The 5 signs it's time to take a mental health day

MENTAL health has been at the forefront of everyone's mind during the coronavirus pandemic.

Most people have had to do everything from home – whether that's work, exercise or home schooling.

A recent study found that working from home has had a negative impact on 46 per cent of Brits.

One of the biggest concerns for people working from home across the UK is the lack of communication and social interaction they have with their colleagues (56 per cent).

Respondents to the WildGoose survey also highlighted that they missed seeing workmates face-to-face and spending time with them (52 per cent). 

Aside from these challenges, working from home could also make you feel like you can't take a sick day.

Data shows that fewer sickness days were taken during 2020 despite the pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

Absence rates fell from 1.9 per cent to 1.8 per cent as people worked from home, the lowest since records began in 1995.

But if you're feeling a little bit under the weather – it could be time to give your mind a break and take a mental health day.

Here are the five signs that you need to take some time out.

1. Feeling angry or frustrated

Feeling frustrated can have a negative impact on our overall mood.

You could be frustrated about a work project or a personal relationship and these feelings could bleed into other parts of your life.

The NHS says that some people can become aggressive to others when they feel angry.

Psychologist Sabina Read said that it might be wise to take a mental health day if you've been feeling this way to prevent possible conflict with your colleagues.

2. Physical health

Our mental health can also have an impact on our physical ability and physical health.

If you're struggling with your mental health then it's likely you will feel a bit sluggish and have less motivation to be active.

Read said if you have an increasing frequency of physical issues including gut and gastro-related ailments, headaches, skin conditions and a compromised immune system then you should take a day off.

Having a day of rest could help but if you have persistent symptoms then you should see your GP.

3. Withdrawn socially

Speaking to Seek, Reed said you should take a mental health day if you have become withdrawn from others.

Many people are still working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic so it might not always be easy to spot if you are feeling withdrawn from others.

Key signs of feeling socially withdrawn include not wanting to speak to others or engaging conversation.

It can also include not wanting to make plans with other people.

4. Issues sleeping

Most of us don't want to work if we are tired – but usually it's nothing that a strong cup of coffee can't fix.

Reed said that sleeping concerns including trouble going to sleep or waking throughout the night.

Earlier this week an NHS doctor revealed how one simple step could help you get a better night's sleep.

Dr Karan Raj said there is a reason why you're waking up feeling groggy and tired – even if you've had a good amount of shut eye.

He suggested opening a window to let more ventilation in.

But if you're completely exhausted then you should talk to your boss about a mental health day, that way you will be able to recuperate.

5. Negative thoughts

No one wants to experience negative thoughts and for many people these can become quite debilitating.

Reed said that this can include negative or pessimistic thinking, or personalising other people’s negativity, comments or feedback.

The NHS offers a range of audio tools that you can access if you are struggling with low mood and negative thoughts.

YOU’RE NOT ALONE

If you’re struggling with your mental health then it’s important to get help and not let your feelings spiral out of control.

Every 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,www.headstogether.org.uk
  • HUMEN www.wearehumen.org
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,www.samaritans.org, 116 123
  • Movember,www.uk.movember.com

Obviously taking a mental health day won't fix everything, but it can help you to feel a little more like yourself.

Reed said: "One day away from work can help to create perspective and re-set.

"However, ongoing strategies are needed to ensure a more long-term and sustainable sense of wellbeing."

She added that for people with more severe issues then mental health days can form part of a large programme.

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