You probably opened this expecting to read all about how you need to take a vacation, go on a shopping spree, or some other type of relaxing getaway. I hate to disappoint you, but taking a mental vacation is far from luxurious. Taking a mental vacation is necessary for helping to restore you emotionally and mentally. It’s used to help you regain your emotional well being, and to get you back to normal mental functioning.

Most people don’t know how to take a mental break or vacation because they don’t recognize the signs that they are even in need of one. We go through our days steadily getting overloaded with information to process, other people’s problems, stress, and other things that constantly give our emotional well being wear and tear. Just like cars, hair, and homes need maintenance, so does your mind. You should make sure to maintain upkeep and care of your mind just as you do any of your other prized possessions.

We can’t continue to function under pressure and stress without having some form of a break in order to regroup. Eventually neglecting to give yourself some mental downtime will result in a breakdown or major medical issues. Here’s a few signs that let you know a mental vacation is needed ASAP.

1. When you can’t seem to carry out your daily routine due to stress.

One of the easiest ways to tell you need a break is when the things you normally do on any day begin to be difficult for you. When you find yourself being so overwhelmed and stressed about things that usually give you no issues, it’s more than likely because you’ve worn yourself out mentally to the point that it’s affecting your physical routine.

2. When you’re exhausted but still can’t sleep.

Sleep is one of the most important functions you need in order to restore you mentally, physically, and emotionally on a regular basis. When you are in need of a mental vacation, your brain is on constant overload and because of this you’re unable to get adequate rest, even when you’re extremely sleepy. No matter how much your body wants to shut down and relax, your brain just won’t let you do it. Insomnia is often a result of mental overload, and it’s no fun at all, for those of us who truly have it.

3. When you begin to have trouble remembering things.

A sign of being overwhelmed mentally is when you begin to forget all kinds of things that you normally wouldn’t. Examples include leaving your key in the front door, forgetting where you just sat your wallet down, and forgetting important deadlines at work. This forgetfulness may seem small, but it can cause a lot of problems in your life, especially if it’s been happening a long time. Forgetting things easily all of a sudden is a surefire sign that your speeding thoughts are distracting you.

4. When you begin to feel sick and exhausted more often.

If you’re someone who rarely gets sick, and all of a sudden you find yourself beginning to get sick often, or being sicker than you’ve ever been, it may be your body reacting to your mental wear and tear. When your mind is performing at its worst from being overloaded, your health won’t be at its best. The stress will cause you not only to feel/get sick, but also to be physically exhausted. There are times when I randomly feel like I’ve been hit by a car and find it hard to even get out of bed. It wasn’t because I was working out or sore from physical activity. It was because my mind and emotional well being was in crisis mode.

Some tips on how to restore your emotional well being and give your mind a break?

-Unplug from the outside world and your electronics routinely
-Let loved ones know that you need to take time to mentally/emotionally regroup so that they’ll understand you’re not able to handle the added stress of their problems
-Do nothing at all but breathe. Take routine time to really relax and breathe in a calm, soothing environment with no distractions.
-Journal your thoughts. Sometimes writing everything that’s running through your mind helps you to drain your brain onto paper and clear some mental space. This only works for those who find writing to be therapeutic, not for people that feel overwhelmed by it.
-Set alarm reminders to help you remember things without pressure, or just to remind you to relax and breathe.
-Create a schedule for sleeping so that you can ensure you make time for healthy hours of rest


Karlicia Lewis is the author of  “Stop Saying Yes to Mr. No Good” and “Dear Brown Girl: Letters of life & love”.  She works as a life coach to both adults and teens, and currently resides in Dallas, Tx. Her coaching services and books can be found at and .