Back when I was a young, naïve college student I wrote a blog post about the importance of taking a mental health day. It’s funny because looking back, I was under the impression that all jobs allowed a mental health day. After all how could you be expected to function at a job if you’re not at your best? However, this is the real world and sometimes mental health days are just not an option.
A few days ago (a week to be accurate), I came home from work with a headache. This wasn’t unusual as I normally have headaches during the weekend (it’s my blog/study/writing time).
However by the time Monday rolled around, I didn’t feel any better. Plus I had my sinus acting up. By Wednesday, the pain was too bad and I eventually started crying before begging to be taken to the doctor.
I had a feeling I knew what the cause was but I hoped he could help. Nope. He decided it was a tension headache. From what little I knew, I knew tension headaches were stress-related. I didn’t know how not to stress. But I was in horrible pain and I was already behind on my studying.
I took medication and went to sleep, hoping to return to work on Thursday. No such luck. I woke up with an awful sore throat and my head still hurt. I dosed myself with large quantities of flu medication, home remedies and spent most of the day asleep. In fact I was only awake for 4 hours.
I felt horribly guilty and ashamed. I was behind on all of my work all because of a stupid headache.
I managed to rest enough that it was fine for me to return to work on Friday.
My head still occasionally hurts like hell but I’m trying to make a concentrated effort to remain calm and not stress (a difficult feat for someone with anxiety).
So the point of me sharing this story is simple. Learn to take a break. You don’t want your body deciding all of a sudden that it needs a break. Because trust me, your body will definitely pick the most inconvenient time possible/