I know what you’re thinking. Why waste a sick day unless you’re dying of the flu, potentially perishing from pneumonia and suffering to the point of death? Why bother? It might seem counterproductive… but your brain is a part of your body too. Sick days have a bad rap, and there are lots of reasons you might take a sick day (like I did yesterday) even if you aren’t deathly ill.

You’ve felt overly tired for the last few weeks.

Work makes you tired (you are working after all). But have you felt yourself exhausted lately and legitimately feeling like you’re dying? That might be a sign that your body needs more than the rest you try to catch up with over the weekend. Drinking five cups of coffee a day might do the trick for a bit – but do your body a favour and take a sleep sick day.

You can feel yourself just on the verge of sickness.

If there’s a tickle in your throat and you can feel something is… off, then pre-emptively take off. There’s no reason to get all your co-workers sick and be miserable for the next weeks as you try and recover from your now-bad case of a cold. Take a day to drink a lot of fluids, tea, soup and rest.

Mentally, you are a piece of burnt toast.

Sometimes it’s not your body that is screaming at you to take a break – it’s your brain. It can be something as innocent as feeling burned out, but that little burn-out could fry you if you aren’t careful. Staring at your computer screen for hours isn’t productive (even though you tell yourself it is).

Mental Health. Period.

The option above is sort of waiting until the last straw to take some time, so actually listen to your brain and decide that for your mental health, you need a day to recuperate. Everyone is different and if you need that time to readjust for a season shift or just because you’re crazy busy – take it and don’t feel bad.

You’re actually sick.

This speaks for itself. Just do it! I know that our society tells us to go and try our hardest until we’re dying from effort, but your own health is so much more important than that. My personal advice is to put your health, whatever version that may be, above everything else. You have one lifetime with your body, so treat it like your friend – and if you’re sick, rest and recover before charging out the door to be a force for good in the world.

What are your opinions on sick days yogis? Do you take them more now than it’s autumn season?