My second dose of the Covid-19 Moderna vaccine knocked me off my feet literally for 24 hours. I was in bed with the chills, a fever, a headache and body aches and every other side effect you can think of.

The photo in this blog post is a tongue-in-cheek idea of the before and after of getting the vaccine – I’m sure you get what I mean.  I could not think or function. I felt like I had been run over by a truck, twice.

That meant that my client work didn’t get done, the house was a mess, my puppies didn’t get enough exercise, and calls and emails went unreturned. I was too sick to be stressed about it but today I am. Plus I feel tremendous guilt for taking a sick day.

Thankfully I have a great significant other who helped out yesterday (I don’t write about him on the blog in an effort to keep my personal life separate, but in this case I will).

Everything suffers when we aren’t feeling well – especially if you are an entrepreneur. Most of the time I can solider on, but yesterday, I couldn’t.

But I knew that forcing myself to work when I felt like death would be doing more harm to my business, than good. My job requires me to think strategically and handle lots of projects at once. I couldn’t even make a cup of tea so how was I going to write a social media strategy for a major law firm? I couldn’t. But you know what? It can wait a day.

It’s nice to think that our workplace wouldn’t be the same if we weren’t there. But the truth is that it will continue to function without you. Especially if you work as part of a team. And even more so since we have pivoted to a remote work environment.

Forcing yourself to work when you are sick is one of the worst things you can do for yourself, your clients and your colleagues. It’s not fair to anyone involved, most of all you.

We often we put other people’s needs ahead of our own; whether it’s a colleague you’d promised to help that day, a project that has a deadline or a client you had arranged to speak with – they can wait a day or if not, someone else can help out.

If you are like me, when you are the sole proprietor, you just have to be honest with your clients and transparent. Let them know that you will be back online as soon as possible.

I hate that I feel guilty about taking time off when I’m not feeling well or even when I just need a day off, but that’s ingrained in me. Is it my work ethic? Or is it just being stubborn to admit that I need a break?

At the end of the day, we are only human and we will come down with something from time-to-time. Life has to stop (or at least slow down) so you can recover and bounce back to your normal self. You shouldn’t feel bad about taking time off to recharge. Work will never be as important as your health. The world won’t stop spinning and cease to exist if you take a day off.

We need to be more okay with taking a day off when we are sick or we need to recharge. It feels good to say it – now if I can just do it…

How do you deal with guilt involving sick days or time off?