How To Truly Take A Sick Day

How to overcome the challenge of feeling needed

How to Truly Take A Sick Day
Follow this advice so you get the rest your body needs. Getty Images/skynesher

I truly needed to take a sick day.  I didn’t want to take one I needed to take one.  But it can be challenging to slow down and rest, even when our bodies are forcing us to.

That commercial where the mom (and the other has the dad) opens the door to explain that they really need to take a sick day to who you think is their boss and it ends up it’s their child is funny, but it’s not. 

The truth is we do need to beg for a break because we feel that everyone needs something from us.

  The reality is that everyone could survive without us; it’s just hard for us to imagine that.  Honestly, no one would perish if we lay in bed all day, like our bodies are willing us to do.

So why is it hard to call in sick?  How can you truly take a sick day and stick to your guns? Check out these three tips for advice on how to truly take a sick day.

Practice good energy management.

You are worthy and your body is worthy of taking a day off, time for yourself, time to just rest. 

It's hard to recoup when people are asking you to do things.  To prevent requests of your energy from interrupting your day of rest realize how much energy you’ll lose.  A request like “Can you just do this one thing?” will cost you energy.  Do you truly have any energy to fulfill their request?  If you believe that your body is worthy of a day off the answer is no, you don’t have the energy.  You need to protect your precious energy when you’re sick because you don't have alot of it!

You’re not faking a fever or a runny nose (so annoying).  It’s not that you want to take this day off you need to and good energy management can help you get better quicker.   

Just let it all go.

When you’re trying to feel better it’s time to let things go.  Let go of unimportant things and avoid questioning that choice.

 What is important is that you rest so that your sickness is short-lived. 

Your day off is not a great opportunity to catch up on <name household chore here>.  Let housework go.  Catching up on laundry will take a lot of energy.  There is always something that you "should" wash or clean.  It can all wait until you feel better.

When your energy is low and you have housework that must get done make it a group effort.  When the family gets home later ask for help.  Say “The dishes will take us two minutes to do if we do them together.  Go grab a dish towel.”

If they need some convincing say, “When you are sick I do everything I can to make you feel better.  Like letting (making) you rest and not asking you to do chores.”  

This is when you need to value you.  Make your wellness the number one priority and not the housework.

Say “I am sick” then repeat it. Repeat it. Repeat it.

Keep telling people, be a broken record (which is a great assertiveness technique), “I do not feel well”.  When you don’t remind your family that you don’t feel well they may expect mom to be mom again and start taking care of everyone.  You have to be like a broken record where you keep repeating the same phrase over and over again.

  By doing this you’re bringing to their awareness that you have changed and that you aren’t yourself.

The broken record technique also goes for people at work.  If they aren’t listening to you say, “I can’t answer that email.  I can’t work.  I can’t work.”   And that’s all you need to say.  There’s no need to list symptoms, you’re (hopefully) entitled to sick days, and then truly take that sick day.   That is how you prove that you’re truly sick and need rest.


If you don’t follow the above advice how else will you successfully get to work tomorrow and be successful?  You won’t.  You may get to work, but you’ll still be sick.  You’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t take advantage of your sick day.  When you are true to yourself you’ll show up in the world as a healthier contributor.    

Now I want to hear from you!

Do you struggle with taking that sick day?  How can self-discovery, energy management, letting the unimportant go, and acting like a broken record help you?  Tell me all about it over on my Facebook page!