PULLING A SICKIE WHEN YOU'RE SELF EMPLOYED



The perks of self employment are plentiful, there is no denying that, and it was a huge allure for me when I took the plunge in leaving my 9-5 day job. I can drop Noah to and from school, I don't have to worry if the boys are sick because I can just make up the work in my own time on an evening. But what happens when I'm sick myself? Ordinarily if you're really too unwell you'd call into work and spend the day resting, but when you're self employed and know there isn't anyone else who can pick up the slack, what do you do? Do you take the day off, knowing you'll be behind, or push through and run on empty?

I felt so poorly last week, it was nothing more than a cold but it hit me hard. I rarely catch them so when I do it's safe to say I act as though I've caught the plague. As it was drawing closer to my work day I knew that it wasn't going anywhere fast and I started to panic. I was exhausted, delirious through sheer exhaustion and the stress of having so many deadlines with already a decreasing amount of time to meet them in. I always had three working days a week up until my Mum broke her foot and has been completely out of action, it means my days are cut to two and they're much shorter days even at that as I have to collect Noah from school as my Mum is currently in plaster cast up to her knee. I wont lie it has been hard, I've felt the pressure a lot and most nights I've stayed up past midnight to ensure I hit deadlines. I don't want to come across all woe is me because I've chosen this route, it's not being forced upon me, I know PR's would be totally understanding but if I commit to something I like to see it through without any hiccups. With that being said, becoming poorly wasn't going to fit in with my worth ethic and I would have to power through, right? I was naive and thought that I could manage it, but a mere three hours into my working day I was done, running on fumes I knew that I had to rest - and so I did.

A nap was in need and so I took myself off to bed, I don't think my bed has ever felt as comfortable as it did in that moment, begrudgingly and feeling guilty to my future self for the amount of work I'd then have to do. But you know what? I don't regret a single thing. I felt better when I woke up and the next day I felt on the mend, which I'm sure I wouldn't have felt if I hadn't of taken myself off to rest as opposed to pushing ahead with work. Sometimes you have to go with your gut. Everything I feared didn't come to fruition, my blog didn't disappear down a black hole, brands didn't quit working with me because I wasn't replying instantly and my stats didn't decrease because I wasn't active on social promoting new posts. Everything trotted along as normal. Shocking I know.

There still is a huge pressure when you're self employed, only I've realised that the pressure on me is completely self inflicted, I can choose whether to give myself a hard time about feeling poorly, or I can choose to go easy on myself. I am my own boss. The only person I'm letting down if I fail is myself, and though it sounds a bit like a cliche your teacher would have used at school when you cheat on a test, it's true. I could have forced myself to work through, become even more depleted and probably work pretty piss poorly, but what would I have achieved? Some half arse drafts that I'd end up deleting in the morning? I've learned to cut myself some slack, this job of mine has a lot of benefits and it's only right that I actually use them to my advantage from time to time. Last week was one of those times.

14 comments

  1. Hi Emily
    Awwhhh... I know too well, how you felt. So, it was definitely the right decision to care for you. We self employees often forget about that. The biggest source of our business is our health. So, well done ;)
    Hugs and Kisses
    Bea

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  2. Oh I know this feeling. Also working from home I have to work at night after my kids go to sleep. I have one morning a week where they go to kindy and one week I was so crook instead of working that morning I curled up and had a nap. I was still annoyed at myself but my body was happier!

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  3. I totally feel you on this!! I’ve been a bit poorly the last few days with a horrid cold too so have put work on the back burner to try and rest and recouperate but I feel so guilty!! I think so many people will be able to resonate with this post xx

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  4. I remember working somewhere not really self employed but through an agency. We had regular hours, but no sick leave or pay, so we only got paid if we showed up. I remember going to work many times feeling like sh** because I could not afford to lose the income.

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  5. This is one of the downsides to self-employment but as you said, that day of rest really helped you the next day and you didn't lose any clients over it so that's a win in my book. We all must first take care of ourselves in order to be more productive with others:)

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  6. I am so with you on this one. The amount of times I've tried to battle through being poorly because of deadlines and because I'm self employed. The last time though, I realised I was doing myself more damage by not taking time out to rest. I felt so horrific having to email around all my clients and PRs I was working with to say that there might be a delay. It's the first time I've ever had to do that, but I was so surprised about how lovely and accommodating everybody was. You really do put a lot of pressure on yourself to carry on going when you're poorly don't you? I'm glad you did take a rest and felt better for it. It's so important to try and take that time out, but my goodness its not easy. x

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  7. Oh yes I’m totally with you on this one. It’s pretty hard to schedule in sick days with tight deadlines.

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  8. This is so true! It can be hard but maybe it's our body's way of saying we need a break x

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  9. I am so agree with you and totally understand what you feel, I'm self employed as well and I have the same pressure on myself.

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  10. Totally understand this! It's the added pressure but your health should come first mentally and physically! It can be draining working when poorly The Willow Tree

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  11. I felt terrible for you on stories! It can be so difficult knowing when to put your health before work, especially when you don’t get dedicated sick days! This is one of my main worries about blogging as a full time career - if i was sick, or Harrison was poorly and physically couldn’t work, how would I pay my bills?

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  12. Oh one of the downsides of being self employed. I worry about this for the future.

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  13. It is so hard isn't it - when you are self-employed you never really switch off as it is. Sounds like you made the right choice, I should take a leaf from your book.

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  14. Not completely self-employed but can definitely relate to the self inflicted guilt! Glad you're feeling better ❤️

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