How to Create a Life you Don’t Want to Take a Sick Day from
Have you ever been working at a job you hate, suddenly feel the hyper salivation at the back of your throat that tells you you’re about to hurl, and silently fist pump on your way to the company lavatory?
A sick day from a job you’re not feeling can be like a wonderful little vaycay. A Netflix and tea oasis in the middle of an uninspiring work week.
I’ve totes been there. With my current setup (working from home on a business that I LOVE) I’ve spent my energy from Saturday (when I began losing my voice) until yesterday, (when I finally slumped beside the toilet in defeat), pleading with Life and my body, “Fuck. Please, no. I have so much cool shit to do.”
I’m well-acquainted with the delicious, naughty feeling of curling up in bed, with a cool breeze fluttering the curtains, when you’re supposed to be in a cubicle inputting data.
Not so today, friend!
I’m at something of a sweet-spot-mid-level stage of self-employment when a sick day doesn’t mean that the wheels grind to a halt and thousands of dollars are lost for every minute of “White Collar” I watch when I should be working.
There’s no reason I can’t take a sick day.
I just don’t wanna have to.
I remember so well what it’s like to dread getting up in the morning, to clock-watch the day away. Now that I jump out of bed in the morning (my husband might debate the height of said jump, but I do have a six month old baby son who sleeps at his own discretion) I don’t want to lose momentum or spend one fewer second of the day connecting with you guys!
I’ve got cool shit going on…
For example, I was supposed to co-teach a meditation class last night with my bestie, Brenda. Immediately after the plague hit hard, I started thinking of ways that I could get myself there, regardless. Luckily for me, Bren was super understanding and handled the business of post-poning and rescheduling our students (I’m so sorry, guys!).
Here’s the irony. I want you to listen closely to this, because it’s something that really changed literally everything for me.
Actually listening to my body and my illness is what got me to this blessed place of loving what I do to the point that I hate to take a Tuesday evening off to recover.
In fact, my first thought (after begging all that’s Holy to make it not so) was that I must be doing something right.
Allow me to explain.
As I have said before, when you’re feeling stressed and ick about your life and your job, not only are you more susceptible to illness, but it can also feel like a bit of a treat (just me?) to get away from your day-to-day.
I’ve said before that I never just get sick. There’s always a message in it for me. I suspect that it’s the same for you. Your body is a portal to the Universe. It delivers messages and warnings to you all day, every day.
Sometimes, the message is that you’re over-extending yourself. Sometimes your body is telling you to eat better or move it around more (or differently). Perhaps a lesson in sprucing up your self-talk? Or that it’s time to move on from a relationship or a job.
The message I’m receiving (and interpreting) today from my bod is to keep going. The fact that I’m so disappointed to be on a reduced workload lets me know that my work is fulfilling and inspiring me. I’m not afraid to stay away from my laptop or speaking events because I’m afraid I’ll get in trouble from my boss or lose my share of the market.
I’ve received all of those other sorts of messages from my body too, oftentimes later than I wish I had.
In the hopes that you won’t have to go down hard before you start listening up, and in the hope that you too will wake up one morning and think, “I don’t wanna be sick, I wanna do sick shit”, I’ve compiled a little list of the best things to do when you start to feel the icks knock knock knockin’:
Step one is to stop what you’re doing. Ploughing on is an outdated method of being in the world and it’s often not the greatest means of determining what messages our body is trying to share with us. Keep going if that works for you, obviously. I know that when I make the mistake of soldiering on, oblivious to my body and its needs, I usually go down even harder.
The second step is to listen. Get quiet. Take a tech break. Better yet, take a strong epsom salt bath and a tech break. It’s tough as heck to hear anything at all when you’re constantly distracting yourself.
The first few steps are relatively simple ones (unless you’re a real plougher). The third step is where you must summon your courage. The third step requires you to ADJUST according to what you’ve learned during the previous two stages.
Perhaps all that’s required of you is a few days rest and some good, nutritious food. Often for me, my most serious illnesses have required the most courageous efforts of life-change.
Here’s the thing though – as much as I can viscerally recall the fear of starting over or making a ruddy-huge change, I wouldn’t change a single choice I’ve made using this method.
It may not happen overnight, but I implore you to begin integrating this strategy into the holistic treatment of any dis-ease you might be experiencing (or may experience in the future).
Right along with taking lots of vitamins, eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s “If I had 1,000,000,000 Flavours”, and languishing in your jam jams.
From the disaster-zone of my misaligned choices, illness was created in my body. From the ashes of illness, I’ve created a life that I love SO MUCH that I hate taking even one day off.
You can create a life you love that much. I know you can.