As previously seen on Wit & Delight
Editor’s Note: For anyone who’s looking for a bit of a break from the stressors that so often surround us in our daily lives, we’re sharing a post filled with tips and tools to help you take the kind of mental health day you need most. Consider them a friendly reminder to care of yourselves, as best you can, whenever you can.
For longtime readers of Wit & Delight, it will come as no surprise that my relationship to my mental health has been one of ups and downs over the years. I’ve dealt with ADHD, anxiety, and depression for as long as I can remember. Over time, I’ve better learned how to pick myself up off the proverbial floor on the days when my mental health takes a dive; I’ve begun to shift my mindset around how I approach bad days on the whole. Along the way, I’ve ever so slowly developed a list of steps I can take to help myself move forward on days when I’m not firing on all cylinders.
While it would certainly be ideal to have the option to take a mental health day whenever we need it, I’m the first to acknowledge that taking a full day off from work isn’t feasible for many of us. Even if you can’t afford to take a whole day off, there are tons of ways you can be better to yourself while at work, at home, and everywhere in between.
Today I’m sharing tips and tools we can turn to on the days we need them most, broken up into five of the less than ideal scenarios in which we all occasionally find ourselves.
You wake up each day, putting out one fire after the other. Your mind races always and when one more task gets shoved onto your plate by someone else, you feel like a cup that is on the cusp of overflowing. Everything seems equally important. You don’t know how you’ll ever get on top of your life. There is just too much to do, and no time to do it. You often avoid these feelings by binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix or scrolling through social media.
You are finding yourself feeling tired and irritable after scrolling through social media. You obsess over what you could be missing—both socially and materially. You think about what you could have said or done differently during that one meeting, or that first impression. You have a dull itch you can’t seem to scratch, and emptiness that food and drink can’t fill. You feel uninspired and lack the energy to pursue your passions and hobbies. You feel isolated and overwhelmed all at once.
You’ve been feeling negative on most days—uninspired, dull, without the fire or passion you once had for experiencing life. You feel as if your relationships are heavy, and you’re unable to see the bright side in most situations. You feel like the worst case is always on the cusp of coming into fruition. You’re down. You’re worn thin. You can’t see a way out of your current situation. You crave a new perspective. A fresh start. A clean slate.
Your favorite way to blow off steam is to put yourself through a rigorous 8-mile run. You feel like a failure if you don’t check every box on your to-do list each day. You constantly focus on where you came up short. You obsess about the future and how you’ll be able to live up to your “potential.” You often forget to live in the moment. You hate your thighs, your stomach, the way your arms look in that dress. You are your own harshest critic.
You know what you need to do but you can’t seem to find the motivation. You’ll work through problems in your head, exploring every possible solution, but you’ll fail to take the first step toward action. You can’t figure out why it is so hard to translate your momentum into action. You get things done, but only when someone else imposes a deadline. You feel out of control—like you have lost your own agency and ability to self-manage life.
If you’re looking for tools to help you plan out your week and prioritize the tasks that need completing, check out our line of planning tools available at Shop Wit & Delight.
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - September 20, 2020
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
I feel like this whole article was written for me… needed this today! thank you
I’m so glad this post resonated, Denise. Thanks for your comment!
I love this! I’m a person that loves lists. So, this is great!
So glad to hear it. Thanks for your comment, Alisa!
Me too, thank you.💝
Thank you for this! I love how the tips are categorized so that when you’re burned out, it easier to identify a helpful action based on what you’re specifically feeling. This is so helpful!
I’m so glad to hear that you find it helpful. Thanks for reading, Rachel!
What great advice, just what I need. At one time I was faced with emotional burnout 🙁 I gave myself to work 100%, and this is what I realized, the more a person gives, the more requests become. At some point it becomes obvious that there is still so much to do, but and there is less and less warmth every day! If at such moments you do not give yourself a break, do not replenish your mental strength, the health and mental state of the person will be in jeopardy. I was helped in the clinic – https://www.startstemcells.com/ where… Read more »