This is no joke. I only recently took my first sick day as a professional ever. Let's talk through the mindset blocks, the emotions, and everything else in between that came up for me.
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With 1000 things on our to do lists, a lot of us are doing life without any pause, literally forgetting to care for ourselves feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the constant buzz of anxiety in our head. I strive to help you, the everyday woman to stop and to embrace the power of effective self care in order to reduce overwhelm and anxiety and find nourishment and balance in your everyday life. I'm Sara Miller, and I'm here to help you stop flying through life and start being the happiest and healthiest version of you all by caring for yourself, like someone worth caring for. Join me for conversations about self care, wellness, mindfulness, and so much more that will help you find your own self care lifestyle. I'm Sarah, and you're listening to The Self Care Lifestyle Podcast. Hello, my friends. Today we are talking about sick days. And believe it or not, I took my first sick day as a like as a professional. This year, only maybe a month ago now, as I'm recording this, so which is honestly, so, so wild. And I'll give you the fact that I have not like been sick a lot. But there are definitely days I could have taken off. And I didn't. And it was such a weird thing for me to do this. And it was very much a learning process. So I just wanted to share it with you because this is a new area for me of like setting that boundary and not showing up when I'm when I'm sick when I'm not at my best. This is something that I struggled to do. Because I am such a I'm such a perfectionist and because I want to like be reliable and all of this but there's also nothing brown with taking a sick day. And yeah, so I'm going to kind of talk through what I went through in like, mindset stuff with that, and what I would encourage you to do on your sick days. So long story short, I guess we not even short but the story long story. I a couple of weeks ago or so I don't know it feels like a million years ago. But anyways, my little family was hardcore struggling with whether it was allergies or some kind of little like cold thing that we were passing back and forth. It was miserable, just like coughing and hoarse and congested and it was miserable. I think it ultimately ended up being allergies. Because the oak I think was like unreasonably high. And what ended up helping at the end was starting floaties but regardless, it was so so bad that I just like I was to the point I could not think straight because I was so just like congested and foggy and not feeling good. So, oh gosh, I'm so sorry. I'm yawning in your ears. I ended up that morning waking up and I was just like, I literally cannot think straight. It's I'm so out of it. About like 630 in the morning, for whatever reason. So I quickly logged on and like I admit, I did a tiny tiny bit of work just to ensure everything went out correctly while I was out. So I went in and like scheduled an email, but that was it. And then I put in a request and I messaged my boss and then since it was so early, I waited a little bit before I shot him a text I was like I cannot and guess what? Nobody was mad. Everything was fine. And I came back the next day feeling a little bit better and it was good. Um, that said just taking off today was not like the only permissions Look I needed to give myself I also needed to give myself that permission to rest. Because instantaneously I'm like, Oh, I have the day off, I should work on freelance stuff, I should work on business stuff, I should do this, this and this. And it's like, hold on. I did not take off today to do more work on other stuff. I took off the day to rest and that's what I'm going to do. And I have to say I fought with myself all day long to keep my butt like resting. So I spent a lot of time on the couch reading and like just hanging out i think i midday like took a hot shower and maybe did a little bit of like, play with Greece because he was hoping to I don't know I don't I don't entirely recall if I'm being honest. But what I did do was I fought myself every step of the way to make sure I was using that time to rest and I honestly knowing how I felt after the fact feeling even just the littlest bit better helps me understand the power of sick days the power of a day off and I think what's so funny about it is that I know from this like self care angle of like, oh, taking time off it's good. But taking sick time is like this other animal for me. I don't know why. Maybe because I just haven't had to do it much. You know, I when I was in school, I spent most of the like last two years of college doing freelance work. So I was very much like on my own schedule. And then right out of college, I was still doing freelance and then I went into nonprofit work and in that I got to see I had been only been there about three months maybe four when COVID hit and everything shut down. So we were just like home so it's like well I'm already home I might as well work you know classic like millennial not setting boundaries and and working through it. So I think that that is just something to Oh, and I will argue with you and generations I am a solid like CUSP generation if that makes sense. I'm like right in between millennial and Gen Z but I definitely lean more towards the qualities of a millennial if I think about the stereotypes. Um, but anyway I guess what I'm saying is what the sickbay taught me was that it is okay to be human and to need to take a freaking day off because you're sick it's okay it's okay to take things take time off at the last minute because you're sick I think that was a big hang up for me is like Oh, but I'm like taking off right at the last second and it's like that's that's what happens sometimes when you're sick you can't help it think about when you were in school as a child you didn't like call in the day before or a few days prior or even a few weeks prior you just woke up and were sick and you called your your parents called in or you just like didn't depending depending on the day but it was just what it was. So if you are having a sick day I want to encourage you to take that sick leave I know I in my previous role we didn't have separate PTO and sick leave it was just one bucket to pull from which is So what made taking time off for sickly hard because it was like oh but I want to like use my PTO for this and you know I had bosses that allowed me to kind of flex if I really really needed to but it was just a different environment whereas where I'm now in a spot where we have separate well we had separate sickly now we don't know we have one more they'd like PTO. So it just, it's everything but it either way, I just want to encourage you to take that time. Especially if you have separate, sickly, it's there for a reason. It is there for a reason. If you need to, and you're just like struggling to wrap your mind around taking that time off, think about us a child. Or if you had a child, think about your child, would you make them go to work or to school? If they didn't feel good with that you make a huge deal out of it? No, no, you wouldn't. So treat yourself. Allow yourself to like, heal in the way that you treat yourself by allowing yourself to set that boundary and to not work when you're sick. And I would encourage you in this even in this time, to not especially if you're going in to not go in sick just because, yeah. But this really applies more to people who are working remotely. Because it's so much easier when you're working remotely to make excuses. And just work anyway, because it's like, well, I'm not going into the office and being around people and like I can just be home and then no, you still need to rest. Even if you're not doing quite as much like in I know, for me going into the office is a lot more like us, it utilizes a lot more energy because I'm having to like, get like dressed dressed. Very suits, like just a top. Or, I mean, honestly, I have a pretty casual work environment. But it's like this difference between exuding all this energy, and losing my thought I'm so sorry. When I go into the office, it takes all this energy to like, get dressed and go be around people all freaking day. Whereas when I'm home, it takes less energy. But that doesn't mean that I don't need to save that energy. Take the day off and allow myself to get better. So just the mindset stuff, thinking out loud over here on sick days, and I hope it's helpful and not too rambley if you are struggling with taking time to rest, whether that be because you're sick or not. I would love to talk to you about it. Stay tuned in my outro for how you can work with me on working through this mindset stuff and being able to take time to rest. Hey, sweet friend. Before you go, I want to share an opportunity with you. I'm offering one on one self care coaching via Voxer a walkie talkie style app where we can exchange voice messages or text messages, whatever it needs to be self care Voxer coaching looks like having me in your pocket for unlimited encouragement, advice and support Monday through Friday. Together we will work through how you can build effective and sustainable self care into your life as well as navigate the overwhelm anxiety and frustrating mindset blocks that may be preventing you from practicing self care right now. Ultimately, I can help you build your own self care lifestyle that will help you reduce the constant buzz in your brain and the exhaustion that comes with it and leave you feeling more nourished and balanced than ever. If you're interested in learning more about this opportunity reach out to me via Instagram at Sara strives or email me at hello at the self care lifestyle.com Thanks again for tuning into The Self Care Lifestyle Podcast. I will talk at you or hopefully with you again soon.