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Do You Need a Mental Health Day?

April is Stress Awareness Month

What better time to talk about the signs that you may need a mental health day than National Stress Awareness Month.  Work and family demands, fast-paced lifestyles, and even pressure from social media have all contributed to rising stress levels.  Maybe it’s time to take a break and de-stress.

For most of us, daily stress is unavoidable.  Though stress is a normal response to the demands and pressures of life, it can also become overwhelming and in some instances even debilitating.  Long-term stress can lead to depression as well as a wide range of physical health issues from headaches to digestive disorders.  Unchecked prolonged stress can also contribute to serious health concerns such as heart disease.  While you probably can’t totally eliminate stress, there are steps you can take to manage stress and its negative effects.  One idea is to take a mental health day.

Signs You May Need a Mental Health Day

When you have a fever or illness that other people can catch, you take the day off. But do you take a day off when you’re feeling totally stress-out, anxious, or fatigued and seriously in need of a break?

Health is health, but many of us don’t think to treat our mental health like our physical health.  Taking a mental health day off is a type of self-care that is just as important as staying home due to a physical ailment.

While taking a mental health day just because you heard traffic was bad might not be a good idea, there are some valid reasons why you may want to consider taking a sick day for your mental health.

  • You’re having trouble sleeping
  • You keep getting sick
  • Work stress is affecting your appetite
  • You can’t focus and it’s affecting your job performance
  • You’re having trouble managing your emotions and it’s affecting your relationships
  • You’re working to cope with a difficult life event such as the death of a loved one
  • You have a mental health condition that needs professional attention such as depression

When you feel like your stress levels have reached their peak, it might be time to take a break to reset.  Taking a day off from work can help reduce stress levels.  When you get back to work, you’ll likely feel more focused, have more energy, and have a fresh less-stressed perspective. Managing stress can help lead to a more balanced, healthier life.  That’s the ultimate goal of a mental health day.

Our progressive, sensitive, and culturally diverse team is committed to delivering compassionate family health care and promoting the well-being of our patients, employees, and the communities we serve.  For more information on our medical practice, or to make an appointment contact River Bend Medical Associates, or call 916-392-4000.