Covid got me — and it taught me a few things
I avoided it for two years, but it finally caught me. Bloody Covid. It made this entire week feel like a punishing dance with the devil.
I’ve always counted myself lucky for having one of the best immune systems I could want (thanks, mum). I can’t remember the last time I was ill, and I can be pretty grateful for that.
This was one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a long time and possibly one of the most stressful weeks for my mind and body. It started off the back of the first wedding I have been to (they’re not bad) over the weekend and then abruptly zipped across to what was my second ever funeral a few days later. A stressful one and a half days at work accompanied Monday and Tuesday, and it was one of those days when it gets to the end of your shift, and you just want to switch off and lie in bed, but certain tasks and people ask for things last minute. That’s one thing I miss about self-employment.
As the funeral finished on the cold Tuesday afternoon, I got a call from my dad, who told me a close family friend had just passed away. It hit me like a tonne of bricks, to put it lightly.
I got sick the following day. Usually, I get sick once a year, just before winter, but Covid gave me a superb spell of avoiding any of that. I forgot what it was like. My body was scorched with ache and fatigue. I had shortness of breath (I still do) and dizziness. I couldn’t stop feeling sick, and I think I had, like, six naps that day.
Thursday came around, and though I felt much better, I tested positive for Covid after three negative results throughout the week. I’m glad I didn’t have it worse and that I had been taking a high dosage of Vitamin D (5,000IU) and a probiotic for months already; how I felt had bolstered my support for these nutrients. I was also lucky to have my mum around, who put Ginger in basically everything I ate and drank. The only sweet I ate was a Ginger chewy—it tastes weird.
Today, I don’t feel like I have Covid—I still do, obviously, I’m not superman—but this week with bad news, busy work and Covid on top of everything else strained me more than I realised. The good thing is it also taught me a few things:
Your health comes first. It comes before your goals, work, your relationships, everything. You can have as many things as you want, but nothing comes above having the best health you can. This year, I want to keep a strict 1:1 work-rest balance because it’s easy to assume we all can work harder through our fatigue or problems without issue. If you can, don’t. It’s never worth it.
Listen to your stress. My dad is an example of a fantastic manager, and he reminded me this week to listen to my stress (because very few people will), understand it, and make more time for it than I think I need. He’s had many staff join his team traumatised by the stress and restrictions of their previous workplace. Ignoring it only makes things worse later.
Be grateful for the right reasons. I say this because I often find myself trying to be grateful just to please others and so it looks like I’m appreciating the life I have. But that’s slowly changing. I’m being grateful to myself, for myself. And I will keep working to achieve the milestones that I want to be grateful for.
Cherish the people that care. I don’t really care if people wish me well or not—everyone’s got their own lives—but I’m very grateful for those who do.
Take a moment to appreciate your growth. This week was quite easily one of the more stressful weeks I’ve had but it didn’t strike me as much as it could have. That’s because of everything I’ve done over the years to improve the way I think, feel, or react in bad situations and mitigate the effects of this week and Covid—which gave me time to appreciate how far I’ve come.
I’d love to know what you learned this week, so feel free to share them however you like below.
What I’ve Learned
A reminder on the essence of self-mastery:
Do less, better
Your energy that goes into what doesn’t matter comes at the expense of what does. Narrow your focus. Raise your standard. Set yourself apart. By putting a little bit of time aside, you can change your life from good enough to excellent.
What’s on My Mind
I felt inspired by my dad’s work/life balance recently. He works at a company where there’s no fixed start or finish time, he can have lunch for as long as he wants, he’s worked remotely full-time since before it was cool, and all he has to focus on is getting the work done on time. He’s also anti-micromanagement which I love. That’s the type of schedule I will aspire to have for as long as I’m in employment.
A Quote to Think About
A Question for You
Habits need to be revised from time to time. Which habits do you need to double down on this year? Which ones need to be replaced?
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