10 Signs You Need a Mental Health Day

How often do you go through mental health days? If you don’t count them, then you probably never had one.

Mental health days are days when you take time out from your day-to-day life to focus on improving your emotional well-being. They come at various times throughout the year and can last a couple of hours to several weeks, depending on your situation.

“I’ve always felt I needed a mental health day,” says Sarah, who has struggled with anxiety since she was young. She believes that taking time off helps her cope better with stress and gives her a chance to reflect on herself and her life.

You feel tired and run down.

Stress and overwork can quickly lead to exhaustion, fatigue, and a feeling of being run down. This happens because our bodies are designed to cope with short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by recovery periods. But many people spend most of their day sitting, doing routine tasks such as answering emails, making phone calls, and meeting deadlines. These activities are less intense than we used to do during the industrial revolution, but they still require energy.

The problem is that modern life requires us to perform repetitive daily tasks without much opportunity to recover. We often work long hours, spend too much time in front of screens, and fail to prioritize downtime. As a result, we feel stressed, exhausted, and unwell.

You Get Angry Easily

When we’re stressed and tired, it’s easy for us to become irritated and lose our tempers, even over relatively minor things. This is especially true if you’ve been working long hours without much sleep and already feel overwhelmed by everything else on your plate. While it’s important to keep your cool during stressful times, there are some ways to manage stress better.

It might be worth taking a break and relaxing if you find yourself getting annoyed or frustrated with coworkers. Many experts recommend taking a vacation every six months to give your mind a chance to rest and recharge. Taking a few days off from work can help reduce your stress levels and make you feel refreshed upon returning.

You don’t want to damage professional relationships—even those with friends and family members—just because you’re feeling burned out. Instead, try journaling for mental health. Writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you process what’s happening inside your head and figure out how best to handle situations. Not only does this help you understand yourself better, but it can also help you improve communication skills and develop strategies for dealing with difficult people.

You Feel Anxious and Dread Going to Work

If you feel like you’re always dragging yourself out of bed and into the office every morning, you might suffer from job burnout. This feeling of being worn down by your workday is called job burnout, and it’s common among workers worldwide. Nearly half of American employees say they are experiencing some form of burnout.

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Job burnout symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, and even physical ailments such as headaches, stomach aches, and insomnia. These issues can lead to lower productivity, poor communication, and increased turnover rates.

In addition to feeling drained, many people report having trouble concentrating, making decisions, and focusing on tasks. They often find themselves getting angry about trivial things and snapping at coworkers. Sometimes, they simply want to go home early.

To help combat job burnout, try taking a break from work once or twice a week. Go for a walk, nap, watch a movie, or play video games. When you return to work, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way.

You Can’t Focus at Work

The stress response is part of our body’s natural defense mechanism against danger. When stressed out, however, it can impair our ability to think clearly and concentrate. Research suggests that chronic stress can cause changes in brain chemistry that make us less capable of focusing.

We’ve all experienced moments where we feel completely overwhelmed by the amount of work piling up on our desks or the number of items on our to-do lists. We’re tempted to give into those feelings because we know how much better we’ll feel once we finally sit down and start working. But what happens when we do take that break? Do we end up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle everything else? Or does our stress return even stronger than before?

In one study, researchers found that people who took breaks every 30 minutes focused less on their work than those who didn’t. They also reported feeling less productive and having more difficulty concentrating. This leads us to believe that taking frequent breaks is essential to keeping our brains sharp and our productivity high.

You Keep Getting Sick

Chronic stress can lead to suppressed immunity, which increases the chances of getting sick. But what exactly happens in our bodies during times of stress? And how does it affect us physically?

According to Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, author of “Grain Brain,” chronic stress can cause changes in neurotransmitters, hormones, blood sugar levels, and inflammation. These factors can affect everything from sleep patterns to digestion to mood disorders.

And while we’re talking about mood disorders, exercise is one thing that’s proven to help reduce stress. Exercise helps release endorphins, which makes people feel happier and calmer. Plus, being active reduces cortisol levels, which can improve brain function.

So next time you catch a cold, don’t just sit back and let it run its course. Instead, make sure you’re doing something to relieve stress. Whether taking a walk outside, meditating, or calling a friend, try to do something that relaxes you.

You Aren’t Sleeping Well

Sleep is often one of those things we take for granted. We think we’ll always be able to fall asleep easily and wake up ready to go every morning. But what happens when our bodies are telling us something different? If you wake up exhausted most days, it’s time to consider how much sleep you need.

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According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults require seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. And while many people don’t reach those numbers, even five hours of sleep per night can make a big difference.

Chronic insomnia is another sign of a stressful life. You’re probably dealing with some stress when you’re constantly struggling to fall asleep or stay awake. This could be caused by work pressures, relationship issues, financial concerns, or anything else keeping you up at night.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk about it with your doctor. They can help determine whether there’s a medical reason behind your lack of rest, such as depression or anxiety. In addition, they may suggest ways to relax and unwind that can improve your quality of sleep.

You Feel Disconnected from People Around You

If you struggle with feelings of being alone, isolated, or disconnected from others around you, it could mean you need some help managing your emotions. Research suggests that people with mood disorders may experience even greater isolation than those without such conditions.

Extreme highs and lows often characterize mood disorders—and sometimes a lack of awareness about how much you feel down. People with bipolar disorder, for example, may find themselves unable to recognize what is happening inside their bodies and minds. They may forget things they’ve done, feel irritable, and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy. Other symptoms include sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, and poor memory.

People with depression, meanwhile, may feel sad, hopeless, and worthless. They may lose interest in everything except work or sleeping and even think about suicide. Depression can cause changes in appetite and energy levels. Sleep patterns may change, too. Some people may spend most of their days in bed, while others may become hyperactive and restless.

In addition to these physical symptoms, people with mood disorders may develop social withdrawal and isolation. For instance, someone with a major depressive disorder may start avoiding social situations because she feels anxious or depressed. She may avoid her friends’ calls and messages and stop talking altogether. Someone with bipolar disorder may go out less frequently, skip parties, and miss important events in his life. He may also isolate himself from his spouse and children.

The good news is that there are many ways to cope with loneliness and disconnection. If you notice yourself struggling with these feelings, try to identify whether they stem from something specific, such as a relationship problem, job stress, financial concerns, or a medical issue. Then, talk to a friend or loved one about how you’re feeling and ask him or her to listen. Or consider seeking professional counseling.

You’re Eating Less or More

We often hear about how eating disorders are becoming increasingly common among young women. But what happens when those eating issues start affecting men too? A recent study found that many men struggle with emotional eaters. Men who suffer from emotional eating tend to binge on foods high in sugar and fat because they feel overwhelmed, angry, sad, lonely, or bored. They also skip meals more frequently and eat less overall.

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The good news is there are ways to help prevent these unhealthy behaviors. One way to do this is by taking a mental health day. A mental health day allows you to take time off work without feeling guilty. Mental health days aren’t just for employees struggling with depression or anxiety; they can benefit anyone dealing with stress.

You Change Your Drinking Habits

If you notice that you’re drinking more alcohol than usual, it could mean you’ve developed a habit of using alcohol to ease stress. This isn’t necessarily a problem — many people use alcohol to unwind after a long week. However, if you start to drink more frequently or consume larger amounts of alcohol each time, you’re probably developing a pattern of behavior that might lead to problems.

When you feel anxious about something, you may reach for a wine or beer to help calm your nerves. While some people relieve stress through social interactions, others prefer to sit alone and sip a beverage. If you’ve been drinking more regularly, however, there may come the point where you realize that you’re reaching for alcohol too much.

You may want to cut back on your drinking habits because you know how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition to being physically unhealthy, heavy drinking can also cause depression, memory loss, and liver damage. It can even increase your chances of car accidents and violent incidents.

People around You Are Concerned About You

Often, our friends and family members can see things in us we can’t because we’re so close to a situation. They know us better than anyone else and often notice changes in our behavior long before we do.

If those closest to you are worried about something, they might try to tell you about it. Maybe they think you’ve been acting funny lately, or they’re worried that you don’t seem to yourself. If your loved ones are concerned, they must pay attention to their concerns.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should take a mental health day, consider the following points:

  • Mental health days are a great way to decompress. It’s easy to feel like you could use some downtime, but sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to keep moving forward. Taking a mental health day isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s quite the opposite.
  • There are many reasons why people decide to take a mental health day. Some people want to spend time relaxing, while others simply want to clear their minds. Regardless, most people find that taking a mental health day helps them refocus and return to feeling productive again.
  • While mental health days help you relax, they also offer a chance to recharge your batteries. After spending time away from work, you’ll come back refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges.
  • If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or another form of mental illness, it’s possible that you already know that you need a break. You might consider taking a mental health day to give yourself a little extra rest.


Taking a mental health day doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need to do is make sure you’re doing what you can to stay mentally healthy. Whether you go out for dinner with friends or just curl up on the couch with a good book, you’ll find that taking a mental day will help you get back on track.

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