It’s hard enough to take a day off when you are feeling physically ill, so most people balk at the idea of taking a mental health day. Whether it’s our bodies or our minds, if something is having an impact on your health, it needs to be addressed and taken seriously. Here are some reasons why you should take a little time for yourself (without guilt).

There’s a Lot Going On

Most of us can relate to feeling like everything is in a tailspin. When this happens, our busy schedules prevent us from having the time needed to truly get things under control. In the meantime, all of the problems still swirl in your mind and can lead to a lack of focus and sleep.

Whether you need to take some time to look at finances and figure out how to get caught up on bills or finally take your car to the shop to address the oil leak, tying up these loose ends can do wonders for your mental state.

You Need a Breather

Even if you really enjoy your job, work can be overwhelming, especially if you work in a stressful, high-paced environment. Another issue could be workplace frustrations with a co-worker or superior.

Whatever the reason, taking a step back for a day might give you the break you need to gain clarity and perspective. You may even need to make some decisions about your future. Consider waiting to take this day off if you’re against a tight deadline or your team is depending on your contribution for a time-sensitive project.

You Haven’t Slept

Who hasn’t had to deal with a restless night? Most of us have been there and we usually manage to power through the day. If you are feeling particularly exhausted or you haven’t slept for days, staying home might be best.

Not only will you lack the mental focus needed to accomplish tasks at work, you also put yourself at risk of having an accident on your commute. Stay home, get some rest, address anything that might be keeping you up at night and start over the next day.

Decisions Must be Made

There are times in our lives when we come to a crossroad and are expected to make key decisions. Depending on the magnitude of the situation, it could be tempting to put this off. The problem is that avoidance usually won’t make something go away.

If there are things hanging over your head and they need addressing, you may need to take a day to figure it out. Weigh the pros and cons, solicit opinions, do some research and then create a plan of action. It will feel so good to put this behind you.

You Got Unexpected News

If you were blindsided by something major and need time to digest what you’ve learned, you may need to take that mental health day immediately. This is especially important if the news is upsetting and could have a serious impact on your life.

It might be tempting to just push it aside and try to get through the day but you will most likely be distracted. Take a few hours to yourself to gather information, if needed, and then do your best to wrap your head around the situation. Reach out to loved ones for support if you find yourself struggling.

There’s no shame in needing a mental health day from time-to-time, especially if you’ve got a lot going on. When we don’t address issues, they tend to pile up and you need time to get things under control.

If you do give yourself some time off, avoid the temptation to just mope around all day and watch TV. Use that time to do something to improve your situation even if it’s just getting out for a walk, taking a nap, or reorganizing the garage. The goal is to address anything that was bothering you to begin with so use your time wisely (and then enjoy Netflix as your reward!).