We live in such a fast-paced society that having next-to-no personal time is an accepted norm.
Unfortunately, our busy lives could lead us down very dark dead end roads that ultimately result in mental health issues. Although it is necessary to complete your daily tasks in a quick and efficient manner, it is even more necessary to take time for yourself. Be selfish, your life may depend on it.
I know what you're thinking. How could my life depend on me being selfish? Isn't being selfish something I should avoid? Contrary to what you may believe, it really is okay to be selfish. The word selfish has such a negative connotation to it, but it shouldn't. Making time to do things for ourselves is something we should do on a regular basis, but we don't. Why don't we?
Personal days go unused in the workplace with the fear of getting behind on your work or your boss frowning upon your absence. Missing a day of classes without a proper doctor's note can result in deductions of final grades. Turning down an invitation to go out with friends to stay in and watch Netflix makes you seem boring or antisocial. Why does this negative stigma exist around being selfish?
Being overworked and overstressed can lead to mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or even an eating disorder. Taking time from your busy schedule to do things that improve your mental health and happiness is a great way to destress. It's not a bad thing to take a personal day from work every once in a while, skip a class, or to politely decline a friend's invitation to go out; it's actually completely normal.
We live our lives caring too much what others think about our daily routines. If you tell someone that you're taking a personal day from work to do hot yoga and watch Netflix or to mentally decompress, they may look at you like you have three heads. Why is this the case? Why should other's opinions or societal pressures and norms dictate how much we take care of our mental health?
It's okay to not constantly be busy. It's okay to feel like you need to take a day to yourself. It's okay to act upon that need. We should treat our mental health as seriously as we take our physical health. If you were to break a bone, you'd be forced to take time off for doctor's appointments and physical therapy. Why is this not the same case with mental health? Just because you can't see that you're mentally drained, doesn't mean that you aren't.
If taking personal days isn't enough and you're still stressed out and can't handle your busy lifestyle, don't fret; it really is okay not to be okay. It's not cowardly or weak to admit you need help. Reach out to someone, anyone. Whether it be a friend, family member, or even a mental health professional, there's always someone who wants to help you. Your mental health should be your number one priority.