Thursday, June 20, 2013

Working Through Illness

One thing you have probably noticed is that I'm illness prone. I have a nice little laundry list of illnesses that plague me. Luckily I've learned a few tricks over the past couple of years that have helped to get me through the day as much as possible.

1. Let others know I'm sick.

  • This can also work against you, but since I was open from the beginning about the illnesses that I have, I have had no problems my entire work career. Some of my medication can cause drowsiness, others can caused more bathroom breaks, and I am also prone to migraines (which can make staring at a computer screen all day a little hard). So when I let others know I am not feeling well, they tend to give me a little more time with specific projects. If something is time specific they will find someone to split responsibilities with me.
2. Tell my mom.
  • My mom is an angry woman LOL. She WILL not put up with my sick excuses so she will either force me to go to work or guilt me into going to work. While this may not work for some people and it has created many a raspberry behind her back from me, it actually forces me to decide if I REALLY am too sick to go into work. She will know when I'm really bad when I literally can't get out of bed (which luckily is less often then in the past).
3. Take mini breaks at specific times.
  • I am a night owl by design. So early mornings is my least productive time. So usually I will get to work, check my email, decide what is important, organize my day....then take a break. I spend time checking my personal email (not on the work desktop) and reading the news. I will also look at some work related e-newsletters for fun. After that I get to work and hit my stride, break for lunch and get back to work until I leave. This allows me to stretch my legs and reduces eye strain and feeling overwhelmed. If I'm really feeling sick I may add additional breaks and sit outside a little for some fresh air.
4. Drink lots of water
  • I have noticed that when I'm sick I am easily dehydrated which makes me feel worse, so I have a cup in my office just for getting cold water. Its really helpful and its healthy.
5. Telework
  • I am lucky enough to be able to work from home occasionally. So if I'm very sick or feel like it would be unsafe to drive the 25 miles to work, I will work from home. I will usually take small naps throughout the day and tend get the majority of my work done at night. I will check my emails and texts for urgent matters. But I will usually sleep in late but work longer into the evening. I don't necessarily like working from home because I don't have an office so its harder to stay focuses and productive, but I've worked it out somehow.
My number 6 is probably the weirdest one which is why I chose not to really make it like the above. But I do like to kid-geared snacks to brighten my mood. This could be Goldfish, Gummy bears, Fruit Roll-ups, Teddy Grams, etc. They are fun to eat and not always the best for my diet, but tend to help me feel better. Improved mood = improved health outcomes (sometimes, lol). I will usually snack on these throughout the day. Its important to create small portions, otherwise you may end up eating a whole bag of Goldfish before you know it!

So hopefully my little list was helpful. Its getting better. But there was a time when I missed, A LOT of work so working through it is important.

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