By Melissa Davies, Wise Ways Consulting
How was your summer? Did you take a vacation? I wouldn’t be surprised to hear you didn’t take one. You would be like the 25% of Americans who didn’t vacation this summer. Some cite financial pressures, others schedules, and still some simply don’t have the vacation days.
That’s bad news for you, your family, and everyone you work with. We’re not machines! We need personal time to unwind and reset.
About 40 million adults in the United States, aged 18 and over, suffer from depression and anxiety. In our area, it’s also important to consider our large military personnel who may suffer from PTSD issues.
Skipping vacation doesn’t cause depression, though you may be upset by it. However, not allowing yourself mental health self-care time can trigger existing anxiety and depression symptoms.
The end of summer means the start of school, traffic on the roads, deadlines to meet by the end of the year, and for some, the stress of the looming holiday season. It does start earlier every year.
The treatment is to take a mental health day. That doesn’t mean you wake up, call in sick, and start the day with a bloody Mary and a box of toaster pastries. It also doesn’t mean you spend the day running errands, cleaning your house, sitting in doctor offices, or compiling your taxes.
Schedule a mental health day in advance so that you don’t worry about work. Take work off your list. Then plan your day.
Our region has incredible hiking and biking trails, free museums, outdoor shopping, restaurants, and libraries. Take a golf lesson, yoga class, or investigate meetup.com and see if there is a group of people meeting for an activity you’re interested in trying.
The point is to spend the day not thinking about work or any problem issue you have. Spend the day having fun. You don’t have to do it alone or spend a lot of money. But, it does have to be about you.
Let’s finish 2019 with some good news – your improved mood.