About a month ago, a woman posted a tweet regarding her boss’ response to taking a mental health day.
The employee, who suffers from depression and anxiety, sent an email to her team saying she’d be off for two days to focus on her mental health. Her boss replied to her email thanking her for being open and honest and how important it is to take care of all areas of our health. Since she posted the response on social media in June, it has been retweeted nearly 15,000 times and has sparked a lot of conversation.
This got me this got me thinking about how we approach mental health in our society. It still isn’t something that we discuss openly or feel comfortable asking time off for, the way we would a sprained ankle or the flu. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, make choices and relate to others. Wellness is about more than just green juice and super foods It’s about taking care of our body AND mind.
Whether you suffer from anxiety or not, The truth is we ALL need a break at one point or another. Now I know you’re probably saying to yourself, “That’s great Ana but, I can’t take time off.” I get it. Everyone works and has responsibilities.
But if you find yourself relating to many of the situations below, it’s a warning that you may be on the road to burnout.
1. You feel overwhelmed. Does this sound familiar? You get to work, sit down at your desk, look at your to-do list and inbox and either want to yell at someone or start crying. Feeling overwhelmed for me, is one of the first majors signs that it’s time to take a break.
2. You’re sick often. “Pushing through” chronic stress and depending on adrenaline can keep you going for a while, but eventually you will crash. Your immune system breaks down making you more susceptible to getting sick.
3. You’re super cranky. You are constantly going off on people for no real reason. The normal stuff of your friends, family and coworkers starts to piss you off more than usual.
4. You’re tired all the time. If simply the thought of walking into work and turning on your computer, or “What the F am I going to cook for dinner tonight?!” makes you want tot find the closest close and take a nap, then you probably need to rest up a bit. (If you need a few easy tips on how to increase your energy click here and here).
5. You can’t focus. Do you look at your computer screen and everything is basically a blur? Being able to focus is important if you really want to get shit done. Period. And if you’re having trouble focusing then you’re probably not doing your best work.
6. Distracted eating. You eat the majority of meals in front of a computer, television, while texting or in your car.
7. Your self care has gone out the window. You start making excuses for not going to yoga, the gym or your regular walks. Maybe you’ve been eating foods you know make you feel bad but they’re quick and easy. Or you haven’t been to the hair dresser in a few months and you’ve missed the last few dinners with girl friends.
If you find yourself checking off a few of these examples, it’s time to take a break.
In the comments I’d love to know how you recharge when your body and mind ask for it.