10 Professional Ways to Say “I Am Not Feeling Well” in an Email (With Examples)

Communicating about our health in a professional setting can sometimes be tricky. We want to keep it polite and respectful, yet clear and concise.

This article provides you with ten alternatives to saying “I am not feeling well” in an email, along with detailed explanations on when and how to use them. It’s designed to help you express your health concerns professionally without compromising your privacy or work relationship.

Is It Professional to Say “I Am Not Feeling Well”?

Saying “I am not feeling well” can be considered professional, formal or informal, and polite, depending on how it’s used in a sentence. This phrase is straightforward and conveys a clear message about one’s health condition without diving into specifics. It’s suited for situations where you need to inform someone quickly about your inability to attend a meeting, work, or any professional commitment due to health issues.

This phrase can be effectively used in emails or messages directed to your colleagues, superiors, or clients when health issues prevent you from fulfilling your professional duties.

Here’s a short example:

Dear Mark,

I'm writing to inform you that I am not feeling well today and will be unable to make it to our scheduled meeting. I hope to reschedule once I am feeling better.

Best regards,


  • Straightforward and easy to understand.
  • Keeps the focus on the main point without providing unnecessary details.
  • Polite way to communicate unavailability due to health reasons.


  • Lacks specific details which some recipients might expect.
  • Could be perceived as too vague in certain professional settings.
  • May not convey the seriousness of the health issue if there is one.

While “I am not feeling well” is a widely accepted phrase, someone might want to use an alternative to provide more information, or to sound more formal or specific, depending on the recipient and the situation.

10 Other Ways to Say “I Am Not Feeling Well” in an Email

When you need to inform someone professionally about your health, here are ten alternatives to “I am not feeling well” that fit the bill:

  1. I’m under the weather today.
  2. Feeling a bit unwell, unfortunately.
  3. I’ve come down with something.
  4. Not at my best health-wise.
  5. Experiencing some health issues.
  6. My health isn’t 100% today.
  7. Battling a minor illness.
  8. I’m dealing with a health concern.
  9. Suffering from a health setback.
  10. Facing some physical health challenges.

1. I’m under the weather today.

This alternative is slightly informal but still professional enough for workplace emails. It conveys the message succinctly without going into details about the illness. This phrase is suitable for situations when you want to keep a light tone while still informing your colleagues or superiors of your condition. It’s recognized as a polite way to describe minor illnesses like a cold or flu.

This phrase works well with direct superiors, colleagues, and internal teams. Ideal for emails, it can also fit within instant messaging platforms used in a professional context.


Dear Susan,

I wanted to let you know I'm under the weather today and may not respond as quickly to emails.


2. Feeling a bit unwell, unfortunately.

This version strikes a balance between being informal and professional, with a slant towards courtesy. It suggests the illness is not severe but still impactful enough to warrant notification. This choice is excellent for communicating a personal touch, showing consideration for the recipient’s understanding. It’s best used when the ailment affects your work performance or availability.

Suitable for correspondence with team members, managers, or clients you have an established relationship with. Recommended for email communication.


Dear George,

Just a quick heads up, I'm feeling a bit unwell, unfortunately, and might need to push our meeting to tomorrow.

Best wishes,

3. I’ve come down with something.

This alternative is informal yet remains professional and polite. It’s vague about the nature of the illness, which makes it adaptable for various sickness levels without oversharing. Useful for when you need to call in sick but prefer not to disclose details. This phrase maintains privacy while still being respectful of professional norms.

Use this phrase with managers or colleagues, especially in more relaxed workplace cultures. Best suited for emails and professional messaging apps.


Dear Liam,

I regret to inform you I've come down with something and won't be in today.


4. Not at my best health-wise.

This option is informal but professional enough for most professional settings. It’s an indirect way of saying you’re unwell, adding a hint of personal vulnerability. This choice implies that while not at peak condition, you might still be partially available, making it perfect for less severe health concerns.

It’s particularly fitting for emails to supervisors and close colleagues. It shows consideration while also indicating you might still be catching up on less demanding tasks.


Dear Adrian,

I'm not at my best health-wise today but will check emails periodically.


5. Experiencing some health issues.

This phrase is more formal and can hint at more serious health conditions without going into detail. It’s professional and polite, yet it alerts the recipient that these health issues might impact work commitments more significantly. It is suitable when seeking understanding for decreased productivity or needing time off.

Recommended for emails to HR, managers, or in situations where formal documentation might be necessary, such as sick leave requests.


Dear Carol,

Unfortunately, I'm experiencing some health issues and need to take a sick day today.

Kind regards,

6. My health isn’t 100% today.

This synonym is informal, yet adequately professional for notifying others about one’s incapacity to perform at full capacity. It implies a temporary setback without delving into specifics, making it ideal for minor illnesses. It manages to be both succinct and considerate in tone.

This alternative suits communications with team leads or peers, intended for emails or company communication channels.


Dear Melanie,

Just letting you know, my health isn’t 100% today. I’ll be working at a slower pace.

Warm regards,

7. Battling a minor illness.

This phrase is somewhat informal but still professional. It specifically denotes a non-serious condition that nevertheless affects work performance. It’s transparent about facing health troubles without needing to provide details. This phrase is apt when you are hopeful of a quick recovery but need to signal a temporary decline in responsiveness or productivity.

Best used with immediate teams and supervisors via email or direct messages. It guides expectations without causing undue concern.


Dear Tina,

I'm currently battling a minor illness and will be out today.


8. I’m dealing with a health concern.

This is a slightly more formal way to communicate health-related absences. It conveys concern without specifics, indicating that the issue might require some attention without detailing the nature of the concern. This phrase is professional and polite, keeping the focus on the need to address the health problem while respecting workplace protocols.

It is suitable for notifications to a broad audience, including team members and higher-ups, mainly through email.


Dear Project Team,

Due to dealing with a health concern, I’ll need to postpone our meeting until further notice.


9. Suffering from a health setback.

This wording is more formal and might hint at a more serious condition than other alternatives, yet it remains professional and polite. It’s useful when the issue has a significant impact on your ability to work, likely requiring some time off. It respects professional boundaries while still indicating a serious need for understanding and possibly assistance.

Appropriate for messages to HR departments and direct supervisors, especially when those health setbacks affect long-term projects or responsibilities.


Dear Rhonda,

I am currently suffering from a health setback and will be on medical leave for the coming week.


10. Facing some physical health challenges.

This phrasing is formal and professional, indicating a possibly ongoing or significant health issue without delving into private details. It’s a polite way to inform others that you’re dealing with something serious, possibly affecting work for an unknown duration. This choice is ideal for situations requiring a higher level of formality due to the potential implications for workload or responsibilities.

This alternative is well-suited for communications with HR or management, especially when discussing adjustments to workloads or duties.


Dear Janice,

I wanted to inform you that I am currently facing some physical health challenges.

Yours truly,

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right words to express when you’re not feeling well is important in maintaining professionalism and respect at work. The ten alternatives provided offer a range of options from formal to informal, ensuring you can find a suitable phrase for any situation. Using these phrases allows you to be both considerate and clear about your health concerns. Always think about the relationship with your recipient and the context to decide on the best alternative to use.

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