If you're like most workaholics, then you probably refuse to take a sick day unless you're feeling under the weather. But, sometimes it's just as important to take a mental health day to ensure you're taking care of your psychological and emotional health.
In fact, taking a mental health day can improve energy, motivation, and mood while decreasing stress. Need even more reasons? You should take a mental health day if:
1. You're both mentally and physically exhausted
Overworking yourself mentally can lead to physical exhaustion, which affects your sleep cycle. But, when you're exposed to prolonged periods of stress, your body either wants to sleep all the time, or you can't sleep at all. Taking a day off from work to rest and sleep in could be just what you need to get your sleep cycle on track again.
2. You're feeling anxious
Anxiety can manifest itself as racing thoughts, shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort, and even panic attacks. If you're having a challenging time managing your anxiety, you may need to take a mental health day. Spend time with loved ones and engage in relaxing activities, such as yoga and meditation, to reduce anxiety symptoms.
3. You can't concentrate
Is there so much going on at home and work that you just can't seem to focus on anything? This could lead to careless mistakes. Taking a day off can help you regroup your thoughts and sharpen your focus.
4. You're feeling down
Is personal or office drama making you feel down in the dumps? Calling in sick, and instead, spending the day watching a funny movie, spending time with friends and family, and reading a book can help you feel good about yourself again.
5. You're irritated
If you've been feeling on edge lately, it could be that your nerves are fired up. This is usually a sign that you have too much pent-up energy and emotion. Take the day off from work to exercise, such as hiking, yoga, walking, or biking. Exercising to the point of sweat can help you think better and more clearly, which can help you feel better.
6. You get sick a lot
Do you always seem to come down with a cold or flu symptoms? This could mean that you're mentally burned out. Reoccuring physical illnesses are a sign that your body needs to slow down, and that you need a mental health day. Use the time to sleep, cook a healthy meal, or get a massage.
7. You're sluggish
You might feel like drinking a pot of coffee every day will help you get through your workweek. But, fueling your days with caffeine will lead to feeling even more tired. Spend a day at home, replenishing your body. Drink as much water as possible to flush toxins and rehydrate your system.
8. You feel detached
Sitting all day, staring at a computer screen can easily make you feel disconnected and isolated. If you find yourself withdrawing from others, that means it's time to take a mental health day. Allocate that day off to reconnecting with your social circle.
Don't be afraid to call in sick
Sick days aren't just for physical ailments, such as colds or the flu; they should also be used when you feel like you need a day filled with self-care. Remember that stress, over time, can lead to both mental and physical problems if not adequately dealt with.