Last week I started to feel really run down. By Friday I was completely wiped out and needed to rest. My weekend was filled with activities I’d been looking forward to, but knew I didn’t feel well enough to do. Still, I felt guilty canceling. I thought I had a really bad cold and was just being a bit of a baby and that everyone would think I was being ridiculous (a feeling that is probably at least somewhat in my own head). After a rough night I went to a walk in clinic and was diagnosed with an ear infection and pharyngitis (tonsillitis of the pharynx—basically a throat infection). And instead of a normal reaction of being bummed and probably moaning, I was relieved. When the doctor said, “I think you’re sicker than you think you are,” it was music to my ears. How screwed up is that? The problem was I felt like I could now cancel all my plans and everyone would understand—I had a doctor saying I was really sick. It wasn’t just my own body telling me I was sick. (Plus I was happy to find out I wasn’t a fully fledged baby.) It sounds ludicrous, I know. And as someone who works in the field of health and wellness, I’m almost embarrassed to say it. But I suspect I’m not the only one who has felt this way—that you can’t say no even when you don’t feel good. It was a good reminder for me to know it is okay to need a little R&R. When I was a kid my mom used to let me stay home from school once or twice a year for what she called a “mental health day.” Sometimes we all just need a day or two. We know when we need it, and we shouldn’t need a doctor’s note to prove it.