What a nightmare a nasty bug, cough or cold is. These illnesses spread quickly through the workplace and Universities and can result in a dramatic spike in absenteeism rates for employees or students. But sometimes you just have to rest and not feel guilty about taking time off.
There I was surrounded by Vicks, tissues, cough mixture and a range of headache tablets, watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy and feeling guilty that I wasn’t at meetings or delivering the presentations lined up for me that week. I was comforted by one episode which was all about the fact that Doctors can’t get sick as they are there to treat the sick, and that they needed to push through it and carry on saving lives. Even in this fiction, reality played out resulting in residents and consultants alike taking time off as they all fell to a nasty bug! This did make me feel a bit better as I had been struggling with guilt around whether I should be dragging myself in to the office or not. Actually I would have been useless as I could hardly keep my eyes open, never mind concentrate. Showing up when you’re feeling lousy, a phenomenon known as presenteeism, can actually hurt your employer. Lower-than-normal, cold-medicine-fueled productivity levels can actually cost employers more than it would if you just took a sick day.
There are a lot of things that you can do to prevent or reduce the length of a seasonal illness that won’t cost you a penny:
• Get enough sleep–7 to 8 hours of quality sleep
• Take a walk–a simple walk can boost your immune system for 24 hours
• Eat healthy–fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy
• Wash your hands–best way to keep the germs away
• Stay hydrated–water helps you flush toxins from your body
• Smile and laugh–it is a great way to relieve everyday stress which can bring down your immune system
Look after yourself!