23 Apr 2014
by Jasmine Powers
When considering this post, I had to weigh out whether people should consider working while they are sick or feeling miserable. Yet, the reality is many who are temporarily, chronically or terminally ill worry about money, finance and survival when they are feeling almost at a point of collapsing from their physical and mental ailment.
Depending on whether you have a contagious illness or the common cold, a temporary decision to stay at home or take time off may be possible without drastically interrupting your income. For more extended illness such as asthma, arthritis or lupus, some choose to grin and bear it, taking advantage of available treatments to cope and move through providing for themselves. Others are debilitated and can’t simply pull themselves up by the bootstraps or make a living while enduring some of the most awful physical and mental ailments.
In any of these cases, income can be affected, causing much inconvenience and worry. However, some practical actions may help alleviate the challenge of making an income while sick.
Cut back expenses and sell off excess. Even on a depleted body, lowering expenditures and selling off things you don’t need or no longer have energy to manage can help provide needed funds. Asking a friend to help is key.
Telecommute. Many employers see the benefit of having remotely located employees. Ask your employer if there are options for that for your current position or if there is another role you can apply for that allows you to not have to be physically present.
Become an independent contractor. Some have left jobs and become entrepreneurs primarily because of the inflexible nature of many companies. If you have a viable skill that has made you income in the past, it may be possible to support yourself by working for yourself. A word of caution: Working for yourself is often harder than working for an employer. Weigh pros and cons very carefully if you are considering this option for the purpose of health reasons. Freedom is a definite plus if frequent doctors appointments interfere with a traditional 9-to-5 work schedule.
Scale back your responsibilities. If you have a physical injury, your medical provider may write orders for limited work responsibility without putting you on full disability. If you don’t have doctors orders, don’t be afraid to see what options for less intensive work are available or if there is a coworker willing to trade off some tasks to each of your mutual benefit.
Work part-time. If a full-time schedule is draining, there are often gigs or part-time positions that will allow you to get some income without wearing you down completely. Try using services like Flexjobs or Craigslist to search for part-time or creative gigs that you may not ordinarily find listed elsewhere.
Let go and let God. This is an adage that is often advised if worry is overtaking someone. Occasionally income really isn’t an issue, but the attachment to it or the addiction to attaining more is out of balance. In true cases of need, and especially when illness is present, it truly may be out of your power to change your circumstances. Make spirituality your focus and learn to let go of excessive worry about material things because your spirituality and health is the first priority. Things may be uncomfortable but they are not impossible to live with.
The priority here is self-care, both in regard to health and providing for necessities. With careful thought, planning and the cooperation of those around us, working while sick may be able to help us maintain a sense of independence and give us the funds to survive.
Many experts write about four hour work weeks and creating the life that one can enjoy, after an early retirement. I’ve worked both as an employee and as an entrepreneur and I’ve been wondering, What if we could create the life we could enjoy now? My over-connected over-sharing and push for more productivity has left many of us feeling like drones lacking real purpose and happiness, even if we do what we love.
Working and making money is rewarding. I don’t think, however, that it’s all there is to life. Without the very basics of human connection, all else seems meaningless. The longing for spiritual enlightenment or fulfillment can get pushed out by the constant need to tweet, to text, to update our Facebook statuses.
In truth, while social media and technology has made it easier to meet and communicate with others, it’s done much to break down the very relationships that it was supposed to build. Also, with so much going on all the time, with so many marketing messages or propaganda being pushed through our monitors, cell phones or tablets, finding time to think and to truly connect with our immediate friends and family, or simply to be silent and relax, has been a challenge.
There have been times that I wanted to sit down lunch with a colleague but for fear of missing a call or being away from the computer during the meeting, I feel painfully attached. It’s almost an addiction to digital connection, but at the expense of the face-to-face contact and connection that should be being made in the here and now real life world.
I think everything requires balance and balance requires time management and prioritization. While keeping yourself available for truly profitable reasons and customer service, your family, friends and solitude must not suffer at the expense of keeping up in an uberconnected world. Assign a higher value to people you see and touch in real life and disconnect from television and devices to have time to nurture true, substantial relationships. The real connection that results is far better than any other.