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15Feb, 24
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Signs You Need to Care for Your Mental Health

Daily self-care practices are important for overall health, but it’s completely understandable if these exercises are often forgotten. The hope is that a few days or even weeks without dedicated time to self-care isn’t detrimental to your mental health, but that’s not always the case.

Life can be overwhelming. Busy seasons, life changes such as moving or a child graduating, loss, and a myriad of other situations can take their toll on your mental health.

If you’re not in tune with your emotions and body’s reactions, then you might miss warning signs of an upcoming burnout or dip in mental health or self-esteem.

It’s important to note that if you’re ever struggling with your mental health or have concerns, always consult a professional.

Your doctor can talk you through a possible diagnosis, counseling, medicines, or medical checks.

That being said, what are some of these signals your body might give to communicate its need for mental health care?

Excessive Fear, Irritability, or Sadness

One of the most apparent or noticeable changes in your life that could signal a need to care for your mental health is if you’re experiencing extreme emotions or mood swings.

For example, more irritability than typical, a shorter fuse, easily pushed to tears, or high anxiety.

Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety can make emotional self-regulation more difficult, which can cause you to be more reactive or sensitive than usual.

Problems Concentrating

Is your attention wandering too easily, or does your mind often feel cloudy or unclear?

Difficulty concentrating or feeling foggy are common signs that you might need to take a day for yourself.

Stay home to rest, take a bath, read, or go through your self-care routine


Avoiding social situations (at least more than what is typical for you) could indicate an overwhelmed state of mind.

If you’re feeling more distant from the people in your life, your friends, family, or coworkers, you may be getting close to burnout and need to take a break!

Change in Appetite

Any changes in your ingrained habits, especially dietary, are clear warning signs that you might need a mental health day or even need to talk to a mental health professional.

Your change in appetite or eating habits might look different than someone else’s. Some people have a loss of appetite, rarely feeling hungry or having a desire to eat, and may even lose weight.

Others will have an increased appetite, sometimes binge eating or stress eating, which you can read about here

Restless Sleep or Too Much Sleep

Similar to a change in appetite, a change in sleep schedule is often a red flag for mental health.

Sleep is essential for every aspect of life, including emotionally. Anxiety can interrupt sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep, and depression can cause excessive tiredness and a desire to sleep far more than normal.

Frequent oversleeping could demonstrate that your body is fatigued to the point of burnout.

Insomnia and other sleep problems can also cause mental health issues, so it’s best to take action as soon as you notice discrepancies in your resting. And if you’re in constant need of sleep aids, such as sleeping pills or alcohol, please consult your doctor.

Unexplainable Health Problems or Physical Symptoms

Every part of health is connected, including physical and mental.

Depression, anxiety, and other extreme emotions often affect us physically as well, such as sweating, rapid heart rate, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, and headaches.

If unexplainable physical symptoms or health problems come on, it could be a sign that your mental health is declining.

Loss of Interest in Hobbies

It’s normal to have low days when you’re too tired or feeling down to pursue hobbies and other interests.

That being said, several days or weeks during which you have little to no interest in your hobbies can signify that something might be wrong.

A similar signal could be if you find less happiness and enjoyment in activities that you used to love.

Low Self Esteem & Negative Self Talk

If your self esteem has taken a nosedive, then you should consider checking in with your mental health and adding to your self care routine. It’s easy to fall into a cycle of negative self talk, so don’t ignore this sign if you notice it.

If your self esteem or self talk is causing thoughts of self harm, then consult your doctor immediately and consider professional help. 

There are several ways our bodies and minds might talk to us about what they need; we just have to listen and not be afraid to take action or ask for help.

Even in the craziest seasons of life, we deserve to spend time taking care of ourselves and caring for our mental health.

What are some ways you care for your mental health? Let me know in the comments below!

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