When we’re feeling sick, we rest our bodies and when we pull a muscle, we stop working out for a couple of days. We understand the need for physical rest, but all too often, we forget to take mental breaks when we’re overworked. Here’s how to know when to take a mental health day to recharge when you’re feeling fried.
The first sign it’s time to step back is feeling more irritable than usual. If normal occurrences are setting you off or you’re routinely ready to snap, it’s time to take a break before you take it out on those you work or live with.
The second sign you need a mental health day is your work is unusually sloppy. If you’re making silly mistakes, missing errors you usually catch or are just feeling disinterested in tasks that normally engage you, you could be experiencing burnout at work. If stress is affecting your work, more work isn’t the solution. Taking a day off to reset will be better in the long run for you and your company.
The final signal is showing signs of physical stress. Losing sleep, breaking out, or losing weight can all be signs we’re near the breaking point. These are your body’s ways of telling you to take it easy for a day or two. We have discussed many strategies for coping with stress on The Optimist Daily, but these will be minimally effective if what your body and mind really need is just a day off.
Working from home continues to blur the line between personal and professional spaces. You’re likely working more than before and letting work tasks seep into your rest time. Taking a mental health day is not a sign of weakness or poor performance, it’s taking the time you need to reset and come back stronger than before.