Vacation vs. Staycation - a Mental Health Break

Spring is here and the long weekend is approaching. Have you made any plans? It is a great time of year to disconnect from your workplace and work roles. Consider a mental health break this long weekend or plan for one in the upcoming spring/summer months after your busy season.

Why do I need a mental health break? 

When you have the flu, do you stay at work? Although the answer for some may be yes (thank you, colleague, who came to work to pass on the flu to everyone else), the answer should be no. If you are not feeling physically healthy, you take a "sick" day. Your mental health should be no different. Feeling mentally or emotional unwell is a legitimate reason to take a day off work to recharge your batteries and engage in some much needed self-care.

Signs you may need a mental health break:

  • Feeling exceptionally overwhelmed or stressed, which may cause any of the following:
    • increased irritability and/or more emotional with colleagues
    • difficulty focusing or concentrating
    • physically run down
    • exhaustion/ fatigue
    • reduced performance/ productivity
  • A recent stressful life event may be cause for a mental health day as well, for example:
    • a breakup
    • changes in health for your or a loved one
    • a death in the family or in your community
  • After/during a busy season at work (have you been running the work marathon? if you keep going you are likely to need to keel over and eat a cheeseburger...or take a mental health day). 
  • If you felt this way previously and have continued to work and you are noticing these symptoms getting worse or changes to your personality/ performance at work

We all have times in our lives when we need to take a break to recharge and reset in order to maintain our health and productivity moving forward. Try not to neglect the signs your brain is sharing with you telling you your gas tank is running low and you need to take a mental health break to refill your mental energy tank. 

5 Tips for a successful mental health break:

1. Make time for yourself and prioritize it! Schedule time in advance and guard this time in your calendar like it's the most important business meeting you will ever have. No you cannot book over it, or move it. Take it. You need it to be the best version of you there is. You don't have to travel to the beach in order to have a mental health break... a stay-cation can be just as rejuvenating! 

2. Prepare your workload! Plan your mental health break in advance if you can and try to finish your work projects, or tie up loose ends so that you can have some time to yourself where you don't have to worry about your work roles. That's right, a day without your work phone or email sounds nice, right? 

3. Fill your soul with feel-good activities! Have you been meaning to try a new activity but haven't had the time? What hobbies or relationships have you been neglecting? Plan to engage in at least 1 feel-good activity to rejuvenate your mental health. 

4. Wear your comfiest clothes! Have you been waiting for an opportunity to wear sweat pants and get out of your suit/dress? Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and that make you happy! 

5. Get outside! With the weather getting nicer, it's a perfect opportunity to get outside and spend some time in nature! Nature has a lot of benefits for our mental health and breathing in fresh air alone can help recharge our batteries. 

Take time now to plan your next mental health break! Take your break soon to help you recharge your batteries and set yourself up for success going forward!

What do your mental health breaks look like? We would love to hear from you!