As a culture, we love joking around about “taking a mental health day,” but many of us truly need one. With the stresses of work, school, and social life, taking a mental health day should be an actual thing. Yes, of course, it is hard to take sick days and vacation time, but these days are genuinely important.
Here are 9 reasons to take a mental health day.
1. You cannot take people anymore.
If you are shutting people down quickly, reacting emotionally, or snapping, you probably need a day off.
2. You need to motivate yourself to go into work.
You should not have to talk yourself up to go to work or take those few extra minutes to walk in. According to mental health therapist, Jessica Singh, “Often, this type of avoidance is a sign that something is wrong. This could be from a work-life imbalance, anxiety, boredom, or a lack of support at work.”
3. Your sleep is off.
According to hormone and gynecological health expert Dr. Nisha Jackson, Ph.D., experiencing elevated stress throughout the day, stress hormones keep firing into the night. This can make our body confused and keep us up at night.
4. Your emotions feel off.
Are you crying more frequently? Do you feel more angry than usual? If you feel in a whirlwind of emotions and nothing is working, it is time to take a mental health day.
5. You can’t focus.
According to mental health counselor Jovica Grey says, “When you are no longer able to focus extended periods of time and attention toward completing your duties, chances are you may need a mental health day or two to reset your brain.”
6. You lack enjoyment of the things you are doing.
Marriage therapist Rachel Wright explains that “When we start to reach a state of burnout, we usually stop enjoying things — even the things that used to bring us joy. Once you’re resenting the work, it’s definitely time to take a mental health day.”
7. You can’t make decisions.
Psychotherapist Tess Brigham says, “It’s time to take a mental health day when you can’t, for the life of you, make a decision. You’ve hit decision fatigue, which happens when we have too many decisions to make. We get decision fatigue not because we have to make too many decisions but because we’re lacking energy and focus.”
8. You’re getting sick way too often.
Catching a cold or getting the flu during the winter is one thing, but getting routinely sick is another. “We know from research that physical and mental health are strongly linked, so if you’re getting ill a lot, then it’s a sign that you need to take some time to get yourself back into balance,” reveals online fitness coach Emma Green.
9. You literally can’t remember the last time you took a day off.
If you’re sitting here, unsure of the most recent time you were out of your office, you need to schedule a day off. You clearly work hard and deserve scheduled downtime.