Featured image: Unsplash /Sydney Sims
Header image: @jaceyduprie
Life is a constant stream of to-do lists. We seem to flourish under pressure and feel a great sense of pride when we tick off yet another item off of our ginormous to-do lists. Go to gym, go to work, work functions, seeing friends and having a life, baby showers, meal prepping, planning holidays and a million other things. It’s no wonder that it has become the norm to sleep less and head for Starbucks first thing in the morning for a double espresso shot. As amazing as it feels to constantly achieve your goals and check off all life’s to do’s, you may be in need of a break.
I get it, you’re wonder woman and have it all under wraps, but do you really? You may be oblivious to the signs that are being presented to you. There is no shame and definitely no weakness in taking a break. This is not you running away from life and into hibernation, but rather acknowledging the fact that you are super busy and that mental health is just as important as physical health. Noticing and acknowledging these signs and taking a mental break will allow you to regroup, and function better in all spheres in the future. So take note of these signs and don’t ignore them.
You’re Constantly Tired
You buzz through the day in a zombie-like state, guzzle coffee after coffee and yet you’re still tired. You long to get home at the end of a strenuous day and get straight into bed.But alas, the time comes to drift off into never never land, but you just can’t seem to sleep. Ironic as it may seem, this is a definite sign that you are in need of a break. Instead of the perpetual nightly cycle of lying there anxiously trying to focus on getting some good sleep; taking a mental break will free your mind and allow you to get some well deserved and much needed sleep.
Source:Unsplash/ Vladislav Muslakov
You’re Sick More Often Than Ever
Being sick on what seems like an endless basis is your bodies way of telling you that you are run down and that you are not looking after yourself properly. It’s no coincidence that you seem to get sick during the busiest and most stressful times in your life. You can’t control your immune system, but that perpetual niggling cough is due to all the stressors you are subjecting your body to. To be better prepared for busy times in your life and work, ensure that you take a mental break and are taking enough rest, sleeping well and eating correctly so that you can fuel your body so that it can perform the best way it knows how to.
You Can’t Stop Eating
Ever found that when you’re very stressed and overwhelmed that all you want to do is eat? The reason for this is simple. Stress will cause the brain to release hormones, one such hormone being adrenaline. It is meant to energise your muscles for “fight or flight”. But the problem is that when you are stressed for reasons that don’t actually involve fight or flight, like running away from a grizzly bear, the cortisol will tell the body to replenish its food stores for energy. So basically the more stressed you are, the higher your cortisol levels and the more you will want to eat. For many women this will cause even more stress as you don’t want to gain weight. Take the much needed mental break to organise your life, prioritise what you need to and to try and reduce your stress levels.
You’re Always Sad
Emotions are good as they show that you are human. But pay close attention to your emotions. For if you are constantly sad and the thought of seeing your friends depresses you or the very thought of having to make dinner ends up in your eyes welling up and crying a river, then its definitely time to get your emotions back in check and take that mental break. Reset, find balance and deal with what is making you sad.
Source: Thought Catalog
You Have Escape Fantasies
If you constantly dream about getting away as you know this is all too much and not good for you, then a mental break is in order. Another part of you will urge you to carry on at the same pace and to get things done. Ignore that voice and take a break and give yourself the much needed escape that you require.
Source: Unsplash/ Rowan Chestnut
You Neglect Yourself
You spill some of your morning coffee on your shirt and you don’t bother to change your shirt or blot it up. You end up skipping dinner to work and you re-schedule doctors appointments for the millionth time because you need time to work and you just simply don’t have the time to go. As much as getting things done is important, your health can not be put on the back burner. If this is happening then it is definitely time to take a mental break. Whilst taking this break it is a good time to establish a schedule to ensure that you will no longer be neglecting yourself and your health in the future.