Noun [Mono-meningital-west nile-nucleosis]
Definition – a culmination of all the stuff I felt like I had last week
As I laid in the bed for 4 days not able to move or see straight, I became even more dependent on my iPhone (I could stay abreast of what was going on in the world), its retina display (because it hurt to wear my glasses and I couldn’t stop squinting) and its lightning fast internet speed (because I couldn’t stay awake long enough to wait on slow loading). The really unfortunate thing is that when I did close my eyes all I saw was backlogged work and that annoying red blinking voicemail light I’d soon return to. I began thinking, “Are we this bad that even when we feel horrible we’re still thinking about work!?!?” I didn’t know whether to think that this was applaudable or if it were just sad.
While in my generic Tylenol-induced half coma, I Googled several diagnoses for what I could be ailing from. I also drooled over a couple of articles and blogs about “Work-Life Balance” and “Working Hard, Playing Hard”. As I squinted through them, no one ever mentioned rest and sleep. I took another nap, woke up, then realized that we are all so focused on getting more…more money, more opportunity, more business, more letters behind our names, more respect and adoration, that we have forgotten what true balance is. Work + Life ≠ Balance. Work + Life + Rest = Balance. We can’t accomplish all of these “mores” if we have no energy. I personally rely on several caffeinated beverages to jumpstart my day as opposed to an adequate amounts of sleep and I know I’m not the only one. What’s wrong with us people?!?! We’re nodding off in staff meetings, we’re burnt out and we’re falling ill, not even able to really enjoy the fruits of all of this extra and creative labor because we are sacrificing our bodies and our sanity to get it.
Employees and managers will not listen to me if I look run down. I can’t very well suggest wellness programs to my clients if I’m not well. I can’t do anything if I’m stuck at home with Monomeningitalwestnilenucleosis. At some point we have to slow down and just take a frickin’ nap. My father told me 3 days into my illness (and 3 days after doing nothing but laying bed), “Son, take some advice from me! Get some rest!” I said, “Yes sir” and hung up the phone. As much as I hated to admit that he was right…he was right! 3 days late, but right!
It shouldn’t take us being knocked on our butts from weird unpronounceable combinations of plagues to take care of ourselves. If we don’t make a conscience decision to rest and rebuild our bodies from all of this working, blogging and social media-ing at 3 am, our bodies are just going to make the decision for us. So as I type this blog left-handed (because the right side of my body is still sore and I can’t turn my neck), I am asking you all and reminding myself to put down the computers, iPads and smartphones…stop planning your next major moves and takeovers…stop scoping and scouting out your next client for just a minute and take a mental health break. Your bodies and all of your business endeavors will eventually thank you.