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5 Telltale Signs You Need To Take A Mental Health Day

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health cover, spotlights the five crucial signs that it might be time for a mental health day.

 

The lines between work, leisure, and self-care often blur in today’s fast-paced world. We’re constantly inundated with tasks, notifications, and responsibilities, occasionally causing our mental and emotional well-being to take a backseat.

 

However, just as we understand the importance of rest for our physical health, it’s equally essential to recognise when our minds need a break.

 

“Prioritising your mental health is not just a noble act; it’s a strategic decision,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

 

“Mental health plays a pivotal role in our overall well-being, influencing our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It affects our decision-making process, coping with stress, relating to others, and making choices. Taking a break to focus on mental health can provide the reset needed to promote productivity and positivity.”

What Is a Mental Health Day?

mental health day is taken from work or regular duties to focus on mental and emotional well-being. Unlike sick days, typically taken when someone is physically ill, a mental health day is when an individual feels they need a break from the stress, pressure, or emotional strain of their daily routine.

5 Signs That It’s Time for a Mental Health Day

How do you know when it’s time to pause and prioritise yourself? Here are five telltale signs that it might be time for a mental health day.

1.Constant fatigue and exhaustion
If you’re persistently feeling drained, even after a good night’s sleep, it’s a glaring indicator that your mind needs a breather. Constant fatigue, not attributed to physical ailments, often signifies mental and emotional burnout.

 

2.Difficulty concentrating
Struggling to focus on tasks, recurrent forgetfulness, or being overwhelmed by daily responsibilities can be attributed to an overtaxed mind. A mental health day can provide the space and time to declutter thoughts and regain focus.

 

3.Increased irritability and mood swings
Frequent mood fluctuations, a shorter temper, or heightened irritability towards colleagues, friends, or family members are often cries for help from a strained mental state.

 

4.Disconnection from activities you love
If activities that once brought joy now feel like mere tasks or if there’s a general lack of motivation to engage in hobbies, it’s a clear sign that a mental recharge is necessary.

 

5.Persistent feelings of sadness or anxiety
While it’s natural to have occasional bouts of sadness or anxiety, continuous feelings of despair, worry, or hopelessness should not be ignored. These might be early indicators of more profound mental health issues.

How To Apply for A Mental Health Day

Applying for a mental health day can depend on your workplace’s policies and the culture surrounding mental health. However, here’s a general guideline to help you approach the process:

 

Review company policies: Before you request a mental health day, check your company’s policies regarding time off. Some organisations may have guidelines for mental health days, while others might categorise it under personal or sick days.

 

Plan your day: Try to plan your mental health day significantly if your absence impacts your team or workflow. This is only sometimes feasible, as the need arises suddenly, but planning can help ensure a smoother process.

 

Choose the right time: Choosing a time when work is less hectic might be beneficial. However, if you feel you cannot wait, prioritise your well-being.

 

Communicate honestly but tactfully: When requesting the day off, you don’t necessarily need to go into detail. You can be straightforward and say, “I need to take a personal day to recharge”, or “I need a day off for my well-being”. You know your workplace best, so use your discretion about how much detail you want to share.

 

Submit a formal request: Depending on your workplace, you might need to submit a written or electronic request for your time off. Follow the proper channels and ensure all necessary parties are informed.

 

Set an Out-of-Office message: If you get the day off, setting up an out-of-office email response might be helpful, notifying people that you’re unavailable.

 

No Guilt: Remember that prioritising your mental health is as important as addressing physical health. Don’t feel guilty for taking the time you need.

 

Consider confidentiality: If you’re uncomfortable sharing the reason for your day off with coworkers or managers, remember that you have a right to privacy. You can state you’re taking a personal day.

 

Seek additional support: If you find that one day isn’t enough, or the feelings of stress and burnout persist, consider seeking professional counselling or discussing a more extended break with HR or your supervisor.

 

Follow-up: If necessary, upon your return, you can check in with your supervisor or team to catch up on anything missed and ensure a smooth transition back into work.

 

” We must remember that everyone deserves a break, and taking care of your mental health is paramount. The more we can normalise and prioritise mental health in the workplace, the better off we’ll all be,” concludes Hewlett.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health cover provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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