What I learned from a headache

by Joanna on February 26, 2015

A couple weeks ago, I was in a funk. For three days, I woke up tired and throughout the day had no motivation. “I don’t feel like doing anything” kept running through my head. And each afternoon, I got a headache. On my way to CVS to get some Advil, I thought “I just want to take a nap right now. I want to go home and go to bed.” And then I thought “I’m just going to empower myself to do that. I’m going to use some sick time and go home and rest. My body obviously needs that.”

I got home and climbed into bed for a nap. I thought about turning on the TV while I fell asleep but something told me not to. That I didn’t need the mental clutter and noise. That I just needed to be.

Within two minutes of my head hitting the pillow, I had a realization. There was something at work that was really frustrating me. It had been bothering me since earlier in the week but I didn’t know that consciously. It wasn’t until I started telling Mike about it that I realized how much this was affecting me — and my performance. The next day, I woke up like my usual self, energetic and ready to take on the day. And I had a conversation with my boss about what was bothering me and I felt so much better.

I share this story for two reasons:

1. You’ve got to listen to your body. You are the only one that can feel your body and hear your intuition. It’s up to you act on those messages. You can discern when it’s a “take-some-Advil-and-go-through-your day” kind of thing or  it’s a “stop, listen, or this will just continue” kind of thing. But only you can discern that. So you’ve got to listen and you’ve got to act. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Sometimes you’ve got to empower yourself and give yourself what you need.  Your boss isn’t going to say “I can tell your head hurts and that you’re in a funk” go home and take a nap. No. You need to decide that for yourself and give yourself permission to do what you need to do.

If I wouldn’t have taken that three hours off, I could’ve been stuck in that negative energy (and the corresponding physical symptoms) for a while — impacting both myself, my team, and my work.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: