Are You Going Crazy? Signs You Need a Mental Health Day
For some reason, taking a “mental health day” gets a bad rap. The idea of needing extra time to clear your head because you’re overwhelmed with work or with personal matters is viewed as overly dramatic. So many of us push through times of stress and upheaval — ignoring the symptoms of an impending mental burnout. When your mental state gets so bad that your daily life starts suffering, it could be time to unplug your electronics, meditate, or whatever helps you clear your head.
Here are the seven signs that you could use a mental health day.
1. The weekend just isn’t enough
That’s right — if you are in a fragile mental state, those glorious two days between Friday and Monday just don’t cut it. As Daily Burn explains, feeling completely overwhelmed or exhausted (more on that in a minute) are common factors in disrupting your mental state. And a stressful work project or trouble-maker colleague can overwhelm you to the point that you end up thinking about your work problems 24/7. You could probably use another day or two to clear your head if weekday stress seems to bleed into your Saturday and leave you in a state of dread all of Sunday.
2. You have become forgetful
From losing your keys, to forgetting that you left the oven on. It can become difficult to remember things when your mental state is under a ton of pressure. And if you’re overdue for a mental health day, you could be at the point where you are forgetting parts of your daily routine. Or you could forget something bigger, like paying a bill or taking care of a time-sensitive task for your boss. A day or two to refocus yourself will help minimize your chances of forgetting things.
3. You are exhausted, but can’t sleep
One of the biggest signs that your mental facilities are too stressed is when you start having trouble sleeping. You will not only lose sleep, but may also feel lethargic and half-asleep during the day when your mental state has been pushed to the brink. This can eventually start to mess with your emotions. If stress has turned you into a zombie, a mental health day will give you time to clear your head, which will in turn help you get some Z’s.
4. You are an emotional wreck
We get it, some people are a little more open with their emotions than others. But even the most composed individual can turn into a basket case when their mental state is weak. Shape explains that trying to bury your emotions during times of stress can actually make you even more upset. Something as minor as someone looking at you sideways could become a reason to break down and cry buckets of tears. It is definitely time to take a couple days off if your emotions have gotten to a point where you regularly can’t control them.
5. You have a short fuse
Another common sign that you are in need of a mental health intervention is if you have become easily irritable and frustrated. Instead of crying easily, you might be more likely to get angry and lose your temper without thinking about the consequences first. Something as small as someone chewing their food too loud can make you snap when your mental facilities are worn thin. Taking a couple days to relax and get your mental state in check can help keep you from ripping someone’s head off.
6. You have lost interest
A loss of interest or a drop in productivity is a surefire sign that you need to cash in some of your sick days. You eventually burn out when your mental facilities are pushed to the limit. This leads to a sense of apathy, and a lack of interest in activities that you typically enjoy taking part in. What’s worse is that this behavior can seep into your work life, and make you less productive. Taking time to clear your head can help you refocus and re-prioritize.
7. You have just experienced a difficult life event
Signs that you need a mental health day don’t just come from your behavior at work. It can also be caused by an outside event that has negatively affected you. Maybe a family member just passed away. Or maybe your house was robbed. Events that have a massive impact can leave you distracted and feeling extra stressed — not a good combination, especially if you spend most of your time in the workplace. It is common for us to try to keep going about our everyday lives as if nothing is wrong, only to end up having a breakdown because our mental health is suffering. There is absolutely no harm in stepping away from everyday obligations if you are having trouble coping with a life event.