12 Professional Ways to Say “I’m Not Feeling Well”

Professional Ways to Say I'm Not Feeling Well

When it comes to the professional environment, articulating that you’re not feeling well can be a delicate matter. It requires a balance of conveying your situation honestly while maintaining a sense of professionalism.

This article offers various alternative expressions to “I’m not feeling well,” each providing a different shade of meaning, context, and formality.

Professional Ways to Say “I’m Not Feeling Well”

1. Experiencing Discomfort

Example: “I am currently experiencing some discomfort and may not be at my best today.”

Meaning: This phrase subtly indicates that you are not in the best state of health without going into specifics.

Usage: Suitable in a professional setting where you need to imply health issues without being explicit.

2. Under the Weather

Example: “I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so I may need some time off.”

Meaning: A common idiom that suggests you are not feeling well without providing details.

Usage: Widely accepted in both formal and informal contexts.

3. Not at My Optimal Health

Example: “I am not at my optimal health today and may need to reschedule our meeting.”

Meaning: This phrase is a formal way of stating that your health is not at its usual level.

Usage: Ideal for professional environments, especially when communicating with superiors or clients.

4. Feeling Unwell

Example: “I’m feeling unwell and might need to take a sick day.”

Meaning: A straightforward, yet polite way to state that you are sick.

Usage: Appropriate for general office communication.

5. Not Up to Par

Example: “I’m not feeling up to par today and may need to limit my workload.”

Meaning: This expression conveys that you are not in your usual state of health or mood.

Usage: Suitable for an office setting, particularly when discussing workload or responsibilities.

man not feelig well

6. Dealing with a Health Issue

Example: “I am dealing with a health issue and won’t be able to attend the meeting.”

Meaning: A formal way to inform others that you have health concerns without being specific.

Usage: Best used in formal communications, especially when privacy is a concern.

7. Experiencing Some Health Challenges

Example: I am experiencing some health challenges and might be out of the office.”

Meaning: Indicates health problems without giving details.

Usage: Useful in professional settings where you wish to maintain privacy.

8. Health Isn’t at Its Best

Example: My health isn’t at its best today, so I’ll be working from home.”

Meaning: A gentle way to express that you are not feeling well.

Usage: Suitable for situations where you can offer an alternative work arrangement like telecommuting.

9. Requiring Some Time to Recover

Example: “I require some time to recover and will be on sick leave.”

Meaning: Directly states the need for time off due to health reasons.

Usage: Appropriate when requesting sick leave or informing colleagues of absence.

10. Battling a Minor Illness

Example: “I’m battling a minor illness and need to take it easy.”

Meaning: Implies a non-serious health issue that affects your ability to work.

Usage: Ideal for informal office environments or when speaking to colleagues you are comfortable with.

11. Not in Peak Condition

Example: “I am not in peak condition today and might need to step back a bit.”

Meaning: Suggests that you are not in your best health state.

Usage: Good for a professional setting where you need to indicate a reduced capacity for work.

12. Managing a Health Concern

Example: “I am managing a health concern and will be less available.”

Meaning: Indicates that you are dealing with a health issue that affects your availability.

Usage: Suitable in a professional context when informing others of limited availability or need for assistance.

12 Professional Ways to Say I'm Not Feeling Well Infographic


In conclusion, expressing that you’re not feeling well in a professional context can be done in a variety of ways that are both respectful and clear. Phrases such as “I feel under the weather,” “I’m not feeling my best,” “I’m afraid I do not feel well,” and “I do not feel great today” are all appropriate ways to convey this message.

Additionally, saying “I would appreciate the day off to recover” or “I’m down with a fever” can be more specific while still maintaining a professional tone.

For those needing to communicate this in an email, phrases like “I am not feeling 100%,” “I’m not in top form,” “I’m a bit off today,” “I am not quite myself at the moment,” and “I’m experiencing some health issues” are suitable options​​​​​​.

For more guidance on how to communicate this message effectively in a professional setting, you can refer to Grammarhow’s article on “10 Professional Ways to Say ‘I Am Not Feeling Well'” here, which offers examples and context for using these phrases.

FAQs on the Phrase “I’m Not Feeling Well”

  1. When is it appropriate to use “I’m not feeling well” in a professional setting?
    • It’s appropriate to use this phrase when you are experiencing health issues that affect your ability to work effectively. It should be communicated to your supervisor or team as soon as possible to make necessary arrangements.
  2. Can “I’m not feeling well” be used for both physical and mental health concerns?
    • Yes, this phrase is suitable for both physical and mental health issues. It’s a general statement that indicates you are not in your usual state of health, without specifying the nature of the problem.
  3. How can I express “I’m not feeling well” in a more formal professional email?
    • In a formal email, you might say, “I regret to inform you that I am currently experiencing some health issues and will not be able to attend the meeting/work today.”
  4. Is it grammatically correct to say “I am feeling not well”?
    • No, the correct grammatical structure is “I am not feeling well.” The adverb ‘not’ should be placed before the verb ‘feeling’.
  5. Should I provide details about my illness when saying “I’m not feeling well”?
    • It depends on the workplace culture and the situation. Generally, it’s not necessary to provide detailed information about your illness unless it pertains to an extended leave or affects your work responsibilities significantly.
  6. Can “I’m not feeling well” be used as a reason for taking a sick day?
    • Yes, it’s a valid and common reason to take a sick day. Employers typically require notification but not necessarily detailed medical information for short absences.
  7. How do I respond if my colleague says “I’m not feeling well”?
    • A suitable response would be to express concern and offer assistance, if appropriate. For example, “I’m sorry to hear that. Is there anything I can do to help?”
  8. Is it better to call or email if I’m not feeling well and can’t come to work?
    • It depends on the urgency and the company’s policy. A phone call is immediate and personal, while an email provides a written record. If possible, use the method of communication preferred in your workplace.
  9. How can I assure my employer that my workload will be managed when I say “I’m not feeling well”?
    • You can mention any plans for managing urgent tasks or suggest a temporary delegation. For example, “I have informed [colleague’s name] of the urgent matters and they have agreed to oversee them in my absence.”

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