As we close out Mental Health Awareness Month yet another year, please know and understand that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. As we’ve been witness to many celebrities, even loved ones and friends, who had seemingly good health and a seemingly good lifestyle harm or kill themselves due to mental trauma that was taken lightly…or not acknowledged at all.
You should never ignore the signs, the days when you just don’t feel right. The days when your spirit is off or you feel like your head is going to explode. You need a break! And these are a few ways you can tell when you need to take a day off and give yourself a mental health vacation.
First of all, a mental health vacation literally means give your brain the same rest you give your body when you go on vacation. In Layman’s Terms, give yourself an “IDGAF Day” and mental clock out of your everyday life. Use a PTO day at work, arrange for a babysitter (if you have kids) and spend some time with yourself…just like you do on vacation!
Have you ever been at work and you begin to feel mentally unorganized in your head? Like, there are a million things you know you need to do but you took on so much, that you don’t even know where to begin? And that’s JUST at work! Not including your personal life with family, friends, significant other, etc. That’s a nervous breakdown waiting to happen. But this is breaking point is why it’s equally important to be honest with yourself about yourself. When you sense things are getting worse, don’t push yourself into thinking you can get through it. Stop! Take a day and reset.
What about social media? Do you see so much death, destruction, sex, money and drugs that you get a headache scrolling your timeline? And because social media has become so involuntary in our lives, we still use it despite knowing what we’re going to see. You’re addicted to it, which makes you a bit isolated in group settings on top of the fact that you’re taking in negative story after negative story. That shit is making you feel depressed and you know it. Stop! Not only do you need a mental health vacation, but you need a social media vacation too.
Do you sometimes feel like you’re everyone’s savior? You’re the go-to person for your friend’s and family’s problems, yet you don’t have time to deal with your own problems or situations. These are simply the times when you need to completely close for business and have an “IDGAF Day” or two. We don’t realize how much outside influences affect our mental health, even when our personal life seems fine. You could be having a great day until a friend calls and pours all of their bad news and energy on you. And imagine having those type of conversations everyday, and from multiple people. That negative energy can wear you down too. It’s ok to not answer the phone sometimes.
Have you ever felt like you were becoming addicted to something? Like, you were getting used to having shitty days so much that when you found something to make you happy, you obsessed over it? Maybe you start smoking or drinking a little more than usual or you get clingy or craving for attention more than usual. Your behaviors are as if you’re trying to overcompensate for something. Stop! You’re doing too much. Be honest with yourself and acknowledge the change. Then take a break to work on getting yourself back.
The take away from sharing these ideas is to not take your mental health for granted. Know yourself so that you can grow yourself and recognize the signs that you’re stressing too much. There’s SO many other circumstances that can lead to a mental health breakdown, it’s best to know how you can combat them before it’s too late.
What are some signs or triggers you can think of?