Hello, internet friends.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a bad blogger as of late. Turns out the first little bit of 2020 has been a bit intense for me. I’ve been trying to balance my job (which has me on the road a lot lately), a volunteer job (which is important but stressful), a writing critique class, health issues, and moving into a new apartment with my boyfriend. So yeah…that’s a lot.
You’d think that with all that stress and pressure, I’d make sure to do the things that fill my cup and lift me up (like this blog and writing). Alas, that hasn’t been the case. But in this time of stress and poor health, I’ve come away with some life lessons (because hey, if I can learn from it, then it can’t be all bad).
1. Obviously, go to the doctor. Even if you’re on the road, chances are you can find an urgent care/minute clinic that takes your insurance if you need to go. And if your health care team isn’t helping: write down questions before you go and make sure you have a conversation with the doctor…and then write down what they say. If it still isn’t working, research potential new doctors to get a second opinion. Alas, we’re at a point where you have to manage your care and that means making sure your concerns are heard. I generally hate to cause a fuss, so this bit has been a real learning experience for me. Also, get yourself a good Primary Care Physician who knows you and can help you manage your health.
2. Water and rest yourself, like you’re a glorious and expensive house plant. When you’re not feeling well (whether it’s physical, stress/frustration over the physical, mental, or spiritual) – drink water and sleep. There’s an Elizabeth Gilbert piece that really captures this in glorious eloquence. It’s called “go to the water.” Check it out and the next time you’re not feeling well, try it out. Also – stay home from work when you’re sick (if you can). If you have sick time, USE IT. Think of all of those unions in the past, who fought hard to get a concept like sick time on the books. Don’t shit all over their legacy because “Carol from accounting” never gets sick and likes to judge people. If you don’t use your sick time, you could just prolong your illness, spread your illness, and earn yourself a Typhoid Mary nickname.
3. Get back to nature. Look at nature, walk outside, get plants. Okay, so I don’t know if there are proven studies on nature helping you when you’re sick, but it’ll at least improve your mood and lower stress – which can’t hurt, right? Speaking of which…
4. Manage your mental health/mindset when you’re having a health issue. We all periodically have health issues that seem to go on for weeks or months. It can be as simple as a stubborn infection, but can still add stress and worry in our lives. So because of this, I say – make sure you take care of your mental health when you’re sick. Stay positive and when you’re freaking out about a new symptom or not being better after one round of antibiotics, make your appointments and then work on your breathing (#sickmindfulness?). Don’t do massive deep dives on WebMD or forums if you don’t know what your symptoms mean. Stay with your breath and try to stay positive.
That’s it for life lessons from Leesha. I hope all of you in the blogosphere are healthy and have no need of it. 🙂