Give It A Rest

The Importance of Taking a Day For Yourself

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Give It A Rest

"Self-care". Illustrations by Paru Ramesh

"Self-care". Illustrations by Paru Ramesh

"Self-care". Illustrations by Paru Ramesh

Isabella Ernsberger, Reporter

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Last Monday, I took a mental health day. A day to completely unwind, rest, and rid my mind and body of all the stress and exhaustion I had been feeling. I had worked all weekend, been in school everyday the week before, running around constantly, and had not had a day to myself since school started. I was beginning to feel burned out, and I wanted to prevent that from happening, fully. Turns out, I made the right decision. 

Burnout, as defined by HelpGuide.org, is “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.” 

Everyday, we are met with an endless stream of expectations to meet, assignments to turn in, commitments to show up to, and relationships to maintain. Often, we forget that our most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. 

Like any relationship, intention, respect, and commitment is vital. Without that same intention, respect, and commitment to ourselves, it becomes very easy to neglect what we need to provide ourselves with in order to be healthy; emotionally and mentally. 

It’s important to prevent burnout once you start to notice the symptoms. If you wait until the last minute, it becomes hard to get back on your feet. As for me, I knew that if I had gone about my week, between work, school, and other commitments, I wouldn’t be able to be as productive and focused as I needed to be. So, I spent a day dedicated to self-care, and it set me back on my feet. 

There is strength in realizing, and admitting, that you need a break. Mental health days, self- care days,  whatever you want to call them, are just as important as taking the day off when you’re sick. A lot of what we do and how we act relies on our mental state, and when that’s not being taken care of, a lot can go wrong. 

It is important and okay to take care of yourself. You are not required to meet the needs of everyone around you, but you are responsible for meeting the needs of yourself. If you fall behind on that responsibility, every other commitment you have falls, as well.