So you’re trying to decide whether to call in sick huh? Feeling awful is bad enough, but now you have to deal with calling in, explain what you’d rather not to your boss, and miss work for one, two, maybe three days depending on the severity of your symptoms. It’s not only upsetting to your body, but to your mental and emotional state as well.
Do you ever feel upset or sad, anxious, or out-of-sorts when you call in. You’re not alone. For many people, getting sick and having to request a day or so off is very stressful and for many, not a option taken lightly. Requesting a day off for some comes with guilt, anxiety or worry, and increased stress. That’s all you need on top of being sick. Let’s break it down and work it out, so that the next time you need to call in, you can do so with confidence and can focus on getting better. Let’s THINK POSITIVE…
Helpful Thoughts for Sick Days (when you just can’t come up with them yourself)
1. Staying home is taking care of yourself. You’re sick–your body needs the rest, fluids, medicine, care, and comfort now. Your body is telling you something–listen and lie down, ask for help from loved ones, or get yourself to the doctor to get better sooner.
2. Staying home is taking care of your co-workers too. When you’re not there, sneezing in the office space and sharing your germs, it helps keep co-workers, clients, and customers from catching what you have when you are contagious.
3. You have the time, it’s yours, you’ve earned it by working there–take it and leave the guilt at the office. Sick time is a benefit for you to take when you need to. If taking a day off is taking a cut out of your pay, think of it this way–if you don’t take care of yourself now, your illness may get worse, increasing the likelihood of being forced to take more days off in the future. No excuses, take the day.
4. Do you need a “mental health day”? Sometimes we feel emotionally “sick” although don’t necessarily think about taking a day off to feel better. Let’s say you’ve had a terrible night’s sleep and wake up feeling upset, groggy, grouchy, or just plain sad. You may have other reasons to feel sad or anxious–maybe you recently experienced a major life change, trauma, stressor, or loss. It’s OK to take care of your emotional health and take a “mental health day”. Use the day to work on yourself: meditate, recite some positive affirmations, listen to uplifting songs, read some self-affirming literature, or talk things out with friends/family.
5. Can you really do good work at work when you’re emotionally or physically sick? No, not really. You might just exhaust yourself more by forcing yourself to go in. Don’t waste the day being useless at work and don’t wait for your boss to kick you out and home. Advocate for yourself when you know you need to–call in.
6. If you feel like you need to call in more days than you actually work, you may need to look closely at your job or career choice, your physical condition, or your mental/emotional health. Is your body telling you what you’re having trouble coming to terms with yourself? Are you struggling at work? Need to look for a new job? Will you go back to school to learn a new trade, or can you simply talk to your supervisor about a change in position? Visit your Primary Care Physcian or see a Licensed Therapist to talk more about your situation. You may need to take a closer look at your physical and mental health to get the support to get back to work and feel better soon.
Lisa Brandi LCSW