Need a mental health day? Take it

Need a mental health day? Take it

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Need a mental health day? Take it

Do you feel like a ticking stress bomb ready to explode?

It’s not hard to understand why. We’re connected 24/7. Our current workplace culture pressures us to “do more with less.” Layer in economic pressures, family responsibilities and an already unbalanced work/life structure, and you can hear the bomb ticking.

For many individuals, these stresses are incapacitating and require time away from work on disability leave. Unum reports depression and behavioral health issues as one of the top 10 reasons it sees for disability leave.

“Unfortunately, increased stress and the progression into a disabling clinical condition or depression appear to be increasing,” says Michelle Jackson, assistant vice president of the Workforce Solutions Group at Unum.

In fact, it’s estimated that by the year 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability throughout the world.

Inc. magazine lists signs that may show up if you’re in need of a mental health day, including trouble sleeping, difficulty unwinding over the weekend, not being as nice as you’d like to be, and not caring about your responsibilities.

“Highly stressed people are also less likely to eat healthy, less likely to exercise, and more likely to fail at weight loss programs,” Jackson says. “If this is your experience, it’s time to consider making a life-change for your own well-being.”

If your mental well-being is starting to unravel, it may be time you said “enough.” Disconnect from the negativity in your life and reconnect in ways that will make you feel stronger, happier and better able to cope with everyday hassles and more serious challenges.

Here are a few ways you can de-stress:

  • Socialize – turn to friends or family in times of stress for support, to gain a sense of belonging and to have fun.
  • Get active – dust off your tennis shoes and start exercising. It’s not only good for your health, exercising decreases stress, reduces anxiety and offers a greater sense of well-being.
  • Get some sleep – this may be hard to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed, but seven to nine hours a night is recommended.
  • Make a change – Sometimes the best way to get out of a stressful situation is to remove yourself entirely, including changing jobs.

“It’s important to take care of yourself early on,” Jackson says. “Early prevention can help you avoid more serious conditions like depression that would require a disability leave.”

 

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