Yesterday, I left work early because I was feeling sick. Well, correction, I wasn’t feeling sick, I actually felt like I had been hit by a truck. I had an awful headache and my entire body hurt. My ENTIRE body. Combing my hair hurt. Yesterday sucked.
Today, even though I’m not feeling one hundred percent better, I’m back at work. When I got out of bed this morning I still had a mild headache and some aches, but my head felt clearer and I had way more energy than I did yesterday. I could have reasonably stayed home, but I knew that the only way for me to start feeling better was to actually get out of bed and rejoin the real world. Staying in bed will only do so much for me.
It takes a lot to knock me out. I rarely take sick days because I hate feeling unproductive. On one hand this means that I’m very efficient when working on my to do list, but on the other hand it means that I sometimes push myself harder than I should. In the last few years, I’ve been getting better at taking care of myself, but I’ve also started to realize that sometimes taking care of myself means giving into my workaholic side.
Let me break it down for you. Like I said, I woke up this morning still feeling a bit sick, but I forced myself to get out of bed and go to work because I knew lying in bed wouldn’t make me feel better. It would have made me feel even worse because I would have been lying there worrying about everything that I still needed to get done and everything I was missing. I would have felt anxious and out-of-touch with the world, which would have probably just extended my illness.
Basically, lying in bed all day yesterday helped my body heal and today coming into work is going to help my mind heal. My mental and physical states are so closely linked that neglecting one for the other is honestly just going to make things worse.
I feel like a lot of people don’t seem to understand how taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body, and vice versa. People will force themselves to go into work even when they’re physically ill, not realizing how you’re physical illness will lower your cognitive facilities. Other people will force themselves into exercise routines or diets that they hate, not realizing that they’re destroying their mental health for the sake of their body, Everything is intertwined and you have to find the right balance to keep yourself healthy.
For me, that means sometimes getting up and getting things done when I’m not feeling my best. For others, that might mean taking an extra day off during an illness to make sure everything is ship shape when they head back into work.
I feel like this is a huge issue in our culture, the idea that when it comes to health everyone is the same and that one aspect of health is more important than the other. Basically, I believe that we all have to experiment with our lifestyles to find the balance that works for us. Make sure you listen to your doctor, of course, but honestly you’re the only person who can decide if your lifestyle is good for you.