It has happened to all of us to wake up one morning and feel terrible. You feel too bad to work, but just the thought of calling your boss to tell him/her you won't be able to work today makes your stomach tumble. So you stay in bed until the last minute. You could get up and start getting ready to go to the office, meditating on what to do and what they will think if you call in sick today. You don't want people to judge you, think it's fake, or believe you can't handle the work. You feel guilty about your co-workers at the office who have to work, and you don't want to make their lives more difficult because of your absence. Maybe you're waiting for a promotion and afraid that calling in sick will affect management's decision. In short, it is an endless mindfuck.
When we are ill, we often feel the pressure of going to work anyway, whether it is an adequate pressure from outside, such as unspoken company standards or expectations of superiors, or standards and expectations that we set ourselves. In both cases, it is easy to fall into the trap, and the pressure to continue working despite being ill, physically and mentally, makes it much more challenging to manage.
But it's time to put that inner voice that makes us feel guilty to shut up! How?
Take yourself seriously
You can be a very strong person, but everyone has limits that need to be taken seriously. First, we must learn that it is ok to be vulnerable and that it's nothing to be ashamed of, even if your inner critic thinks otherwise. Sure, sometimes it's easier to ignore the symptoms or hide behind a mask. But in the long run, it is tiring and counterproductive. So listen to your body: it knows exactly what you need, and you must not ignore the messages it sends you.
And this leads us to the next point.
Yes, you better start to put yourself first because no one else will do it for you. So sacrificing yourself to help a company, which isn't even our own, doesn't seem very sensible. No one, in the end, will say thank you. Because even if you do it and one day you would leave, the company will not cease to exist. Every day life would go on, you would be forgotten, and a new person would take your place. And at that moment, you will feel even worse because you will have sacrificed yourself for absolutely NOTHING.
We are all on the same boat
We all have problems, whether we admit it or not. Each of us has that little inner voice that constantly struggles and criticizes us. And understanding the fact that we are not alone in these cases helps to see the problem in a different light. When the little inner voice starts to judge you for calling in sick at work, ask yourself if you would judge a colleague in the same way if they called in sick. Probably not. So learn to treat yourself with the same compassion you would like to receive from your colleagues and superiors.
Finally: it is not a sign of weakness
First, going to the office when sick only risk infecting everyone else. You don't want the company to be quarantined because of you, do you? (Corona PTSD is kicking in). Taking time off is the responsible and mature thing to do, and it shows your colleagues and supervisors that you value health.
Remember: listening to your body and mind when it's sending you messages and needs a break is not only for your benefit, but it's a very responsible thing and probably the most selfless thing to do.