Last week I was so sick, starting Monday night. I came home, ate dinner, and then while I was relaxing afterward I felt a little twinge in my throat. I thought it was strange, but I didn’t really think anything else of it until I was getting ready for bed. Wow, I thought. I do not feel well at all. I decided that I must be exhausted (as is usually the case on Monday nights!), so I promptly went to sleep. I woke up Tuesday morning and I felt like I had been hit by a truck–I was hot and cold, my throat was killing me, my head hurt. I took my temperature and it was 101 degrees–blah. I called in sick to work and spent the rest of the day sleeping, reading, and drinking tea.

Now, a week later, I’m just starting to get over my sickness (which turned into a sinus infection) and I am so thankful for my returning health! I was thinking this past week about how I was able to remain stress-free throughout the day last Tuesday (the only day I took off from work), which is a complete difference from how I usually am when I take a sick day. I’m a worrier–I think about emails I’m missing, questions I should be answering, and work I should be doing rather than concentrating on getting better. I thought about why I feel so differently now than I used to and I think it’s because this new job is right for me. I don’t feel overly stressed because I don’t feel that I need to be; I feel confident in my abilities and I feel supported by my department.

I think it’s so important that people search and ultimately accept a job in a company where they feel comfortable, confident, and appreciated. I know that not everyone can be so choosy (I know I couldn’t be when I accepted my last position–I was just so grateful that I finally had a job!), but I think eventually you can be; you can build up your skills and experience and eventually get to choose where you want to work. It’s important for your health and well-being to think about where you are in your career right now: are you happy? Healthy? Do you feel like you accomplish something everyday? Are you in the right field? These questions are worth asking every so often, as a way to “check in” with yourself.

I think my thoughts wandered a bit during my sick day (and in the week since), but I believe that taking inventory of your emotions and physical health is important, especially as it relates to your job or career. Listen to yourself and follow your instincts–you may not realize you’re trying to tell yourself something until you pay attention!

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