I can’t remember the last time I was sick. Knocked on my butt, run-down, stuffed-up, coughing kind of sick. I guess that’s why whatever evil germ has made its way into my body has managed to reduce me to a whimpering mess. As difficult as it is I have to wave this white flag of tissues and surrender.
Learning to listen to your body and I mean really listen is difficult. I’m still learning. It seems next to impossible at times to surrender and let your body really get the rest it needs to fight off whatever mutant strand of sick has taken over. It’s become commonplace to attempt to push on and finish the 10,000 tasks on your to do list because ‘taking a day off just isn’t an option.’
Even I am guilty. I’m writing this right now from bed, with a mug of Thera-flu surrounded by tissues, losing my train of thought every few minutes. Why? Because even though I may be stalled on the train tracks, everything around me is still chugging along. My paper for school is still due, the test I need to take hasn’t decided to take itself. Plus, Monday is here and I need to publish a blog post.
The whole idea of the The American Dream and working hard to be successful has created this horrible stereotype against taking a sick day. Society has been teaching us since day one that “the show must go on.” Sickness is weakness. Ask anyone in burlesque or theatre and they will tell you, Showgirls don’t get days off. There are simply no sick days.
Unless you are truly incapable of making it to the show, you show up, you put on your face and when you hit that stage you are the epitome of health. Giving the audience the show they came to see. You can collapse in the dressing room when your act is over. In the five years I’ve been performing, I’ve missed maybe two shows because I was sick. That is all.
But let’s be honest, it’s non-sense. Complete non-sense. Coming down with a cold or flu does not equal weakness. It’s simply a part of being. Every living thing has the potential to become sick, plants, animals and especially each and every one of us. We are all juggling the responsibilities of life….paying bills, running errands, going to one or more jobs, going to school, nurturing various relationships. We wear ourselves thin.
It really is ok to take an intermission, as difficult as it may be. It’s not going to last forever. The sooner you recognize you need rest and let your body have it, the sooner you can get back to your regularly scheduled program.
So, when sickness strikes don’t power through it. Take the time to let your body get the rest it needs and deserves. Give it a healing tune up so it can get back to working like a well oiled machine. You deserve it.
Sleep those few extra hours you never get.
Take that long bath you never have time for.
Drink endless glasses of water and hot tea.
Grubhub all the chicken soup.
Binge watch Netflix without guilt.
The sooner you do, the sooner your body will be able to give a serious ass kicking to whatever bug is currently kicking your ass.
Be honest with yourself are you guilty of not taking a sick day when you need one? What do you do when you realize your sick? How do take care of yourself? Or do you try to power through, making your self sicker in the long run?