Pay Attention to Yourself – Then Act Accordingly

I took a mental health day today, and it was wonderful. The day has been cloudy, with a temperature staying steady in the high 40s and low 50s… essentially a perfect day to stay home in your pajamas.

I find it hard to take mental health days; I guess I find it difficult to take a vacation or sick day if I could just as easily go into the office, but choose not to. It feels like I need a better excuse. Mental health is important though – I know that – and you know that – and yet it’s still hard to just admit that we need a day off to recharge.

My anxiety had been building up for the last week. I had one of those weeks where everything felt like it was piling up all at once. I felt like I was falling behind at work, at home… the to-do list just kept growing, as did my feeling of inner dread. I’d had an emotional week too, a bit of a roller coaster.

*Side note: have you ever played the level on the Wii’s “New Super Mario Bros.” where you ride the skeleton roller coaster over the lava? It’s insane… and fun, and stressful… all at once. That’s kind of how my week was. Watch this video to see the level in action – it’s aptly titled “The Roller Coaster From Hell”:

One of the best things I’ve learned to do over the last few years is really tune in to my body and the state of my mental/emotional health. If you’ve never done it before, it’s as simple as just stopping and taking note of how you feel physically and mentally. It’s practicing mindfulness. You do it without judgment, and just observe.

Once I assess myself, I can determine what to do from there. Sometimes it requires going a bit deeper into my feelings, and finding out why I feel the way I feel.

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