I know someone who is being very brave today--she's taking a day off. Yup.
Might not sound like a big deal if you're comfortable doing it, but if you're the type who worries about your job/school more than your own personal life--it is a BIG deal. Like BIG, big.
This used to be me. Up until my second or third year of being an 8th grade teacher (GASP! yes, I was) I hardly ever took sick days. It wasn't bred into me--the rule growing up was, you didn't take a sick day unless you had a fever.
How many times in your life do you need a sick day even when you don't have a fever?
Unlike in grammar school, in the working world there is no prize for being the best. Sure, there are incentives like bonuses (depending on your field) or...I have never worked in the corporate world--what are the other incentives? I only ever worked non-profits or in schools and there weren't any incentives happening there. Therefore, I worked myself to the bone, often working long weekends or after hours and my salary only barely covered my living expenses.
Why? Why was I doing that?
Because I valued the opinion others held of me more than my own emotional, physical and mental health. I worried about being seen as irresponsible and lazy or that I would get in trouble somehow if I used a personal day or sick day and I wasn't actually in bed with the flu. I changed that mindset in my mid-20s and even moreso in the past few years once I realized that working so much was only getting me one award: Most Unlikely To Take Care of My Own Needs
When I was able to start putting myself first in this department, things improved in my life in general. Something simple like taking earned time for things like laundry, food shopping, some exercise--those essential basics of good health--is profoundly important and essential for balance. It is a radical act of self-love to say, "I deserve to slow down and take care of myself."
Imagine how refreshed you would feel and how productive you would be at your job or in school if you took a mid-week break to do things that just didn't happen during a crazy, hectic weekend or, even worse, if you were SICK over the weekend. Even stay-at-home parents--you work hard at what you do. How would your life improve if you hired a sitter for 2 hours while you got a massage or a pedicure (are those toes ready for summer, friends of all sexes and genders?!)
Take a freakin' day off. The World Won't Stop Turning if you do. I promise.