If you’re like most workaholic Americans, you probably refuse to take a day off unless you’re sick and forced to stay home. However, those days aren’t just for when you feel physically ill. Sometimes, it’s just as important to take a mental health day. Mental health days are days solely dedicated to giving your emotional and psychological health some tender love and care to break away from the stresses of everyday life.

Unfortunately, some people choose to keep working, not realizing how desperately they need a mental health day. Mental illness is more common than you think. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, about 43.8 million adults in the United States deal with it any given year. So how do you know when you need to take a break? As things start to overwhelm you, your body could start giving you hints. Here are some signs that it’s time for you to take a break and take a mental health day.

You’re More Anxious

Anxiety makes you feel like your life is out of control. It can make you create scenarios that aren’t necessarily the truth. When anxiety rears its ugly head, it can show up under a variety of masquerades. These disguises can range from racing thoughts to full-on panic attacks. It can also lead to physical symptoms like chest tightness, abdominal discomfort, and shortness of breath. If you feel uneasy and have issues snapping back to your routine, you may need to take a break. You could alleviate these symptoms by getting a massage, meditating, or spending time with your loved ones.

You Can’t Sleep

Overworking your brain can lead to physical exhaustion. Severe exhaustion can ultimately lead to two results: the constant need to sleep or the inability to fall asleep when it’s time for bed. When your sleep suffers, so does your overall health. The average person needs about seven to nine hours of sleep every night. However, when you’re constantly facing high levels of stress, you can develop insomnia. The dictionary defines insomnia as difficulty falling asleep despite feeling exhausted. It would be best to take a rest day to sleep in or go to bed early. Taking a rest day can be the cure you need to get back on track.

You Feel Sad All the Time

Everyone has days where they feel sad. These are the days where we want to lay in bed, eat ice cream, and watch Netflix. Whether it’s personal or work drama that’s bringing you down, an exciting day of all play and no work can help lift your spirits. You could take the day to do something that you’ve always wanted to do, like go rock climbing. You could also spend the day with your friends and laugh about your college memories. Still, if you feel this is something more serious, like irritability or deep sadness, you may be feeling signs of depression. If this is the case, it may be time to speak with a psychiatrist.

You Keep Getting Sick

Usually, getting a cold isn’t the end of the world. Every human gets a cold, especially during the colder seasons. However, if you keep getting colds, they may lead to more significant problems. Recurring colds or other physical ailments are typically signs that your body needs time to slow down. If you’re seeing a doctor more often than usual, that could signify that your health is paying the price for your burned-out brain. Taking the time to catch up on sleep or reevaluating your diet will help boost your immune system and put you on a path to better health.

You Feel Disconnected

Sitting in front of a computer for hours can make you feel disconnected from the real world. When you’re buried under your pile of things to do, you may feel like you’ll never emerge. When you find yourself unintentionally withdrawing from people that you love due to your work demands, you may need to take some time off. When you feel disconnected from reality, you’re not being your best self for yourself or anyone in your life. If you feel disconnected, reconnecting with your loved ones can make you feel strong and can be a powerful tool in restoring your sense of belonging and connection.

You Feel Like You’re in Slow Motion

Coffee has become an integral part of life for many Americans. They feel that drinking coffee boosts your energy and gets you through a hard day at work. However, it can have the opposite effect. Fueling your days at work with caffeine will only make you feel worse. Too much caffeine with not enough water can make your body feel dehydrated. To feel better, take a break from drinking coffee and incorporate more water into your diet. Drinking water can help flush the toxins out of your body and give it the hydration it needs. Nourishing your body with water and healthy foods can go a long way to rejuvenating your body and mind.

Mental Health is Essential to Overall Health

Mental health has stepped to the forefront in the last few years. Everyone has realized how important your mental health is and that it should be a priority. Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of yourself physically. Ultimately, taking care of your mental health reflects on your physical health. You can’t take care of yourself physically if your mental health is suffering.

Whatever you do on your mental health day will only be effective if you do it sincerely. You should never feel bad for taking time off or doing what you think is best for yourself. It may be best to turn off all of your technology and allow yourself to be in the moment. It would help if you let your thoughts wander instead of wondering what’s going on at work. However, if a mental health day doesn’t work, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek professional help. A professional can help you sort through any treatment options and help you navigate your situation in the most effective way possible.

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