting together with friends.
If you’re experiencing high levels or work or academic stress, please reach out for a free consultation. Our therapists are skilled at helping people meet their goals for work/life balance.