Our latest blog post by Amy Jackson at Dorothy House, is a timely reminder that at this time of year, we really need to look after ourselves, read on to spot when you really need that extra self-care...
Four Signs You Need to Take a Mental Health Day
I struggle with my mental health, so I know that taking care of it should be just as important as physical health. However, I’m probably not alone in admitting that I don’t always make it a priority. Our typical British values of keeping a stiff-upper lip and carrying on mean that we’ve all tried to power through when we’ve been ill, but when you’ve got the flu, the best thing you can do is rest. We all know this is the case for physical health, so why do so many of us ignore it when it comes to mental health?
'I’ve been guilty of trying to carry on when my mental health hasn’t been at its best, mainly because…well, it’s less hassle. However, it usually does more harm than good. So, as we move into the winter months, I’m trying to take more mental health days.'
Don’t worry, I don’t necessarily mean sick days! Although, if you’re finding that your mental health is disrupting your working life, there’s absolutely no shame in taking time off if you can. A mental health day is simply a day where you prioritise YOU. However, when so many of us lead busy lives, it’s tempting to put it off. So how do you know if it’s really needed?
When I’m stressed, my sleep is the first thing to be affected. I struggle to nod off, and when I finally do, I wake up feeling exhausted. We’re all used to occasional sleep disturbances, but if you find them happening frequently, it could be that your body is trying to tell you something.
'I’ve found that essential oils known for promoting sleep can also be useful during times of stress. If you’re not sure where to start, the Frankincense and Lavender Calming Body Salve is an indulgent treat that’s perfect for bedtime!'
Anxiety is a frequent visitor of mine generally, but when I’m stressed, it takes up full residence. It’s normal to suffer bouts of anxiety, but when you find them occurring frequently, it may be worth taking a mental break. However that looks is up to you – whether it’s exercising or curling up with a Netflix series – but for me, I love lighting a candle and delving into a book. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to self-care, although if you’re feeling on edge, I recommend the Birchwater and Neroli facial mist. Packed with a whole host of relaxing essential oils, it’s perfect for a quick spritz of calm when you need it.
Unfortunately for my friends and family, I get pretty snappy when I’m stressed. We’re all guilty of it, but when it gets to the point where you’re doing it to colleagues, consider taking a break. Personally, I’ve found that journaling is a great tool, as you’ll be letting your feelings out on paper as opposed to taking it out on your workmates – and possibly getting a bit of a reputation!
You keep getting sick
Stress doesn’t only grind us down mentally, it grinds us down physically too. It can have a negative impact on our immune systems, making us susceptible to colds and other illnesses. As a major germophobe, that doesn’t set well with me one bit. If you work with a large group of people, it’s inevitable you’ll catch a cold or two throughout the year. However, if you find yourself picking up every single bug that does the rounds it may be worth setting aside some time to rest and recharge.
'Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health, so there’s no shame in taking a day to recharge when you need it – I just need to start taking my own advice!'
Thanks Amy, at Team Ubiety we often don't take out own advice, but maybe we'll take yours (well at least when the Bath Christmas Market is over!).