When I was twenty-two I called in sick to work. It was made-up pile of shit. If I recall, I claimed I ate something weird, then started coughing on the phone.
Apparently, food poisoning and coming down with a cold are inextricably linked, didn’t you know?
I played hooky so I could stay home and clean house. Yes, that makes me a loser. I scrubbed every square inch of that Craigslist group house like I was purging the depths of my very soul. My roommates came home from work and thought we got robbed. One of my roommate’s beaus came over that night, opened the door and mouthed, “Oh. Shit.”
Sometimes, you just need a day.
I make my bed every morning, but I am (by no means) a clean freak. Or a germaphobe. I did not stay home that day because I needed a clean house. What I needed—more than anything—was to feel like a human being.
I work in a very fast-paced work environment. Like most agencies, my coworkers and I thrive on coffee, deadlines, and slightly-morbid humor. The executive team (bless their hearts) are giving us an entire week off for the holidays. No, they did not merely spit a couple PTO days our way. We are, collectively, going on Christmas break.
Which means, undoubtedly, the month of December has been prepared us for this one week off.
It is your responsibility to give yourself time to clean your house, your diet, and your routine. You need to give yourself time to feel like YOU.
There is a direct correlation between the state of my apartment and the state of my life. Last week, it looked as though Hurricane Irene returned to DC with a vengeance. At one point, there was a single pair of undies laying on my dining room table. They stayed there for three days. I have no idea if they were clean or dirty. I just kept waking up in the morning, passing through the dining room en route to the shower thinking, “I should really put those undies in the hamper,” come home and pass through the dining room en route to my bed and think, “I should really, really put those in the hamper,” and then wake up and do the whole thing again. ‘Twas a brutal cycle.
Does that sound like someone with their life together? Huh? Does it? No. It’s an absolute disgrace and now you know my very foundation was in shambles for two weeks.
No one is going to make you a priority but you.
Before the office closed yesterday, my boss looked at me and said, “You need to go home. You need to sleep. You need to exercise and eat healthy food. You can’t be your best without doing those things.”
So today, I’m making those instructions my very last to-do on my 2016 task list. I am doing all my favorite things: drinking coffee that didn’t come from a Keurig, going weightlifting, and meeting up with an old coworker for a coffee date, second edition.
I am going to take the time to clean my apartment, exercise, eat something green, and put myself first because I haven’t been putting myself first for weeks. My workouts have been off, we don’t need to revisit the state of my apartment, and there may have been a few-too-many trips to the Whole Foods hot bar for mac n cheese.
You need to do what you have to do to take care of yourself. If you have extra PTO, take it. If you need to stay home from a group activity, do it. If you need to avoid humanity so you can clean up your lifestyle, avoid it. You need to take care of the little things that make you feel proud of who you are as a person, and how you choose to take care of yourself.
No one is going to take care of you if you don’t care of yourself first. If you need a day to center yourself, take it.