I hope everyone had a lovely holiday. The Prosceno’s did, that is for sure. It was quiet, and loving, and in the span of two days we had both sides of the family over. Christmas day was by accident however, because little Prosceno caught a bug out of nowhere in the middle of the night Christmas Eve. The poor little guy bounced between spry and excited, and having to lie down.
My parents were eager to accommodate the little guy, so they packed up Christmas dinner and all of the gifts and came over in the late afternoon. We still had a wonderful time all told. But long about Tuesday night, I started to feel something in my chest and developed a dry cough…I never get sick, I never get sick, I never get sick. I like refuse to go down so I’ve come up with some hacks for being sick, because life doesn’t stop…
I normally would recommend an afternoon in bed, but for the first time in 13 years with this company, I find myself without anymore paid time off. As it seems, I have 10 days per year, and this time does not increase based on the length of my service. We use to not count days so rigidly because no one abused it, but it seems a new policy has been put in place. (Stay tuned for a future post showing how to really maximize and organize your PTO.)
NOTE: Should I get bad, I’m not opposed to taking an unpaid day, but to be honest it would be a bookkeeping nightmare for my salaried position, and I’m not sick enough to justify all of that work. So without further ado, my sick hacks:
- Minimize extracurricular activity – Anything that isn’t absolutely necessary is a firm no. Spend that time going straight home to relax and take good care of you. It’s also important to minimize contact with as many people as you can.
- Raw Honey is your friend – Take a few teaspoonful’s a day either alone or in warm green tea.
- Straighten up – Just doing this actually makes me feel better. I collected Tylenol bottles, empty cups, thermometers, tissues etc, and put them all away and discarded anything used. Washed the dishes, refilled the humidifier and added a few drops of Tea Tree oil to knock out any bacteria in the air. I made the bed in a fancy hotel kind of way, and fluffed the pillows.
- Sanitize – One of the first things I did last night before relaxing is scrubbing down the bathroom and kitchen with a bleach product, and I changed the bed linens. I also did an important load of laundry such as bath towels, sheets, underwear, socks and pj’s on hot with extra soap and added an extra rinse cycle.
- Warm baths/Showers/Lotion/Clean pj’s – I was lying with Dylan around 7pm when he just kept tossing and turning and finally sat up and started to cry out of frustration. I took that moment to teach him what a warm bath and clean pj’s can do for a psyche. I used a nice organic and homemade rosemary mint soap that my mother-in-law got me and scrubbed him up. After he was dry, lotion was applied and he was in fresh pajamas, we brushed his teeth. He was so clean and happy that he had the energy to play with some of his Christmas gifts before returning to bed. For work, I of course did all of this, but I also made certain that I kept with my make-up routine. The better that you look, the better that you’ll feel.
- Hydrogen Peroxide & vapor rub – It’s important to continue to help your body expel bacteria. Swabbing your nostrils and gargling with hydrogen peroxide isn’t pleasant, but it works. It’s insane how much better you feel right after. It makes you comfortable enough to lie down and actually fall asleep. I don’t mind rubbing some Vicks on my chest, but I’m a bigger fan of Tiger Balm. I rub it on the back of my neck as well to beat any aches before they even happen.
- Modify your routine – Unless I’m dead, I get up in the morning and go feed my horses. However, I have had help for the past several mornings, and my barn mate has been happy to jump in to help as well. This is the tricky part for me: asking for and then accepting help. I may have had to still throw hay while not feeling 100, but I had half the stalls to do and got done everything in half the time. For my work routine, I am doing less phone work in order to protect my throat. Anything that can be moved to correspondence, or saved for next week, I’m doing that. The greatest thing about adhering to a great work productivity schedule is that by doing so you automatically build in a buffer for times like these. Even with a lag in work product, I won’t fall behind. When it comes to my personal daily routine, I took parts out that I can easily pick back up next week when I’m better. This allows me to slow down and in doing so; my body has the resources to heal itself even though I’m still moving about my day.
- Modify your dress – In the winter its uber important to remain warm so that your body isn’t using all of its energy to keep you warm AND trying to fight an infection. I was head to toe layered in a work suit that looks like a ski suit for the barn this morning. For work, I’m lucky that I’m having no client contact this week and can wear jeans. My office is one wall of windows in front of my desk (I know, poor me.) but they leak like a sieve. So I bundled up by adding a long sleeve t-shirt under a fleece lined flannel shirt and dressed it all up by putting a casual blazer over top of it all. It’s a little more Farmer Jane than it is Law Firm Paralegal, but it’s the warmest thing that’s comfortable that I could come up with. Coming in this morning, I was not one North Face jacket, but two kind of bundled up. If you must wear a suit to work, in the horse world we have these lovely silk long johns that we put under our breeches and show coats while out fox hunting. Investing in a few of those is beneficial because they will not add bulk while under your Hugo Boss, but they will keep you very warm.
9. Wash your hands – Constantly. I alternate between washing my hands and using a good hand sanitizer at my desk. This will keep from spreading germs and also recontamination yourself. If you hands are getting chapped from all of the antibacterial treatment, follow up with a hand lotion right away. I keep a small tube on my desk, in my purse, and in my truck console.
10. Eat – Starve a fever feed a cold blah blah…your body is a machine and it’s doing some work, give it the nutrients that it needs. If you have a stomach thing and eating makes you want to hurl, then take some fruit and ice and blend it up for you to sip on. Green tea is also hearty enough to rehydrate you and give your body some minerals to work with, without making your stomach complain.
There it is, my 10 hacks to get you through your work week while fighting off a bug. Now, if you’re actually down for the count, just do yourself a favor and call out. Work out the monetary shortage later because health is your first wealth. It’s better to be short a week of pay than over a month because something little turned into something major. But for the rest of us riding out 2017 that feel more like 85% than the 100% we’re usually working with, these hacks are tried and true and they’re getting me through until Saturday.
Life happens, but if you’re like me and insist on being efficient and productive, there is usually a hack. Have any of your own to add? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section 🙂