Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Give yourself a break


I have felt it coming on for a few days. The lethargy, the fuzzy head and loss of appetite. A niggling cough. Sometime overnight last night it hit, a full blown flu complete with aching limbs and inability to do pretty much anything.

When 6am finally came I felt a familiar battle of thoughts that's hit me every time I've been in this situation my entire working career.
"Oh god, I feel awful. I can't go in. I need to stay in bed. I need to take care of myself."
"Get up! You can't stay in bed. People are relying on you. You have meetings to run and work due. You can't let people down."
Round and round this battle goes, til I eventually the later wins and I drag myself out of bed and into work.

Last year when I took Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way course, one Friday instead of a lesson we got a message that the poor girl was actually feeling pretty sick, that she was going to take the day off and if we didn't mind she would get us our next lesson after the weekend.

Of course I didn't mind. Actually I was not only in awe of this woman for taking the day off when she was feeling under the weather even though she knew hundreds of people were expecting something from her, I was envious. Why? The fact is in the past I had to be on my deathbed to take a day off. It's also been the culture of the businesses I have worked for. Once when I had to be in hospital for a day to get treatment my boss at the time offered to bring my laptop in so I could work while receiving treatment. I kid you not. 'Work comes first' is a mentality I've had drummed into me from a very young age.

But lately I've been feeling differently about this. I've started to treat myself like I would treat others instead of putting myself last in the chain. I've been kinder to myself. In doing this, a whole raft of beliefs about who and what I should be and do have been shed.

And one of these is 'if I'm really sick, I'm going to stay home and take care of me'. The world will go on, things will get done, or they will not and they will wait. Most importantly I will look after myself, and if I'm ill I'm useless to anyone.

On that note, I'm going to leave you now and get back to my boxes of tissues and tea.

What about you? Do you feel guilty about staying home in bed when you're ill, knowing there's things to be done?

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