Taking A Mental Health Day
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. When you are sick or aren’t feeling your best physically, you might choose to take a day or two off so that you can rest and recharge and get back to 100%. However, what happens when your mental health feels off? Well, unfortunately, most people don’t care for themselves the same way when it comes to their mental health as they do their physical health.
Not taking care of yourself mentally can have significant consequences on your physical well-being. In some cases, it can lead to physical harm or a drug or alcohol dependency. That’s why it’s important to take a mental health day from time-to-time. There are many different ways you can go about doing it too. If you already have a scheduled day off, you can turn it into a mental health day.
You can also schedule a day off with the intention of using it as such. If you are really struggling, you can call out using a sick day. Don’t forget, the same way you would use a sick day to recover from a physical ailment, you can do the same with a mental ailment. So, how exactly do you know if you are in need of taking a mental health day? Well, let’s take a look at some signs to look for as well as things you can do during your mental health day.
How Do I Know If I Should Be Taking a Mental Health Day?
Everyone is different, and therefore what triggers them in life can be different. So, while different people might show different signs of mental fatigue, here are some of the most common signs to look for that might signal that you need to take a mental health day.
You Might Be Exhausted But Can’t Sleep
One of the telltale signs that you might need to shut down the brain for a day and “recharge the batteries” is if you find yourself exhausted, yet you can’t sleep.
Mental fatigue can lead to extreme exhaustion, and when not addressed right away can lead to either the constant need to sleep or not being able to sleep. When it gets to a point where you can’t sleep, this can have adverse effects on your physical health and well-being.
If you find yourself in a position where you are extremely exhausted but can’t sleep, you might want to take a mental health day simply to catch up on some sleep and allow your body and mind to get the rest it so desperately needs.
You Have Trouble Focusing
Ever have one of those days, or even multiple days, where no matter what you do or how hard you try, you just can’t seem to focus on the task at hand? If so, it could be your brain telling you that you need to shut it down and take a day off.
When you have so much going on up top that you can’t seem to focus on one thing, it can lead to things such as careless mistakes, elevated stress levels, and even poor performance at your job.
Your Anxiety is Bad or Worse Than Normal
Anxiety can show up in many different forms. For some people, they are just naturally anxious and deal with anxiety on almost a daily basis. For others, it creeps up when they least expect it. Extreme bouts of panic, racing thoughts, chest tightness, abdominal discomfort, or, in some extreme cases, shortness of breath are all signs and symptoms of anxiety.
Are you are someone who regularly deals with anxiety? Do you feel like it’s starting to overpower your life? Or you are someone who is typically laid back, and you find yourself feeling anxious a lot lately?
Taking a mental health day might be a great way to get back to feeling like your normal self again.
You Are Feeling Irritable or Are Easily Set-Off
Look, nobody is going to be happy go lucky all the time. It’s just not how we are programmed as humans. There are times though, where we might find ourselves lashing out or snapping at people for no real reason.
If you find yourself losing your cool regularly on co-workers, friends, family, or others for no real reason, it might be because you are simply on edge or irritable. If that’s the case, it might be the perfect time to take a day to yourself and allow your brain to rest, recover, and take the mental edge off.
You Find Yourself Getting Sick A Lot
Well, believe it or not, you getting sick can actually be a result of your brain being burnt out and simply needing a break. Constantly being sick is your body and brain’s way of telling you that you need to slow it down and take a break. Taking a day to relax and get your mind and body healthy can go a long way to feeling like your normal self again.
Do you consider yourself a pretty healthy person? Do you find yourself sick and at the doctor’s office more now that you have in the past? Not sure why you are getting sick so often? It might be time for a break.
What Should I Do During My Mental Health Day?
The first thing you want to do is determine what exactly you want to get out of your mental health day. Everyone is different, and therefore what they are looking to get out of their day of recovery will be different.
Ask yourself, why did you decide to take a mental health day? Maybe you find yourself suffering from one of the symptoms above. Or maybe you just want to take a day to rest and recharge the proverbial batteries.
What should you do during your day of rest and recovery? Well, there are many great activities that you can do that promote rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
Determining exactly what you want to get out of your day will help you in picking things to do to achieve that goal.
Here are just a few examples:
- Do yoga
- Go for a nature walk
- Get a massage
- Go for a swim
- Read a book
- Go to a museum
- Spend some time journaling
- Go to an amusement park
- Take a trip somewhere
- Go to a ballgame or sporting event
- Do something you have always wanted but never have done
- Go for a drive
- Enjoy your family or friends by playing games or seeing a movie
If you have the opportunity to bring someone along with you to share in your adventure and want to, then go for it! It might just make the day even more fun and memorable for you.
Some people choose to use their mental health day to make some necessary changes in their lives.
If you decide to go that route, here are some things that you can do:
- Make a list of things that are draining to you
- Assessing your priorities
- Eliminating large stressors
- Finding ways to increase your satisfaction in life
- Eliminating unnecessary stressors
If this is the route that you choose to go, it’s important to remember that you won’t be able to accomplish every goal in just one day. Instead of trying to do that, use the day to make a plan, and create a list of long term goals that you can achieve over time.
Are Their Things That I Should Avoid Doing During My Mental Health Day?
The key to a mental health day is to do things that promote mental health, rest, and relaxation. As a result, you will want to avoid any and all things that might hinder that.
Some things to avoid doing during your mental health day include:
- Smoking, drinking or using any other mind-altering substances
- Eating a lot of unhealthy foods
- Focus on negative thoughts or emotions
- Spending the entire day on social media
- Depending on your path, avoiding being around others such as friends or family
Should I Take A Mental Health Day?
Taking the time to focus on your mental well-being is just as important as focusing on your physical well-being. In fact, given the fact that your brain has a major effect on the rest of your body, it might even be more important. That’s why from time to time, it’s important to take the time and treat yourself to a mental health day.
Think about it, if you feel sick or off on other parts of your body, you will take a sick day to allow your body to rest and recover. It’s important to do the same thing for your mind.
If you feel like you need more than just a mental health day, that’s ok too. If that’s the case, come see us at Renewal Behavioral Health. We offer a variety of mental health programs as well as a variety of other treatment programs as well. If you or someone you know is in need of treatment for drugs, alcohol, or a mental health disorder, contact us today.