Am I Sick Enough?
I’ve found myself asking this question many times over the last week and a half. I’ve suffered from cold and flu symptoms since the Saturday before last and each work day since I’ve had to consider whether I’m sick enough to go to the GP to get a medical certificate.
Most days, knowing all that I have to do at work and not wanting to take too many sick days, I’ve soldiered on even though I haven’t really felt up to the task. But after being asked why I was soldiering on multiple times this week, I’ve decided to go back to the GP today and find out why I haven’t been able to shake this thing.
These musings have got me thinking – why do we let illnesses go on? Why do we feel we need to soldier on? Why is taking a legitimate day off to rest and recover looked on as an indulgence, not a necessity? Why do we take on this unecessary stress when we are ill?
And I’m not just talking about working parents. What about stay at home parents? What about sole and single parents? And carers of kids with special needs? Do they get the opportunity to rest when ill? Do they feel comfortable asking for help so they can look after themselves and have a chance to recover?
We should really be looking after ourselves a lot better than we currently do. In the end, if we are not well, we can’t help anyone at all. It’s that simple. So, in the face of such a simple equation, why do we find it so hard to stop and ask for help?
The pressure we place on ourselves to keep on going is incredible. I know I’ve been so stressed trying to keep everything going while feeling unwell which I’m sure has been a key reason why I haven’t been able to recover. I’ve rested where I could but I haven’t been able to get anywhere near the rest I actually need.
It’s time to accept that our health is important and it should be looked after. It’s not good enough to keep putting off the trip to the GP or the daily exercise we need or the time out required to maintain our mental health. Where possible we should not put everything else first when these things are just as important.
We need to start looking after ourselves more.
Are you the soldier on type when sick or do you listen to your body and take a break when needed? If you do look after yourself, please share your strategies so soldier on types like me can start to make a positive change!