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The Power of Taking A 'Sickie'

Mar 04, 2023

Sickie: A sickie is a slang term for taking a 'sick day' in Australia. It is used to refer to when an employee takes a day off from work due to illness or injury but it is not necessarily a legitimate excuse. It is also sometimes used to refer to when an employee takes a day off due to other reasons without their employer's permission, such as to attend a personal appointment or to take a break.

When I was at school my mother taught me the value of taking a sick day. She would start to notice the signs of my growing anxiety and overwhelm before I had any self-awareness of my symptoms. No matter what the cause, bullying, friendship, family or relationship challenges and/or academic pressure, I'd withdraw emotionally and socially, quietly retreating inside myself and to my room, easily frustrated, sad and agitated by the world around me. I became obsessive over my school work and wanting to do my best.

Whilst some parents might punish or challenge their kids for not meeting their behavioural expectations, only adding to the stress, my mum new better, having lived with bouts of depression herself. Instinctively she knew what I needed. Which was...


She would come into my room of a morning, open the blinds and the window.

"C'mon," she would say quietly with a cheeky smile on her face, "let's have a girls day together."

And I'd breathe out a sigh of relief because she was allowing me the time and rest I needed to recover from whatever was stressing me out. Mum was hard at times, often telling me to stop taking on the worlds problems but she knew where to draw the line and when enough was enough. She would take me to see a movie or do some art and grab some lunch out which gave me time to unwind and open up to talk about what was going on giving me the release I needed.

The term 'mental health' was not something talked about during that time, but my mum was teaching me it's value and priority even as a child when we didn't have the words to describe it. Education providers jam the importance of attendance to having academic success, and employers bang on about attendance being key to increased productivity and profit which we know to be fact. But my wellbeing and the wellbeing of my daughter and family always come first. Attendance second.

It's important to mention that some circumstances simply don't have the privilege of being able to take sick days because of work arrangements, financial pressures, work commitments etc and that's completely understandable too, you can only change what's in your control.  

Taking a sick day can be one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. Not only does it give you time to rest and recover from an illness, but it also allows you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Taking a sick day can help you to recharge and refocus, helping you to come back to work with a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm. It also gives you a chance to take care of yourself, physically and mentally, by allowing you to rest and recuperate.

Taking a sick day can also help you to reclaim your power. When you are feeling well, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the demands of work and life. Taking a day off gives you the opportunity to step back, reassess the situation, and make decisions that are right for you. It can also boost your confidence and self-esteem, as you take ownership of your own health and well-being.

Finally, taking a sick day can help to build strong relationships. When you take a day off, it shows your employer or colleagues that you are taking responsibility for your health and that you value your own well-being. This can create a greater level of trust and respect between you and your employer, which can be beneficial for everyone involved.

Overall, taking a sick day can be a powerful tool for reclaiming your power. Not only does it give you the time and space to rest and recuperate, but it also shows that you value yourself and your own health. So, if you're feeling under the weather, don't be afraid to take a day off and reclaim your power!

Sending you big safe warm hugs!




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