I’ve mentioned before I don’t get sick often but every four years something comes along and just kicks me right on my ass, and this was the fourth year in the cycle. A couple weeks ago I woke up with congestion and a sore throat and I couldn’t hear out of my right ear. The scene my roommates walked in on two weeks ago was me sleeping on the couch, Dayquil in one hand, two bottles of orange juice propped up next to me, and blanket pulled all the way up to my neck; I was miserable. But I was miserable because I didn’t treat myself right away. So today I want to talk to you all about why it’s so important to know your body and its limitations and to take time for yourself.
Know Your Body
I ran track in high school, mostly the 100 and 200 m dashes but only the 400 m dash my senior year (yes, it is as awful as it sounds). I’m a very competitive person and I always wanted to do my best, but I also struggled with severe shin splints. My shin splints were so bad I thought every time my foot hit the track it was just going to break and I would finally have some relief. Some times I could barely walk and I would have to tell my coach I had to sit out of practice and his words have stuck with me to today, “Hey, you got it, you know your body better than I do.”
I would feel bad because I had to sit out while others practiced but the more I thought about it I started to think, “Yeah! You’re right, you don’t know my body, only I do!” I found solace in that at the time and I still do today because nobody can ever tell you they know your body better than you do. This also means you need to recognize your limitations.
I discussed this in my post about my half marathon but it’s still pertinent to this topic. If you’re stressed or feeling under the weather I know a lot of people, including myself, can put on a good face and make it seem like they’re fine when really all we’re thinking about is climbing into our nice warm beds and sleeping for two days or all the work we have ahead of us.
Nobody is going to think any differently of you if you miss a class because you’re sick and a) can’t make it because you’re miserable, or b) you don’t want to get others sick. I had to miss class today because I had a doctor’s appointment and I was able to get my notes from others in the class. Here at the UW we have the ability to contact students in your class and get your notes and I would assume other colleges have a similar service, so you can’t be truly missing everything.
Knowing your limitations is one thing but you also need to know when to take time for yourself.
Take Time For Yourself
Yeah, I said it, now do it! I graduate in two months (he says as he holds back a tear) and I need to apply for jobs, stay on top of my school work, help with my student org, and find sleep in there somewhere. I’m a ball of stress at times, and currently sick, and I often forget to take time for myself because of school or “obligations” to others. (I put obligations in quotes because although you may consider them obligations, they may be expendable if you need to take a time out for your own well-being).
The same can be said for when you’re sick: you need to know your limitations first and then realize class or work may not happen that day. Now I know this may cause some anxiety but it will all be okay, you know why? That’s right! Because Brandon said so! I’m so happy you’re all learning. I had an audition yesterday to be a presenter for my student org and I had to cancel it because I still felt like I should be left at the curb with the garbage. I felt bad I had missed my chance, but here’s why it’s okay…People understand if you’re under the weather! They understood I wasn’t feeling the best and they’re giving me another chance to audition tomorrow. (Wish me luck!)
TAs, professors, employers, whoever it is you’re in contact with, if they’re understanding and kind-hearted people, they will grant you this request and give you the opportunity to make up what you missed. This doesn’t mean you can take advantage of them and constantly say you’re sick, they will catch on and you will face dire consequences. The point is, there comes a time with both stress and sickness that you need to realize you haven’t done something just for yourself lately and maybe it’s time you stopped and did that for once.
Buy yourself a chocolate bar (I recommend Lindt’s 70% Dark Chocolate, you’ll thank me later), go to the gym or for a run, grab coffee with a friend or by yourself, or stay home with soup and cold medicine. Treat yo self, fool! Do you for once and you will see your mood drastically improve and the more time you take to heal your sickness, the better you will feel overall and come back ready to conquer the world!