People often wait until they’re experiencing anxiety and depression to start taking care of their mental health. However, taking care of your mental health and protecting your energy is something you should do daily to help you deal with stress. Your mental and emotional well-being affect every aspect of your life, including your work and time spent at home with the family. When you’re feeling anxious or depressed, it can be difficult to enjoy anything.
Knowing the early signs that you need to start taking care of your mental health can help prevent anxiety and stress that impacts your confidence and how you feel about the world around you. Of course, the signs that you need to start taking care of your mental health are not signs that you have a mental health disorder. Here are the signs you need to take better care of your mental health.
You’re Taking More Risks
People who feel stuck in their lives may take risks or start engaging in impulsive behavior to prevent them from feeling like they have nothing going on in life. However, this behavior is self-destructive, and you could be engaging in other, non-risky behaviors that can change the way you feel about your life. For example, if you’re feeling stuck at work, you can talk to your boss about a potential shift in your role or duties or discuss a promotion that can keep you engaged at your job.
Change in Sleeping Habits
People lose sleep for any number of reasons, but stress and anxiety are common reasons why many people can’t get comfortable in bed at night. If you find yourself tossing and turning, consider whether there’s anything that’s causing you to stress about the next day. Once you understand what’s preventing you from getting enough quality sleep, you can find ways to address it.
While some people can’t sleep when they’re stressed, others may sleep more to avoid the feeling of being stressed. If you find yourself sleeping more or napping throughout the day, it could be a sign that you’re trying to avoid something, such as responsibilities, that cause stress. Additionally, if you’re sleeping more because you genuinely feel tired, it could mean you’re overexerting yourself, and your body and mind need time to rest.
You Scroll Social Media Too Much
Everyone is on their phones at all times, but it becomes a problem when you’re choosing to school social media feeds instead of doing anything productive, such as chores at home or tasks at work. If you find yourself engaging in more numbing activities, such as looking at what your old high school friend did over the weekend, it could mean you’re stressed and trying to stop thinking about it.
Your Work Quality Changed
If your work quality has changed for the worse or you’re feeling burnt out, it could indicate you need to take better care of your mental health. Stress, anxiety, depression, and even fatigue can all impact the quality of your work. If you start noticing your boss is less than pleased with your reports or they start questioning whether you’re feeling okay, it might be a sign that you’re overworked or stressed about something and need to take some time away from the office.
You’re Constantly Under the Weather
Everyone gets sick once or twice a year, but if you constantly feel under the weather, your immune system might be trying to tell you to start taking care of your mental health. Believe it or not, stress, lack of exercise, and less sleep can all impact your immune system, so you might be getting sick because you’re not taking care of your emotional health.
You Don’t Enjoy the Same Activities
Everyone has things they love to do outside of work. Some people have many hobbies while others prefer to choose one thing to do on the weekends to help them forget about any work stress. However, if you no longer enjoy doing the same things you used to love, it could be a sign you need to start taking better care of your mental health.
Additionally, you may not be allowing yourself to enjoy the same activities. For example, stress from work can leak into other aspects of your life. When you’re hanging out with friends on a Saturday night, you might be thinking about the report you have due Monday morning instead of enjoying time with your loved ones.
It’s normal for people to stop hanging out with their friends every once in a while because we all have demanding lives. However, if you’ve withdrawn from your social life and aren’t responding to calls or texts, it could be a sign that something is wrong. When you’re not confident, you might not feel like socializing with friends and family. Additionally, if you’re stressed, you might feel too tired to chat with your loved ones, forcing yourself more into isolation.
Mental health issues can result in physical pain, including headaches, stomach pains, muscle aches, and general soreness. If you’re experiencing pain and you’re unsure of the cause, it could be something going on with your mental health. However, you shouldn’t assume that you’re depressed or anxious from a headache alone; instead, look at other signs that you might be experiencing mental health concerns.
Many people have seasonal appetite changes and start to eat healthier during the spring and summer because they’ll be out in public more. Additionally, the heat from the sun can make people feel less hungry. However, if your appetite has changed drastically, no matter the season, it could indicate you’re using food to cope with any negative feelings. If you’re eating more junk food than you used to or you no longer have healthy eating habits, it might be due to stress. Additionally, drastic changes in your weight can signify that your mood has been changing.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to start taking better care of your mental health. There are things you can do at home, such as learn stress management techniques, yoga, and deep breathing. However, if you feel like you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning or you’re having panic attacks or general anxiousness, it might be time to talk to a psychiatrist who can help you figure out what’s causing your feelings and find ways to cope with them.
Again, the signs on this list do not necessarily mean you’re suffering from mental illness; instead, you should consider how you feel every day to determine what actions you need to take to care for your mental health.
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she shares knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, or financial tips. During her free time she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.