Signs You Need to Take a Mental Health Day
When your body and emotions are out of whack, it’s important to recognize the signs that your overworked brain needs a mental health day. If you get the flu or an injury, you have no problem taking a sick day. But what if your mental health is suffering? Just like your physical health, it's important to take time off to focus on your mental well-being.
The day-to-day hustle and commitments of life can cause high levels of stress, which ultimately affect your mental state. It's hard to spot the symptoms because they're not all physical. Here are some signs you need a mental health day, plus a few things you can do to try to heal.
You’re Exhausted All the Time
Everyone gets tired once in a while, but if you don't even have the energy to do simple tasks or your favorite activities, then you may need to take a mental health day. People can feel drained physically, mentally, socially, creatively, emotionally and spiritually.
You’re Tired, but You Have Trouble Sleeping
After a long day at work, you may feel tired. However, what if you can't fall asleep when you go to bed, even when you’re exhausted? High levels of stress can lead to insomnia, which causes fatigue, poor focus, physical pain and even more stress. Work, financial or relationship problems can create stress.
It’s Hard to Focus
Are you struggling to concentrate, making mistakes or forgetting things more than usual? If the answer is yes, you may be under a lot of stress. "The basic idea is that the brain is shunting its resources because it's in survival mode, not memory mode," explains Dr. Kerry Ressler, chief scientific officer at McLean Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
You Feel More Anxious Than Usual
Anxiety comes in many forms, such as panic attacks, worrying and fear, and high levels of anxiety can wreak havoc on the body. Physical symptoms include chest tightness, abdominal discomfort, shortness of breath, constant exhaustion, trembling, profuse sweating and a racing heartbeat.
You Get Sick Often
Occasionally getting a nasty cold is normal, but if you keep getting sick all the time, you may be more stressed than usual. According to Medical News Today, chronic stress leads to frequent illness and infections. It's a sign that your overworked brain needs a mental break.
Minor Issues Set You Off
From time to time, it's natural to feel angry in response to certain situations. However, overreacting or getting upset over little things can be triggered by extreme stress and anxiety. Minor issues like a long wait at the post office or running out of milk at home can set you off.
You Keep Crying
Overwhelming stress can put people on the verge of tears. If you're getting teary or crying more than usual, it's worth taking a day off for mental rest. "Stress may trigger crying jags, sometimes seemingly without warning. Little things unrelated to your stress may leave you in tears. You also may feel lonely or isolated," explains the Mayo Clinic.