Taking a Mental Health Day – Why it’s a Must

taking a mental health day

Yesterday I was completely drained and overthinking, so I allowed myself a mental health day and did not write. Taking a mental health day is vital for everyone.

I believe it is very important to know when a break is needed and to take the necessary actions to regain focus. So, today’s post will be about noticing when you need a break, ways you can relax your mind, alternatives when you cannot take a full day to regain focus, and why taking a mental health day is important for everyone.

 Noticing When You Need a Break

Many times, we notice when we need a break from everything going on and often push it aside. Other times we don’t notice and assume it’s something else. Here are some signs you may need to take a moment to relax and take a day to refocus:

  • Your normal everyday things become harder to do.
  • Your mind feels foggy and unfocused.
  • Overthinking is everywhere
  • Exhaustion even when you get a full night’s rest
  • You feel irritated over every minor thing
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches

These signs are ways your body lets you know you are overwhelmed and need to take a moment to relax.

 Ways You Can Help Relax Your Mind

Here are some of the ways I personally use to help me relax my mind and help me get back on track after feeling so physically and mentally drained. They may or may not work for you, but I hope they do. These are for days you can take a full day to relax.

  • Sometimes we don’t notice how lack of adequate sleep affects us. If you notice you are starting to feel groggy even with your regular sleeping schedule, you might need a little more to help rid the groggy feeling. We take on so much during the day, if you have been doing more than your normal day-to-day activities it would make sense you need a little more rest to recharge.

  • Take a nice soothing meditation bath. Grab your favorite candles, scented wax melts, and relaxing meditation music (or soothing instrumental music). Listen to the music and try to relax your mind.

    Don’t focus on past hardships or worry about the future. Try to be in the present.
    If you don’t have a bath or prefer showers you can do the same thing. Just stand under the water and envision all the stress melting away.

    Focus on the now and the positives you have in your life. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the past and future. Learning how to ground yourself in the present, even if you are not exactly where you want to be in life, is a great lesson one can teach themselves.

  • Doing something you enjoy that you don’t get to do every day. Mine is singing and drawing. I love to sing while I draw, often coming up with lyrics of my own. It helps stop the analytical part of the mind slow down and gives the creative side a chance to express itself.

  • Treat yourself to something delicious. Whether it be candy, chocolate, or a full course meal. Take the time to eat something you enjoy. Be grateful at the moment and savor the flavors.

    Being grateful in the moment helps us feel good and brings us to an awareness that many people do not have the opportunity to eat what they desire. It helps us look at things from a new perspective.

  • At the end of the day pause and reflect on the good. Prepare yourself to go back to your everyday routine. Try to find a new outlook on the day ahead. If you are unhappy where you are in life take a moment to ask yourself what steps you need to take to get to where you want to go.

Sometimes we get so caught up in everyday life that we forget the simple things and can become bogged down with everything going on. Taking a day to refocus and evaluate can be surprisingly uplifting. It can also help you gauge where you are and if you need to start making plans for a new direction in life.

While I understand you can’t just drop everything and expect things to go great, you can still make a plan to help you get to where you want to go in life. You may have to work at the job you hate for an extra year or two, but if you are actively working towards where you want to go then those years are going to look like small obstacles you had to go through once you get to where you want to go.

We live in such a demanding, fast-paced world and get distraught when things don’t go as planned or take too long. Making long-term goals with shorter goals in between can help improve mental health drastically. Though, that is another topic for another day.

 Alternatives for When You Cannot Take a Full Day to Recharge

You may be sitting there thinking, okay Crystal, this is great and all, but I don’t have the option to take a full day to myself to recharge. I get it, trust me I am a mom trying to start a business. Sometimes you can’t just take a whole day to refocus. Here are some alternative options that may be able to help:

  • If you have a break throughout the day, try listening to calming music. I love instrumental meditation music. Though positive lyrical music helps too. Try to steer clear of angry, harsh, or depressing songs.

    Music has much more of an impact than you’d believe. Aim for positive and uplifting lyrical music. You can even create a playlist for times like these.

  • Let the others around you know you are having a particularly rough day. It may feel silly at first, but letting others know you’re having a rough time can help you relieve some of the anxious thoughts that come along with not performing at your best. It also helps others become aware and can lead to them potentially helping you through the day with small tasks.

  • If things start to feel too demanding, take a quick restroom break to splash some water on your face and take deep breaths. Remind yourself you’ll get through this often.

  • If you are taking on too much and feel too overwhelmed let your boss know. Your boss is human too and they understand emotions. Often, we take on too much not wanting to upset our bosses or we want to impress them.

    However, this can backfire and overwhelm us to not perform to our best. Letting your boss know how you are feeling opens up the opportunity for compromising, getting help with the tasks, and understanding one another better, and can sometimes help you gain more respect from your boss.

  • Try to avoid the people who make you feel drained. While this can be challenging in the workplace it can still be done. Only interact with them when you have to. Sometimes we encounter people we cannot stand. That is okay, this does not make you a bad person. We have things we tolerate and things we do not.

  • If you are a stay-home parent, try to find peace when your little one is napping. If they are older this can be a challenge. Try putting in earbuds with relaxing music. Take an hour or two to do something you enjoy after they go to sleep.

    Like a nice relaxing bath, watching your favorite show, treating yourself to something good, etc. Try not to be on your phone or electronics at this time. You’d be surprised how much social media can influence the mind. Us this time to recharge.

These may or may not work for you, these are just some of the tactics I use when I feel myself start to become too overwhelmed. I personally do not react to stress well and have to have a plan for when I become over-stressed. Some of my own stress symptoms include:

  • Blotchy red face with small bumps raised on my cheeks
  • I become very forgetful and disoriented sometimes
  • My stomach knots up
  • My breathing becomes a little faster
  • I become very irritated

 Why Taking a Mental Health Day is Important

You are the most important person in your life. You matter. Your thoughts and actions matter. You are the one feeling the emotions and dealing with the hardships life brings in your own way. No one else is feeling the feelings you are experiencing. Learning how to maneuver through the hard times is something we all could benefit from.

Life is not easy. There are trials, heartaches, unfairness, and cruel actions done every day. We cannot deny that. We cannot stop certain events, no matter how hard we try. However, we can learn how to manage ourselves during harsh times.

But Crystal, I have kids. I thought they are the most important things in my life. I am a mother and yes, they are important. However, how are you supposed to teach them how to thrive during trials if you are mentally drowning in everyday life? Acting like you are strong when in reality you are suffering is not helping them.

They need to see and understand that hardships are a part of life. Teaching them how to navigate through the hard days by leading by example is one of the best lessons you can teach them. One day they will be out on their own. You want them to be prepared. Children do as they see. Show them emotions are okay. Teach them how to get through them without trying to sweep the emotions under a rug.

Mental health days can teach children and others around you how to handle life better when things don’t always go as planned.

Here are some more reasons your mental health is important and why taking a mental health day is necessary:

  • When you are feeling overwhelmed, down, or anything other than okay, you do not perform at your best.

    This can cause more stress than necessary. You know when you are not performing at your best. This can make you start wondering if you’ll be fired at work, if you’re being a good parent, spouse, friend, etc.. the thoughts can start to pile up making you feel down.

    Having ways to help combat these normal everyday feelings, is a good thing.By taking a Mental health day, it can help you perform better in everyday life
  • Depression, anxiety, anger, BPD, eating disorders, and other related mental health illnesses are hard to cope with. If you have mental disorders give yourself a break. You are doing better than you believe.

    People may think having a mental disorder is weak, but if you think about it, it actually makes you pretty strong. Not only are you doing everyday life, but you are also doing it under these conditions.

    I don’t know about you, but regular life is hard on its own if you’re battling mental illnesses you are freaking amazing. Mental health days can help you manage your illnesses better.

  • Even if you do not battle with a mental illness, life is rough. It’s okay to take a step back and breathe. You do not have to be strong 24/7. When life starts getting heavy pause for a moment and reflect. It can help you refocus. You are so important, don’t let overwhelming thoughts anchor in your mind.

Taking a Mental health day can help you get through life’s ups and downs smoother.
There are countless other reasons why mental health days are important, these are some of the thoughts that came to mind when writing this post.

If you have ways that help you comment them below. You never know, maybe your way of doing things can help someone else.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this post <3

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