So, I woke up this morning with a fever, sore throat, head congestion and with just an overall crappiness feeling. Great. I was sick... now what?
As an entrepreneur, my gut instinct is to power through. Who has time to be sick? I have meetings to attend, emails to get out, and a general business to run. I pulled myself out of bed and prepared to hit-the-ground running. However, very quickly into brushing my teeth I realized it just wasn't going to happen today. I felt dizzy, run down and completely exhausted. On top of that, I realized that no one wants to be around someone who was sick. Rolling up to a meeting blowing your nose is no way to make friends. I wasn't going to the office today.
But here's the issue - As a solo-entrepreneur, if I'm not there things don't get done, and I know a lot of other business owners are in the same boat. It can be tempting to down some Dayquil and head out the door (and sometimes you have to do just that), but sometimes you HAVE to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you're sick, take some to let your body heal (and please, spare the general public exposure to your germs). Below I'm breaking down some of my tips to give yourself a sick day, without feeling like you're falling behind.
1. Cancel your meetings ASAP - Listen, no one wants to be around someone with a cold. Don't worry about having to cancel a meeting at the last minute. I've found most people will actually thank you for sparing them from having to be around a walking sneeze ball. As soon as you decide you're staying home, reach out to all your meetings and ask to reschedule them. If you absolutely MUST talk with them that day, see if you can change your in-person meeting to a conference call from home.
2. Tackle your admin work - I know, I know. We're supposed to be resting. But if you're anything like me, there's no way you can put the computer down for a day without getting stressed out about falling behind. Spend the time knocking things off your admin list like writing your blogs, cleaning up your quickbooks or responding to lingering emails. These are things that are easily done from the couch while sipping some tea. You'll feel accomplished, yet won't over exert yourself.
3. Load up on those essential vitamins - My first priority when I start to feel sick is to figure out how to get better quickly to keep my days out of work down to a minimum. The second I start to feel a little icky I load up on Vitamin C and Zinc (my favorite is Emergen-C Immune+). These power houses kick germs butts and help you get over colds faster so you can get back to the grind.
4. Take lots of breaths (and breaks) - For me, a sick day requires constant reminders that sometimes even business owners need a day to rest. It can be hard to let go of the guilt for wanting to take a nap in the afternoon. But I'm learning to take a deep breath and let go, when I feel that stress and anxiety start to rise. While I will never be able to step away from the computer for a full day, I've learned to take breaks when needed. As soon as I'm starting to feel a little run down or tired, I put the computer to the side and give myself 45 minutes to an hour to rest. By setting a time to get back to work, it eases that no-work guilt, and allows me to fully enjoy my breaks, helping me to get back in fighting shape quickly.