Like most, it began with mild fever symptoms and a cough, which then quickly cascaded into a full-body meltdown and pounding headaches.
Being a relatively young, somewhat active and positively screen-addicted marketer, having coronavirus was less than ideal. I don’t intend to downplay the severity of COVID19 and how it has affected others, communities and the global economy as we know it.
I do mean to address that by having the virus, I’ve been forced me to pivot and audit my life like I hadn't before. And as you’ll read below, there are some takeaways you too might find interesting.
After receiving the call that I tested POSITIVE for COVID, my mind was racing. The first thoughts were along the lines of…
"Ok, now what? Who do I need to contact? How can I continue my life at the same pace butin complete isolation?”
Friends and family are always going to raise their hands in support, but how will work take it?
What happens to the projects I’ve just begun? The ones I’m collaborating on? IfI tell them, am I running the risk of being taken off a project or worse...would I be let go?
Thankfully for me, communicating with PRMG was a breeze –they’re like an extension to my own family! I spoke with Jay Levy, my SeniorProject Lead, when I was initially having the test and immediately after when I received the results. Although my skills and projects are unique to me, and so not easily able to be picked up by others, Jay insisted I pause until I am running back up at 100%.
I'm fortunate to be part of an organisation that prides itself on maximising quality over quantity.
We spoke a lot about my health and ensuring it was the number one priority. The second was devising a quick plan in relation to my tasks, and with whom I'm currenting collaborating with. As the organisation uses remote office platforms like Slack, it was effortless to message everyone I work with and inform them of my status and the strategy to move forward without me (temporarily). To my(non)-surprise, my teammates were very supportive. We worked out the plan, and the plan of return.
As for assuming you can still be productive with COVID19, well it's only natural for ambitious people like yourselves reading, to not want to put the pen down - sort-of speak. A few days into isolation, I attempted to join one of the Slack groups (as the restlessness was creeping in), and was immediately flagged by the head of People and Culture, Raegan Allen. She said to take the rest and turn off - you read it right, turn off - Slack.
At first, my heart was racing, blood was flowing to my brain, and a wave of very nervous energy rushed across my exhausted body. Kind of like that feeling when you’re suddenly out of mobile range, or your phone dies and you’ve left your wallet at home.
I now had to stop and officially switch off. To my surprise though, another part of me switched on: self-awareness, being present with myself, and giving my body and mind theself-care it needed. In times like this, it is so important to show yourself self-care. Whether you have COVID19 or not.
Due to the nature of the economy, you may be under pressure at work. Or you may be under self-pressure to ensure you're working hard enough to put food on the table and pay bills. In these moments, it’s important to remember, you're human. You're not a machine, although you can break like one. The difference is, you can't be replaced.
Try dedicate some time to your own health, mentally and physically. Use your organisation if you're stressed at work, lean on your managers and let them know how you're feeling. They WILL be there to support you.
And if they don't help you with stress, recovery from COVID19 or hold your job, is it a place you really want to be spending five days a week? And are your colleagues really providing you with an environment you agreed on when working with them? If you’re answering no, begin looking for a new place with new people. It is not only beneficial to your physical and mental stability, but also to your overall quality of life.
If you want some tips on channelling self-awareness, I will be uploading a new blog soon.