Putting the breaks on life: 3 things I learned while sick

Image credit: daytobeyou.com

Image credit: daytobeyou.com

I was struck down with a nasty stomach bug last week that lasted close to 9 days. Being forced to slow down (read totally stop) doesn't come easily to me. I am the kind of person who gets itchy feet after lying on a beach for 2 hours on vacation. After being forced to put the breaks on due to illness, I discovered a few things and I want to share them with you.

1. Nothing bad happens 

Blame the Capricorn in me, but I like to maintain a tight grip and level of control over every aspect of my life. Being ill meant that I could no longer fastidiously plan what I ate for lunch and dinner, nor could I attend my daily gym classes. Further, I couldn't studiously tick things off my never-ending 'to-do' list. Some emails went unanswered for a while. Some reading went undone. The result? Absolutely nothing. Letting go of control was a huge release and opened my eyes to the simple fact that life goes on, with or without plans, rigidity and rules. 

2. The body knows best

While on a practical level, I know this statement to be true, never was it more clear to me than during a bout of sickness. With a funny tummy, there was no way I could stomach my usual green salads, gluten-free dinners or super food breakfasts. In fact, just the thought of a green vegetable made my stomach churn. This was a time where I absolutely had to give my body what it wanted, which in this case was simple, easily digested carbs: bread, crackers, rice and small amounts of pasta. And salt. Lots of salt. You know what? Nothing bad happened when I ate these things. Life just ticked on.

3. Sleep heals all

Sometimes, you just need a good sleep to recharge your batteries. Sleep cures the most benign of things, and never do you notice that more than when you are sick. If you are tired, don't fight it; lean in to it. 

Feeling unwell is never fun, but at least this time there was a silver lining to my experience. Such simple principals were nailed into my head and I will carry them with me from now on.