Like everyone else, you probably deal with stress every day. Over time, your stress levels reach their peak and become hard to manage.
Next time you feel overwhelmed by stress or burnout, you should take a break to reset. Although it’s hard to know when you need one, learn to pay close attention to your body's needs. To help you recognize when to take a break, here are some of the signs to check out.
1. If you find yourself overreacting to minor issues
No one is perfect, and it’s perfectly normal to overreact to minor issues from time to time. In most cases, overreacting emanates from immaturity or anxiety. However, if you find yourself overreacting to your co-workers or family constantly, you could be experiencing burnout.
First, you have to identify the reasons behind your disproportionately irate responses then deal with them appropriately. If the reasons are no other than being constantly at the edge, you need a mental health day.
2. You’re always exhausted, and you can’t sleep
It’s true that depression, anxiety and stress may bring about sleep disorders. The fatigue that comes from sleep disorder increases anxiety and stress. According to Alicia Clark, Psy.D, the brain areas responsible for interpreting impulse, feelings and thoughts is sensitive to sleep. If the situation continues, you end up exhausted both mentally and physically.
The problem later develops into insomnia or excessive sleeping. If you have trouble sleeping or sleeping excessively, it’s time to take that break and visit a doctor. Treating such issues could help you manage your mental health.
3. You have more anxiety than usual
Anxiety may come in many ways, such as panic attacks and racing thoughts. You may experience physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort and chest tightness. With such issues, it becomes hard to work, and you may end up losing your job. It also wrecks your confidence.
If you’re experiencing a hard time being calm or uneasy, you might need a mental health day. Spend some relaxing time with your loved ones or engage in activities such as meditation, yoga or having a massage. If it doesn’t work, seek an anxiety disorder treatment from qualified doctors.
4. You can’t focus
Too much stress leads to mental fog and makes it hard to make prompt decisions or concentrate. In most cases, you find yourself fixated on minor details that don’t really matter. You may also find yourself flailing about without any direction or goal.
When there are so many things going on at home or your workplace, your brain can't keep track of everything. If you can’t focus, you’re likely to make careless mistakes or even experience more stress. At this point, taking a mental breather can help you sharpen your focus and regroup your thoughts.
5. You feel as if you move in slow motion
There’s a common belief that guzzling several cups of coffee a day can power you throughout your workweek. On the contrary, coffee will only make you sluggish as time goes by. Consuming too much caffeine and little water leads to dehydration.
Instead of taking too much coffee, take a break away from your busy schedule to replenish your system. Also, ensure you take as much water as possible to flush toxins and hydrate your system.
6. When you feel disconnected
One thing that may make you feel disconnected from your environment is the long hours of working in front of a computer. The list of to-do activities consumes much of your time, and you hardly get time to relax and think. In such an environment, it’s common to feel detached from family and friends.
If you find yourself with a growing work demand and you unwittingly withdraw from your loved ones, it’s time to take a break. Connecting with your social circle helps you restore a sense of belonging and purpose.
A mental health day offers many benefits, including helping you balance your life. However, what you end up doing with your mental health day also matters. Try to remain present by avoiding distractions from things like phones and letting go of all job-related thoughts - focus on yourself instead.