In this episode, I offer you some advice on why you need to take the day off work and not feel guilty about it. Instead of pushing harder – you can actually plan your day off to reach your full potential and wake-up on a mission to be fulfilled.
Over time, I’ve learned that I have a natural tendency to push myself and strive for more…and that I need to tell my ego to piss off once in a while. It is through these lessons that I share this podcast episode. Are there times when I feel guilty for needing more sleep? Not so much anymore, but it happens.
My biggest pet-pieve: when people deem their days off as “a mental health day” to justify that they really just need to take a break.
In this podcast episode, I shared:
->> The real reason why I think you should take a day off.
->> The one thing that really stopped me from pursuing my passion, and the journey to leaving a profession I loved. Can you guess what it was?
->> I also question why people feel the need to justify time off.
“OMG, I was exhausted this morning and didn’t feel like going to work. I couldn’t shake it. Any advice?” Yeah, stay home and take a day off. Enjoy your day doing something you like. See you at work tomorrow feeling more productive.
Do you think that’s impossible, do you to take a day off without feeling guilty?
Well, it’s the best advice I have for you and it doesn’t need to be made into a “mental health day” just because you feel like staying home. You can reach your potential by being more mindful and explicit with how you use your time.
See podcast episode 38 script below:
Of course, I’ll always be the first to offer you up a few strategies to shift your mindset to get you to a better place. That’s me, the Mindset Queen! But when you just don’t feel like pushing anymore…I’m the first to tell you to “back off” and you’ve got to listen. In fact that’s just being a #mindfulclinician, and chances are that’s all you need to reset the situation and your body.
Here’s the real reason why I think you should take a day off when you feel this way.
About 15 years ago, I was running pretty fast. I was working as a nurse in labor & delivery. I’d just been forced to take a leave of absence from Chiropractic College because I was working too many hours while being in school, and not accomplishing the end goal. I was meditating twice a day and working super hard to put myself through school, but the end result was severe exhaustion and poor grades. There was no viable option to take a night off from work, nor to take a day off from school. ** But had I listened to my body and mind along the way, I might not have ended-up losing my job right before Christmas Exams and later-on fighting for my life in ICU from a severe car crash on the highway ** .
The thing is, self-employed or employed, we’re all facing the same dilemma of being victims of a work culture that places high value on “giving”, until exhaustion, and even if we are physically ill, we shouldn’t take a day off –unless it’s one of your scheduled days off.
And many health practitioners will drag their butts into work with a cough, congestion and feeling utterly drained or in pain, thinking “oh I’m off for 4 days, I’ll recoup then. Even though your body and your mind are fighting against you.
There’s a super hero cape to be worn by all hospital staff who come to work sick and tired or stressed and fatigued. In fact, many people view this as a sign of dedication to their work. The consequence of being the worker who never takes a day off, in favour of sacrificing their health for the seemingly good of others, is that you’re at risk of making an error, losing your job, your health.
Why do you feel the need to force your body/mind to “get to work” when it is clearly telling you to rest?
When your adrenal glands are overworked, symptoms such as lack of energy, fatigue, lack of patience, sugar cravings, and increased appetite are the easiest ways for the body to offer you warnings. Your body is telling your mind to stop, lie down, drink more water than usual, and go easy on yourself. You don’t need to force yourself to move fast or think fast, and cuddle up with netflix or a book. Essentially, lie low for a bit.
I know that people who work “casual”, or self-employed, don’t have benefits, and sick pay, so if they’re taking a day-off work, they’re not getting paid for that day off work.
However, if you push your body harder than you should, you may need to take more days off down the road. If at all possible, be mindful of what your body is telling you and do everything you can to stop and reset your health.
Aside from the physical body, what about our emotional health?
Work-related stress is the underlying cause of a bunch of health problems that I mentioned earlier, including relationship problems. When your stressed, you’re stressing out your adrenals which is the reason you feel short and impatient with people – hence the challenges you may have with important relationships. So the body is connected to the mind.
Coincidentally, when I got into my accident, I was heading back to an on-call shift with only a 24-hour turnaround between my last shift and my next shift. Although I was only heading back to an on-call shift, I was still working my regular position in the hospital. And I was supposed to be back in Chiropractic College only a few months later. When I got into that deadly accident, I never really seemed stressed, and I was meditating twice a day.
But it took 7 years for me to recover, and I didn’t return to any meaningful work until a decade after the accident.
Looking back, I don’t recall feeling like could allow myself to have a day off. I was a shift worker in the hospital, so I was either constantly working (2 days, 2 nights, 4 off), or off for a longer stretch at a time. I was always managing myself throughout the day with 2 meditations, which gave me a short burst of energy, and mental clarity before going on with the next part of my day.
An accident like mine can happen to anyone, and none of us are immune to the physical and mental stress that comes with constantly pushing.
So don’t wait until you’re in ICU, or waiting for a cardiac valve replacement, or simply hit hard with strep throat, or back spasms, to take the day off work. When you hear the mind chatter saying “I don’t feel like working today”, and your mindset strategies aren’t motivating you enough, drop the ego and take a day off so that you can recharge. If you feel you have to tell your boss a white lie “my kid’s sick”, you have a migraine coming on, just do it.
You know that in the long run everyone benefits from you being well-rested. And I bet you’ll feel more confident and productive the next day, which will assist you in knowing you made the right decision for your body and your mind.
And the bottom line is you’ll probably feel a sense of control that you have power over your choices, and you don’t have to run on auto-pilot for anybody. This is your life, not your employers!
Relevant Podcast Episodes:
Episode 14 – Top 5 Myths of Meditation
Episode 21 – 3 Ways To Build A Healthy Routine (cheatsheet available below)
Episode 22 – Deconstructing Routines & Changing Daily Habits
Episode 33 – 5 Interesting Facts About Meditation
Blog Post – The Importance Of Employee Health & Wellness Programs
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