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Did you know that nearly 40 percent of workers reported a mental health concern during the pandemic? That’s right – symptoms of anxiety were three times as high as they were in 2019, while symptoms of depression were four times as high. Many companies rushed to reconfigure benefits, including PTO, and those, who frequently traveled for work, found themselves stuck at home behind a desk. This made it more difficult for American workers to achieve a sense of work-life balance. Now, you might find yourself needing a "mental health day" more than ever before.
What is a mental health day, exactly? Well, think of it as a day to recharge your batteries. It's important to step away from your work and give your brain a break. By doing so, you'll improve your energy levels, increase your motivation, and even boost your productivity once you head back to the office. Make sure to fill it with plenty of self-care activities, such as sleeping in late, enjoying a lunch date, talking a walk in nature, or simply indulging in a hobby you enjoy.
With that being said, here are some tell-tale signs that you're ready for your next mental health day:
Your emotions are disruptive to your work.
Sometimes, we need a reality check, and if you're feeling burnt out, you are likely finding yourself having strong emotional reactions to events that are ultimately not that big of a deal. Whether you're experiencing a short temper, angry outbursts, or just straight apathy or disinterest, these red flags are signaling that you need some time off. By leaving these behaviors unchecked, you might ultimately create more stressors for yourself in the workplace.
You have difficulty staying focused on tasks.
There's no doubt about it – stress can lead to some serious brain fog. In other words, you might find it difficult to make decisions, concentrate on projects, or even just think clearly. Even though you might feel tempted to put in more hours to catch up, this will not solve the problem. Instead, you'll just end up feeling more drained. A day away from your desk can help more than you might realize. With it, you can refocus on your goals and better gloss over the small details that don't matter.
Your emotional issues are leading to physical problems.
Did you know that your stress can manifest itself as physical symptoms? You might be experiencing frequent headaches, tightness in the chest, irregular sleep, or gastrointestinal distress. You could even find yourself stuck with colds more often. These physical manifestations are simply a response to your body's stress levels. As they continue to rise, your immune system will break down, and that's not good for anyone, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.