No, I don’t think there is ever a good time to get sick, pretty much any time you get sick it’s a bad time but, there are definitely worse times to get sick… like this past week. I’m finally at the tail end of a nasty cold/virus that put me out of commission for a little over a week and I had things to do!
This is one of the busiest times of year for me at work, where I need my mind to be at its sharpest to juggle a zillion different tasks, and I usually have to put in extra hours at the office to get everything done. I’m also in the 7th week of an 8-week online course and I wanted to finish strong but, I only got about halfway through the Week 6 coursework because that’s when the sickness hit me and I haven’t even looked at the Week 7 material yet. (I’m trying to not let that discourage me but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.) Basically, if I wasn’t in the office (trying to focus on those zillion tasks through the fog of a sick mind,) I was in bed: I slept in as late as possible and went to bed pretty much as soon as I got home after having some chicken soup. I was even in bed all day last Friday, trying to sleep off the fever that appeared on Thursday, then worked a full 8 hour day on Saturday trying to play catch-up. Not fun.
So, why am I telling you all this? Well, I wasn’t sure if I was going to… I originally had a different topic in mind but, this is the reason I didn’t post on Sunday or Monday like I have been (I don’t know if anyone realized I’ve made it a goal to post at the beginning of each week) so, that’s been bothering me and I felt like ranting a little bit. Also, this blog is about my journey and this is definitely a challenge that has sprung up for me so I’m trying to find the lesson in it. I believe there’s a lesson in every challenge we face in life but, each challenge requires some degree of distance for us to see why we had to go through it. (In fact, that is the theme of Wayne Dyer’s new book, “I Can See Clearly Now” that I just downloaded on my Kindle! It’s basically his memoir; looking back on events in his life with a new perspective, seeing the blessings in all the difficulties and how everything he went through has made him the man that he is today. I haven’t read it yet but I’ve heard him talk about some of the stories and I’m really looking forward to the read.)
What is the lesson here? Well, I’ve realized that I only get this horribly sick once or twice a year and, for the last few years, it always hits me in April or May. I don’t think it’s seasonal, I think it’s situational. As I mentioned above, this is always a busy time of year for me at work because we’re getting ready for a major trade show at the beginning of June. So, in the months leading up to the show, there are all kinds of extra tasks, extra deadlines, extra decisions… basically, extra stress! No matter how much I try to plan ahead, things always pile up and I find myself overwhelmed. I always manage to get everything necessary done in the end but, unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to make it a joyous and stress free experience. I just don’t like this time of year. Which sucks, because I LOVE Spring! I love the extra hours of sunlight, I love the blooming flowers, I love the purple Jacaranda trees! I just wish I loved this time of year in the office.
I’ve been giving this topic thought for quite a while, because I’ve been caught in this cycle for years. I know that part of it (if not all of it) is my perspective. I always dread this time of year so, I’ve created a self-fulfilling prophecy and it’s always a dreadful time of year. I keep trying to rework it in my mind, to find things I enjoy about the process, and that works for a little while. But when I get to the point where I’m stressed-out enough that my immune system lets me get sick, that’s a red flag.
I know exercise, yoga and meditation will all help me handle a stressful day with ease and grace but, when I get to this time of year when practically every night is a late work night, I find it harder and harder to get up early enough each morning to do any of those healthy practices. And the later I get home, the later I get to bed, the more sleep I would have to sacrifice to get up early but, I know my body also needs plenty of sleep to stay healthy. This is my dilemma every year. However, as I write this, a possible solution is coming to me… maybe I don’t need to meditate for 20-30 minutes and exercise for 45-60… maybe 5 minutes of deep breathing followed by a 15 minute walk with my dog would be good enough for now… giving up only 30 minutes of sleep certainly seems more doable than giving up two hours! (That’s assuming I get home too late to just go to bed earlier.) Once work settles into a more normal routine in mid-June, I’ll work on shifting my sleep schedule to accommodate a more productive morning. But for now, I’m going to give that more compact de-stress solution a try!
How do you handle stress? Do you have a morning routine that you love? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!