The end of the “pulling a sickie” culture

A few weeks ago now I took 2 days off sick. I was really unwell, dizzy, faint, energy-less and I also had flu symptoms including being unable to hear properly. It was horrible! Ok so I had thought this was coming for a while – using my weekends to try and recover just wasn’t working.

I felt extremely guilty for being away from work. The worry of whether everything would be done, whether colleagues would be ok, and the anxiety that they’d think I was taking too much time off to recover (even though it was only 2 days) setting in. I tried to ignore this and put my health first even though this was really hard!

After I had taken the time off, resting, sleeping and relaxing, only getting out of bed to make food or pop out to get veggies and more fruit I felt so much better! I feel way more myself than I’d felt in over a month and a half – It’s crazy how much a couple extra days to kick an illness can really help!

I started thinking about this after a seeing some recent research by Office Angels which was carried out on 1,000 office staff.

They found that…

  • Most don’t take enough time off to recover from illness
  • Half are too worried about catching up on work later to stay off
  • A quarter feared being accused of “pulling a sickie”

So that matches everything I felt!

Are we really more of an “anti-absence” generation now?

With never being able to switch off – many of us having work e-mails linked to phones and working on commutes to and from the office – and work taking more time on the work-life balance than before – are we too worried about career and our businesses to think about health?

Now I’m not reinforcing taking days off when unnecessary, and realistically only you know if you need the extra rest – But the NHS is constantly talking about being overly busy, and perhaps this is because we’re not looking after ourselves in the first instance. Maybe we are overdoing the work part to the life balance, maybe not being able to switch off really isn’t helping us sleep, having a detrimental effect on our wellbeing.

Considering my own life I have started overhauling my diet and lifestyle.

I have decided that I was overdoing it at the gym, going most days and most probably completely wearing down my body. I now have a set schedule of 3 High-Insensity cardio days, 1 Yoga sessions and one other weight session (which can be on the end of a cardio workout).

On the diet side of things, do you know the importance of getting a balance diet? It can have a massive effect on mood, outlook on life and general wellbeing (All those veggies really do help fight off illness – it’s the power of vitamins and minerals!).

I’ve started preparing meals beforehand including lunches to ensure I’m being as healthy as I can be and I really have felt a difference! I’m making sure I don’t cut out anything I don’t need to be (your body needs carbs and fat too, and you shouldn’t cut out gluten unless you actually have an intolerance), and that all meals are well balanced with plenty of veggies too!

I will be sharing my lunches soon for inspiration.

I hope this has made you think more about your health – after all this is the most important thing in life! I’m not saying you should take a day off sick for a headache, but ensure you’ve got a good balance in life, with work, social and fitness and that your taking your diet into account too, and you might even find your more happy and positive – and potentially (fingers crossed!) not needing any sick days!

Chloe xx

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