No one has time to be sick, including me.
I got COVID last February. I had an intense cough, body chills, body aches, and headache that I just could not break. In this blog, I will share with you five things that I know through the coaching world that can really help you in times when you're sick, have an injury, even when you're having emotional struggles or there’s a tragedy that's going on in your life.
(Full transparency: I'm sure you already know this, I am not a doctor. This is not official medical advice.)
These are lessons that I learned along the way and things I'm quite proud of myself for actually putting into place when normally my default would have kept me working and not recovering quickly.
1. Be self-aware.
Listen to how you're feeling. This is going to help you to be able to know when you’re mentally, physically, emotionally not well, or if you are getting sick in another way.
It's going to help you catch it a lot sooner. On my COVID journey, I first had a cough I felt was not normal. I knew I needed to deal with it and figure out what it is.
Listen to yourself, not just in the beginning, but all the way through whatever is happening to you. Then you can make better choices. You'll be able to make choices to not push yourself.
I had to make a tough decision to cancel a whole week of clients. Day 3 was the hardest because it was the start of my Dynamic Year Program and I really wanted to do it. I was thinking, how can I do this? Maybe instead of a two-hour session, I could do a one hour session. Could I record something and send it?
In the end, I thought: What am I doing? Why am I asking myself, “How can I make this happen?” I need to just rest!
I know what the answer was… It’s because my values of commitment are so strong. I thought I can still make this work, but to what damage? How tired would I be that day? Are my clients getting the best of me? Are they getting me as their most amazing coach or are they getting the sick me that's just trying to throw things together?
When you're self-aware, you can really check in with…
Not, how can I still live up to all of my commitments and responsibilities right now? That's not the question. When you are sick or you're going through hard times, think about how YOU are doing and give yourself what YOU need.
2. Say ‘Yes’ to help.
You may be thinking, “I was sick before and no one helped me. I don’t need the help.” But the key to this is letting other people know you're sick and just how bad you are.
This is not to say you go on social media and say, “I'm very sick, people. Come and help me.” But let those close to you know, like neighbors, family and friends. For me, I also let my women’s church group know.
Then when they offer help, say “Yes”. They may offer something physical. They might just tell you they're going to do it. Like I had some lovely people say,
Sometimes it's easier to receive when people just do it. But if they say, “Can I pick anything up for you? Can I get you anything?” Answer “YES!”
I've had someone pick up a couple of things I needed, and when she asked I felt comfortable saying ‘Yes.’ She got me some vitamins and some other things I really needed like groceries. That was just so helpful because at the time, I didn't even feel like getting up to go get more water or to go to the bathroom.
So say ‘Yes’ to these people. Give them the ability to support you because you would probably support them (or maybe you already have), so why not give them the chance to reciprocate back to you.
I was also lucky to have a girl from my soccer team tell me she was going to chop up some vegetables and get some chicken and some broth and bring it so it’d be easy for me to make soup. I really appreciated that.
My kids normally walk together, but because my daughter had band practice before school, my son had to go to school about 50 minutes later. I was so worried, How am I going to get them there? I cannot function. I cannot get in the car and drive them. I can't walk them, what do I do? I reached out to my neighbors to ask if they would bring my kids to school. To have them help was just so wonderful.
Also, have others pick up the slack for you. This might mean delegating something that you normally do. Pass off work to team members and chores to family.
For the most part, my husband was not sick in the beginning. So I thought, “No, it's okay, he can do these things instead of friends.” But he has to take care of other jobs and take care of me. I'm glad I said ‘Yes’ because he had his own things going on.
You have to ask yourself, “Is my head is above water?” If Yes, how long will it be because as soon as my husband and my kids started getting sick, I actually had to step into the nurse role, which is often the case for moms so I didn't really get to rest fully.
3. Up your nutritional intake.
You know if you put good food in you, you're going to heal a lot faster. So those soups and other clean foods are a great idea. But also think about supplements, vitamins, tinctures, teas, even IV drips, whatever it is.
For my vitamin C, I tripled it. But instead of taking it all at the same time, I took it throughout the day - morning, lunch, dinner.
Also taking way more vitamin D than I normally take. As well as listening to others and their approach to getting healthier. I heard that Selenium and elderberry gummies are good.
Don’t be afraid to ask friends to drop off more vitamins, supplements, fruits, vegetables, clean food and to even have them prepare it. If that means you pay them for it, or they just make it out of the goodness of their heart, that's fine. I had someone say she’s going to Costco and asked if I needed anything. I gave her a full list because I knew that that would get me through many days of not having to go to the grocery store. I really, really appreciated that.
The next two items my Naturopath reminded me to do and I was a bit annoyed to have to do them.
4. Prioritize your health.
Now, this one is super hard for me. In the beginning of being sick, it was easy because I couldn't do anything. I was just lying there. I couldn't read. I couldn't get my head around things. I did not go into the office at all. I just canceled everything and prioritized myself.
If I want to get healthier and recover, I have to prioritize my health. It sounds obvious, right? But I thought I could play soccer. My Naturopath said, “No, Diane, you should wait two to three weeks.”
I was asking, “Well, is it just the cardio piece of it? What if I was just to play a little bit? Or what if I was just going for light runs or just do pilates?” She said, “No, you shouldn't. You shouldn't do any of it for another couple of weeks at least. Then ease back into pilates and some walks. Bring soccer back last”
It was so frustrating because I've spent so much time being injured that I'm finally back into soccer. I'd be missing a whole lot more games, which was really hard for me because commitment is such a huge value of mine. Also, I just wanted to play since I was injury-free. But to give up soccer, pilates and hiking and these things that I just physically could start doing was so frustrating.
I just felt gutted. I had to say no to things I love. Things that I had already prioritized. Things that I committed to. That's what was really, really hard.
But at that moment, I needed to prioritize myself and my health. That's the same for you. So I said ‘Yes’ to working a light schedule. I said ‘Yes’ to pushing off some of the things that didn't have to be done right away and I did my best to prioritize my health.
Sometimes you need to hear it from a doctor so you don't make the decision for yourself and someone else steps in and advocates for you.
All of these four really come down to the last one.
Rest is so important. You might be thinking you can rest at night or take a nap in the day. That's great. But are you getting enough rest entirely throughout the day? OR Did you just jump back into your schedule 100% ? That's not easing back in. That's making it really hard for yourself.
While you may think, “It's okay I can do it.” You may be getting through it, but at what cost? Sleep is crucial.
When I had COVID, there were nights when my sleep sucked. I kept waking myself up coughing. My problem is I like achieving and so even when I’m sick, I want to listen to a podcast, read a book, and move myself forward.
What if achieving was, how good can you get it resting? How good can you get at being kind to yourself?
I hope you can avoid getting COVID. You may have had it already. No matter what, at some point, you're going to get sick or you're going to hurt yourself or you're going to need a mental health day. You're going to have a tragedy or something and so remember these five things:
Now again, I'm not a doctor. But what I have found from personal use of these as well as talking with clients is that we push ourselves so much that we don't always let ourselves just be present and be in flow. Care for yourself, because really, you are the most important person in your life. You are worthy of being cared for not only by yourself, but by others.
If you want to chat about being overwhelmed or having a hard time doing these steps, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see how I can help you to move forward.
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