Wondering if you need to take a mental health day? You’re not the only one! The workplace is increasingly stressful, with job burnout at an all-time high. But we’ve got a secret for you: taking a mental health day is something that can help… a day for you to recharge, reset and concentrate on you and you alone!

Sometimes, you just need to give your brain a break. It’s about time you check in with yourself and to recognise when you need to take some time for yourself. If you’re nodding your head as you read this, maybe you need to take a mental health day… so keep reading.

You feel more anxious than normal

Anxiety can present in a variety of ways: from racing thoughts, to panic attacks. You may experience chest tightness, abdominal discomfort and even shortness of breath.

Everyone experiences stress, particularly at work. But if you’re having a hard time snapping back to your usual mood after feeling particularly anxious, it may signify that you need to take a step back for a day of rest and recharge away from the office.

You’re exhausted: but can’t sleepsleep

Overworking yourself and stress can lead to physical exhaustion. This can lead to two things: needing to sleep all the time, as well as being unable to sleep when you go to bed… not being able to switch off. Take some time to help quiet that noise and perhaps take an afternoon nap to get your sleep back on track.

You’re unable to focus

Do you feel like there’s so much going on and you just can’t keep track of everything? This can lead to you making careless mistakes… which again, rise your stress levels. Stress can affect your memory and your ability to learn new things so it’s in your best interest to address it, rather than trying to plough through. Something as simple as taking that day off and giving yourself a moment to regroup could help sharpen and realign your focus.

Your mood is low

Feeling down? Unable to shift that bad mood? Nothing seems to bring you out of that funk… taking a day can give you an opportunity to do something you enjoy, perhaps a hobby that’s been neglected. Something to help you feel good about yourself.

Your fuse is short

Everyone loses their cool every now and then… but if you’re feeling like you’re snapping at people more than usual, it could be a sign that something needs to be changed. You may have a lot of pent up emotion and energy–taking some time to move your body can be rejuvenating and restorative. A massage could also help!

Your body is complaining

Physical symptoms can be a manifestation of emotional feelings and can be a sign you need an emotional break, as well as a physical break. Headaches, stomach pain… they’re all physical indicators of excessive stress… as is that tension in your shoulders and perhaps even that nauseous feeling in your stomach.

Your Immune System is fragile

Getting sick more often than usual is a clear sign that your body needs a break… some time to rest and recharge–simple as that! Chronic stress can weaken your immune system and make you more prone to illnesses. Your body is telling you to take some time off to rest… are you listening?

You feel disconnected

Are you feeling so buried in work that you feel detached from the outside world… unable to come up for air? If you feel like you’re withdrawing from your friends, family and the world around you, a mental health day may be in order to give you a chance to reconnect with others. Catch up on those messages you’ve left on read.

If these signs are resonating with you–perhaps it’s time to plan yourself a mental health day. It may surprise you how even just one day can help ease your anxiety at work, reduce your stress levels and boost your mood. But don’t stress about it: the whole idea of a mental health day off work is to relax so if planning anything like activities is feeling too daunting, don’t. Make it a day of rest.

If the low mood and anxiety persists and a mental health day (or longer time off) doesn’t help, it could be a symptom of something more serious such as depression. As much as a mental health day can be helpful to give you a bit of a break, sometimes it’s not enough. You should consider talking to a professional to get further help if needed. Don’t wait.