Have you ever had a day where you feel like your brain is in a blender? It’s hard to concentrate; sitting still is a challenge; it’s nearly impossible to get anything done, no matter how big or small, how easy or complicated.
It’s possible you’re experiencing a little burnout, a feeling of being overwhelmed and in need of a break. The best prescription to fix this is taking a mental health day.
This doesn’t mean you’re depressed or in need of medication; it just means you need to take a day off, recalibrate, clear your head and do something to take care of yourself before you get back to work.
Here are some of the benefits of giving yourself a mental health day and why it’s important.
Know when it’s time to take a day off.
If you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or can’t concentrate, if you’re making lots of little mistakes at work for several days in a row, it might be time to call out. Have you been more emotional than usual or snapping at your coworkers? Are you in a bad mood at home because of something that happened at work? All of these could be signs that it’s time to hit pause. Your brain needs a break and deserves a chance to calm down. We can go outside and take a breath of fresh air from time to time; a mental health day is the equivalent for your brain.
Recalibrate your brain.
Taking a day off might not seem like much, but it’s the chance to allow yourself to do something entirely different. Maybe you give yourself a few hours to read instead of being at work. Maybe you book a massage or spa day or a trip to the golf course with some friends. Spend the time doing something you like, something you want to do, instead of something you need to do. It could be as simple as sleeping in a little later, taking a walk, making a nice dinner, or treating yourself to that new restaurant in town. Take a break from your routine.
If the thought of missing a day adds to your stress, schedule it.
Talk with your manager about how you’re feeling and decide on a day you can take off without throwing a wrench into projects at work. Explain that you’re trying to make it easy on everyone, but you also need to take care of yourself. Find a day that works best and make sure your top priorities are addressed or covered before you leave for the night the day before your scheduled day off. This way, you’re not leaving anyone in a bind, and you know things will be handled while you’re off doing something else.
The ability to refresh helps regain focus.
If you’ve been struggling at work lately and aren’t sure why it could be that your brain is overloaded. In your home, if the circuitry is overloaded, a fuse can get blown out. Replacing the overworked fuse with a new one helps make everything work efficiently. The same thing is true of your brain: Working too much, concentrating too hard can make it impossible to do basic things. You can’t switch your brain off and on, and you can’t swap it out for a new one, but you can hit a proverbial reset button. Taking a day off and thinking about different things will let you come back to work with fresh eyes and a clear mind.
Need ideas? Here are some suggestions!
The temptation to take care of errands around your living space might be pretty strong if you take a mental health day. But this is not a day for working; this is a day for relaxing, treating yourself, and taking care of YOU. Instead of cleaning all day — which might start out as fun but end up feeling like more work — consider these options instead:
- Meet a friend for breakfast or lunch
- Get a massage
- Go to the movies
- Treat yourself to a fancy coffee and baked good
- Go for a hike or long walk
- Sit by the water
- Get ice cream
- Call a friend
- Listen to your favorite songs and/or albums
- Visit an art or science museum
- Go to an afternoon baseball game
- Take a bath
- Work on a creative project — painting, playing an instrument, working on a puzzle, etc.
- Read that book you’ve been looking forward to
Anything that makes you happy is the right choice!
You work hard and deserve some time off. It’s the smallest gift you can give yourself, and you are very much worth it.
If you’ve taken a day or two, and are still feeling overwhelmed and unhappy, maybe it’s time to consider changing jobs. Debbie’s Staffing can help! We work with excellent companies that are looking for candidates with your background and experience. Call Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get started!