Mental health days are just as important as physical health days, and, whether you deal with issues like depression and anxiety or are simply having an off day (or week), it’s time we all stop making such days synonymous with the word “excuse.” Mental health days are necessary for keeping a healthy lifestyle, and there’s a ton of reasons why.
While we’re quick to understand that the tickle in our throat are indicators of a sick day in your future, we aren’t so lenient with ourselves when the symptoms aren’t physical. If you’ve struggled with any sort of mental health illness, more than likely, you can relate to the feeling of guilt that surfaces when you consider taking a day off work to recover and recuperate.
Plenty of people even push through physical pain to get to work so not to miss a day. Others, myself included, have suffered through one too many anxiety attacks, and struggled to find something that could help them make it through the day.
Mental health is serious, and disorders affect roughly 450 million people worldwide, according to WHO. Unfortunately, it’s often brushed off as a miniscule problem, and it’s conditioned a lot of people to feel guilt or fear when it comes to missing responsibilities because of it. That needs to change, so here are a few benefits of giving your brain a chance to relax.
Have you ever worked on a project for so long that you feel like you’re not even sure what you’re talking about anymore? Or maybe you’ve experience the feeling of exercising for so long it hurts to just walk out of the gym. In both of these instances, you’ve most likely given yourself a chance to recover. Whether you chose to take a quick snack break or decided to skip leg day tomorrow.
It seems like a no brainer, when you’re exhausted you rest. Your brain works the same way.
Work overload, overwhelming projects, personal conflicts, and coping with a mental illness are all ways to tire your mind out pretty dang quick. So, similar to your sore muscles, your mental health deserves time to de-stress and process emotions and experiences. If you don’t take a break every now and then, mental breakdowns, burnout and worsening symptoms are all likely. Treat your brain like you’d treat your quads and hammies.
Every person who’s dealing with a mental health disorder is different from the next. Some people have to cope with high-functioning depression while others struggle with finding a way to get out of bed in the morning. Some folks suffer with general anxiety disorder while others may have bouts of panic attacks or a phobia they deal with on the daily.
Bipolar disorder can change between manic and depressive phases quickly or take time to switch between phases. Schizophrenia also differs by person, and the severity of eating disorders are different depending on who you are. This isn’t even half of the disorders people go through, but it makes a point that it’s all personal and all really exhausting.
While the most important person when it comes to self-care is you, it doesn’t hurt to mention that your job will also get the good end of the deal, too — which is why we’ve often talked about practicing good work-life balance.
When you’re having a hard time or dealing with a lot when it comes to your mental and emotional health, it can be hard to focus and produce your best work. You also may feel like working in teams or talking with others isn’t doable. When you give yourself a chance to recover, there’s a better chance that you’ll be refreshed and ready to give your work all the talent you’ve got.
Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, your company, managers and coworkers care about your health, too. Seeing you miserable or in an unhealthy state is sad for them as well.
Eating healthy leads to a longer life in most cases. You exercise to stay in shape and keep your heart and metabolism in great condition. Your mental health needs this same care, too. If you don’t set aside time to keep it healthy, a downward spiral tends to follow.
If you have a disorder it can worsen, you might turn to unhealthy outlets to cope, and your outlook on life might become pretty bleak. It’s not a fun road to go down, and while disorders don’t just disappear after a yoga class or a day of rest, taking care of yourself often leads to improvements.
It really all comes down to this. You deserve it just as much as anyone else. Your mental health is important, despite what you might’ve been told or taught. Don’t feel guilty for taking time off to recover. It’s a much needed break that can help you feel better in the long run, and can be a major benefactor in building success over time.
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