Many of us live fast-paced lives. Kids, work, marriage (or other relationships), and other activities keep us busy. We tend to stay pretty occupied on a daily basis- the main part of adulting. Someone has to pay the bills, right?
There is a time where you begin to feel a bit rundown, maybe even a little cranky. You start wanting to get away from everything, checking your social media less than usual- maybe it’s getting annoying. Maybe you’re sleeping in a little more or losing your motivation to get things done. This might be the time you start thinking about taking a mental health break. This doesn’t mean jumping in the car and never coming back (although sometimes that’s a great daydream). Your body and mind will send signs that it is time to slow down a bit.
Listening to the Signs
My immune system is awful, so I listen to it frequently. I might not like what it has to say, but I do listen. If you’re constantly sick, it may be a sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep. eating properly, or maybe just extremely stressed out. Stress can do terrible things to your body- if you don’t rest when you’re sick, it takes longer to get better or your symptoms can get worse. Neither of these options are fun, and you should probably see a doctor.
Sleep is also important. We don’t function well without it. Getting to sleep and staying there can be an issue when we have a lot on our minds. Laying in bed and not being able to sleep is frustrating (I’ve been there many nights) There are ways to get better sleep- blackout curtains, turning off TV and electronics at a certain time, essential oils, meditation for sleep, etc. Getting more and/or better sleep is beneficial all the time, not just when you need to take a mental health break.
Being social is a good thing- even if you’re not a fan. Going out has become pretty tiring for me, physically and somewhat emotionally. I still enjoy it. If you pull away from your social circle, this can create or add to feelings of isolation. It may be hard to notice without others letting you know that you have been pulling back lately, due to work or other factors, but it may be time to take that break. Taking time to do something as simple as a dinner with two or three close friends can be a lot of fun and stress relieving.
Stress can contribute to a need for a break. Some things that we do can be kicked off our lists- what do we really enjoy and what can go? It may be time to reconsider what you (and your family) do with your time. When you’re stressed, your body feels it. Muscles stay tensed, fatigue sets in, weight loss plateaus, etc. Yoga and/or meditation can be a great help. Stress comes from many different places. It may be time to re-evaluate things and figure out where things need to be changed.
Be Like Ferris… Maybe
I don’t recommend calling in sick when you aren’t, but I do recommend having a day of fun for yourself.
I’m a huge “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” fan, and if you’ve never seen the movie, you should. Ferris is a high school senior who cuts school with his best friend (while pretending to be sick), Cameron (who is actually sick and the character that I named Cameron for) and his girlfriend, Sloane. They spend the day running around Chicago. It’s so much fun to watch. It’s my favorite movie. As Ferris said. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
The lesson is: Take a day off. Everyone needs one.
- Museums- art, science, anything that you’re into
- Sitting in the park
- Library, bookstore, etc.
- Spa, makeup/beauty store, etc.
- Curling up in a chair with a good book and snack all day (one of my favorites, preferably with a cat)
- Hiking, jogging, any kind of sports that you enjoy
- Trying out an art class, pottery, painting, etc.
- Working out
- Writing, journaling
Don’t feel bad about taking this day to yourself. Make a note to do this at least once a month- and look forward to it. If you want, involve a friend. I enjoy my day alone.
Self- Care is Essential
If taking time for yourself isn’t helping in the way that you are hoping for, please seek help with a professional. This does happen, and that’s okay. Everyone needs to be able to care for themselves somehow and may need the extra boost to do so.
For further reading: Are You Meeting Your Needs?
How do you take care of yourself? When do you know it’s time for a break?
Pics courtesy of Unsplash
Information Courtesy of Blysee