I took my son in to see the doctor last Monday. We thought it was his second bout of pink eye for the month, but he also had a fever and some other symptoms, so we were concerned. Turns out that he had something a bit more major, so we set him up on a round of antibiotics and soon everything was fine. The next day, I woke up feeling icky. Things went downhill from there. Today, one week later, I’m still quite sick. I’m on antibiotics now, I’ve got pink eye in both eyes and my stress levels are pretty high. Between the events of last week, a newborn in the house and work life in general, I’ve been pretty stressed out, and that’s no way to live your life. So what do I do about it? I can’t stop working, I need to put food on the table. But I also need to rest, so how do I sort that all out? In my case, it was all about time management when it comes to stress and sickness.
Battling Stress and Sickness
I work from home, and that’s got its highs and its lows. On the one hand, I work from home, so I can clock in and/or out whenever I want. On the other hand, I never clock out. I mean, realistically, I’m always on the clock, and you’ll often find me writing blog posts at 2 am or returning emails before my feet hit the ground in the morning. It’s just the way it works. So last week I decided to open up my time clock and work all day, as long as I could. But if I felt like my body needed a rest and had to take a break, I did.
For example. I started my work day at 7 am on Thursday, but by 2 pm I was hurting pretty bad. I took a break for a bit, then hit it hard again a little bit later. When I needed another break, I took it. I put in my usual hours, but I made sure to pay attention to what my body was telling me, instead of pushing through it for one reason or another. I was more conservative than workaholic, although it was still a little of both.
Then there were the odd hours. One night I just couldn’t sleep, no matter what I tried. So come 2:30 am or so, after maybe two hours of rest, I clocked in. I worked for a few hours, then passed out on the couch for an hour or so. After that, back to the grind it was until my body gave up again. It was work/sleep/work/sleep for a bit, and you could make the argument that I put in more hours than usual that day. But it got the job done, and that was the important part.
Obviously I have a pretty flexible job and understanding bosses, and you may not be in a similar situation. But if you can take it easy and still get some things accomplished while you’re sick, I’ve found it’s a pretty good compromise.
What do you do about stress and sickness? Do you shutdown completely or try something else? Let us know in the comments below.