When your body falls ill, so does your financial outlook. Medical bills and lost productivity — combined with the difficulty of playing catch-up once you feel better — make flu season a financially risky time of year.
Perhaps the most stifling drawback of sick time is the way it paralyzes your workflow and earning prospects. If you miss a lot of work due to health problems, you’re viewed — fairly or not — as an underperformer and could miss out on raises and promotions. The sting is even worse if you’re a contractor or solo entrepreneur. If you lack the luxury of sick days, missed work means missed pay.
But maladies befall us all, and when you find yourself ensnared in the grip of a nasty infection you must do whatever you can to minimize its impact and get back up to full strength as quickly as possible.
Here are some tips on how to handle and overcome pesky illnesses:
Loading up on B12, Vitamin C and iron is said to boost your immune system. Learn which supplements your body responds best to, then formulate a cocktail of pills to take once you start feeling bad.
Science aside, some of the benefits you get may come just from the mental encouragement you get when you feel like you are doing something constructive to chase the sickness away. If you believe taking a certain vitamin helps you feel better quicker, the belief itself will go a long way to fulfilling your expectations.
When you find yourself sick, get medical care as soon as possible to diagnose and cure your illness, rather than waiting it out. Antibiotics snuff out bacterial infections within days, so the quicker you act, the faster you’ll be back in business.
Viral nastiness such as the cold and flu can’t be zapped away by drugs, but you can medicate up in order to mask your symptoms. Chasing away a runny nose or chills can make the difference between a productive workday and a wash. So when in need, take the strongest stuff available to keep your edge during your shift.
A tactical retreat involving a day off of work can pay dividends, allowing your body to generate the strength to recover faster.
Even when circumstance takes the option of sick days off the table, you can focus on resting when you’re off the clock. Letting social and household obligations fall to the wayside as you focus on your recovery is understandable.
Be sure to use your rest time wisely and allow yourself to relax mentally as well as physically. Stressful homebody activities such as video games and DIY projects can tax your energy when you would be better off conserving it.
Your coworkers will appreciate it when you stay home and don’t expose them to the gunk that has run you into the ground. Skype, email, and smartphones have made working from home a more realistic option for many office drones.
If you’re able to focus and are lucky enough to work in an industry where you can get work done from home, make arrangements with your supervisor to go that route. When away from the boss’s watchful eye and close access to your bed or a comfy couch, you can take liberal breaks while sticking loosely to your normal work routine.
Your daily routine determines much of the risk you have of getting sick.
Avoid touching your face and minimize contact with those who seem under the weather. Avoid unnecessary handshakes by telling people you feel like you’re coming down with something and don’t want to risk passing it on to them. Wash your hands before eating and make sure your meals are nutritious, staying as hydrated as possible. Also, stick to a regular sleeping schedule, because a tired body is more susceptible to illness.