How to Recover From Sick Days When You’re Self-Employed

Untangling the mess after unplanned time away from work.

Shaunta Grimes
4 min readNov 9, 2019


Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

I spent the last week sick as a dog. It was just a run-of-the-mill chest cold (I know, because I hauled my cookies down the urgent care to make sure I wasn’t actually dying) but man, it knocked me on my butt.

I had to cancel calls, because for three days I literally couldn’t speak at all.

And I flat out forgot about a class I was scheduled to teach. Just didn’t show up and completely left my students hanging, because in my fog I forgot to cancel it.

I missed a deadline for a freelance article and got a semi-annoyed email from the editor about how they’re just going to assume I’m not interested in writing it anymore.

When you run the whole show, five sick days is a disaster.

Getting back to normal after a vacation or planned break is hard enough. At least there’s time to plan for that. You see it coming, so you can prepare. Reschedule appointments, cancel classes, prepare work ahead of time. And know exactly what you need to do when you get home.

But an unexpected event that throws a monkey wrench into your gears — an illness, some kind of tragedy that pulls you away…



Shaunta Grimes

Learn. Write. Repeat. Visit me at Reach me at (My posts may contain affiliate links!)