Saturday, July 15, 2017

Would You Take A Mental Health Day?

Have you ever taken a mental health day at work? Not many people feel comfortable calling their boss up to say they’re having a day off for that. Still, the stigma attached to mental health is lessening, and more of us are realizing just how important it is to look after your mental health. The term covers so much more than just mental illnesses like schizophrenia or depression. So why would you need a mental health day, and what should you do when you take one?

Work can be the source of great stress in our lives. This stress can cause tension in the body and lead to pain and discomfort. It can also lead to weight gain. Over time, you might struggle with constant headaches, nausea, and moodiness.

Eventually, the anxiety and depression associated with stress can cause you to stop functioning altogether. You won’t be much use to your boss in that state, which is why more and more employers are keen for their employees to take a mental health day instead.

How do you know when you need a mental health day? If you suffer from any of the symptoms of poor mental health, chances are you know about it. You might struggle to feel connected with the people closest to you. And you might feel like you’re acting out of character. Lethargy, trouble sleeping, and moodiness are also common symptoms. You can take an online mental health assessment anonymously and for free to see if you might need to start addressing any of these problems.

The good news is you can often make an enormous difference to your mental and emotional well-being without seeing a doctor. Of course, if you or your family and friends have concerns, you should always speak to your doctor first. If you have a pre-existing condition, then this is always a good idea.

If you think you need to take a time out for your mental health, then it’s a good idea to draw up a plan of action. There are many lifestyle changes you can make that can help improve your mental health and reduce your risk of suffering from stress. Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to achieve great results quickly.

Book a weekly massage, and join a Yoga or Tai Chi class. You can cycle to work instead of sitting in stressful traffic jams. Why not address your sleep routine and make it more regular? This can have enormous benefits. High quality sleep can reduce stress, improve your focus and reduce hormone irregularities that might be contributing to your moods.

When you take your day off, list all the things that are causing your concern. Not all of these will be ‘stressing you out,' but collectively, everything will be weighing on your mind. Which of these can you do something about right now? Not paid that bill? Phone the company and clear it. Not keeping up with the housework? Hire a cleaner for a month. Find the easy fixes on the list and fix them.

Now you’re left with the big worries. They’re on paper, and you can see that they need to be addressed. This can help reduce your stress enormously. Why not share them with a close friend or loved one? They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Chances are a fresh perspective on these issues can reduce their impact on you even further.

Why not work together on an action plan to tackle these issues until they are resolved? Start with a goal. If you’re worried about earning enough money to cover the bills, then you can tackle this with two goals. The first might be to earn more money. Set your goal to ask for that promotion you deserve. The second could be to reduce your bills. Set your goal to draw up a new household budget and cut back where you can.

Don’t forget to set a time and date for these goals to be achieved. Maybe you’ll ask your boss next Monday for a pay rise. That gives you time to draw up a letter detailing all the things you’ve contributed to the business. As for your newfound frugality, you can aim to reduce your weekly spend by 10%. Small steps can help enormously.

So what else can you do when you take a mental health day? Spoil yourself! You’ve done a good thing by identifying that your health and well-being should be the priority today. Reward yourself for that. Relax and enjoy the rest of your day.

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