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Do You Need to Take a Sick Day in Order to Slow Down?


If being sick is the only thing that will make you take some time to yourself, it’s time to reassess your habits. Working until you drop is not only bad for your health — it’s bad for your productivity, too.

Stress management and work/life balance expert Paula Davis-Laack admits to Psychology Today that she has some trouble practicing what she preaches. But her experience of being unable to slow down until illness forced her to take a break has given her special insight into why some people keep going until they physically can’t go any more.

To find out if you have trouble setting healthy boundaries for your work life, Davis-Laack suggests asking yourself a few questions, including:

1. Do you tie your worth as a person to your work?

Do You Know What You're Worth?

“Feeling connected to your work is important, but don’t get stuck thinking it’s the only thing you bring to the table,” Davis-Laack writes. “Think about the other things that add value to your life and spend time each day nurturing those things too.”

2. What patterns and assumptions drive your habits?

If you feel that you have to do things perfectly, or that you’re never allowed to be stressed or tired, you might find it difficult to ask for help — or to take a break when you need one.

3. Is your body telling you that you need to slow down?

If you’re frequently sick, always exhausted, or experiencing more than your usual share of allergies, muscle pain, or headaches, your body might be sending you very clear signals that you need to take a break. Don’t wait until you’re seriously ill to listen.

Incorporating rest into our busy lives is tough, but our health, happiness, and yes, even our success in business all depend on it.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have to be sick to take time off? Share your stories in the comments or join the discussion on Twitter.

More from PayScale

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For Managers: Strategies for Managing Stress in the Workplace

9 Ways Successful People Beat Stress

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(Photo Credit: anna gutermuth/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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