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Wellbeing / Health & wellbeing

What I learned from a bout of bronchitis

No business owner has the time to be sick and spend days in bed right? Well, unfortunately that’s the situation I found myself in recently. Here are my key takeaways from the experience.

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I’ve spent the last four days flat on my back in bed, filling a garbage bag full of soggy tissues, coughing and gasping for air, managing four sneezes in a row in record time and almost wetting myself.

While I might feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, I actually have bronchitis. Yes, I’m sick.

Now I am guessing that I, like many solopreneurs, ‘don’t do’ sick days or, at least, I didn’t until this week. “I haven’t got time to be sick”, I would say with a sense of pride. Despite this, my husband has been telling me for some time, “darling, you are burning the candle at both ends and that’s not good”. Well, my candle finally burnt out. There was nothing left.

What I am learning from this experience is:

1. I am not superwoman and that is okay – the business can still function without me. This is a great test for systems and processes. It is okay to be sick and it is natural and an expected part of life.

2. Technology is both good and evil – the problem with technology is that it is too easy to check emails and listen to a webinar. Even from bed – I did it. In order to get better fast, you really need to switch off totally.

Want more articles like this? Check out the health and wellbeing section.

3. Listen to your body – you need to reprioritise your health and well-being. Too much wine, not enough sleep, not exercising enough and not watching what I eat, is totally counter-productive to where I want to be with my health.

4. Five years without a family holiday is too long  – we are sorting this one out now. Holidays are rejuvenating, good for the soul and often lead to innovation.

5. Make sure you are fully fit before returning  – I am off to work today and I am not 100% fit! I am concerned, (as is my husband), that I will pay for this in the long run –

I am still learning!

I am human, and  humans get sick. So make sure you factor this into your planning for the year. You must ensure that your business can cope without you for a couple of days or even weeks.

Achoooooo over to you! Do you take sick days?

Natasha Hawker

helps SMEs understand the challenges their businesses face and unlocks the mysteries of effective HR. She is the co-owner of Employee Matters and author of From Hire to Fire: Everything in Between".

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