Mental Health

Mental Health Days – How to know when to take them

We’ve all felt overwhelmed, stressed and overburdened, and have concluded that we “need a mental health day.”

But what exactly is a Mental Health Day and how do we know if we need to take one?

A Mental Health Day is a day that we set aside to take care of our mental health. A day we set aside to escape the rigors of our daily schedule to refresh and rejuvenate our soul. A day to dial our lives down a notch and take a few deep cleansing breaths.

However, taking a day off to do as such is more difficult than it seems because mental health days don’t get the same respect as our traditional sick day counterpart.

For example, if we have a fever, we can prove our fever by taking our temperature and reading a thermometer. Anything over 99.7 constitutes a fever, which justifies a day off of work. If we have a sore throat or a broken bone, a lab test or x ray can concur and constitute a day off to heal.

However, there is no device to gauge anxiety levels, stress or PTSD flare ups, so we have to rely on ourselves to know when enough is enough and when we just need a mental health day.
But how do we know?

Here are three tips to help you identify whether you might need a mental health day – a day off to pamper yourself, practice self care or just get some pressing issues done.

  1. Emotions – Are you having troubles managing your emotions? Do you have difficulty controlling your moods? Do you get agitated more easily than usual? Do you feel deeply emotional? Are you extra sensitive? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then perhaps it’s time for a day off.
  2. Thoughts – How about your thoughts? Where are they? Are your thoughts roaming? Can you regulate them or do you have trouble concentrating? Do you find yourself daydreaming a lot? If so, it might be time for a tune up – a time away – to get some things checked off your list. A time for you to do what YOU like.
  3. Sleep – What about sleep? Are you getting enough? Are you getting too much? Sleep is a great measuring tool to determine the state of your mental health.

Once you determine you are in need of a Mental Health day, take it and take it quickly before your emotions and stresses get the best of you. Slow down. Watch a favorite tv show, take a slow walk in the field, call a friend. Relax. Sleep. Rejuvenate.

If after a day or two you still feel overburdened and stressed, it might be time to consult a professional. Water Gap Wellness offers a Mental Health Partial Hospitalization Program with an intensive level of outpatient treatment. If a Mental Health day or two don’t help, we can. Insurance accepted. Call 833-949-4673

 

written by Annette Kaiser

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