Recently I found myself in a public hospital in Costa Rica. My only reference of what it’s like to be in a hospital is what I’ve seen watching Grey’s Anatomy for the last 16 years (and its replays on Netflix).
Here’s what I imagined:
A private room with a bed that had a pillow, clean sheets and blankets. Windows with curtains or blinds. Doctors who round in the morning and actually talk with the patients. Nurses who are helpful and friendly. And while I don’t think I’ve ever seen them on the show, towels and soap in the bathrooms. As well as edible food and being able to sleep.
Plus the ability to work from the bed, using my laptop. With wifi.
With the exception of the private room (which is rare – most rooms had 6-10 women in them – but because of my condition, the nurse determined it was warranted), none of that happened.
No pillow. Sheets were badly (and grossly) stained. No blanket. Challenging to find a doctor who would give me any detailed information, including the jefe of the department who spoke English. Nurses who were most definitely not friendly or helpful. No towel or soap in the bathroom. And the shower was cold water only. I lost four pounds (1.8 kilos / 0.28 stones) in two days because they wouldn’t bring me anything that I could actually eat.
I was also woken up several times in the middle of the night. To ask me questions like – is this knife on the tray yours? At 1:30 am. Yes, really, that happened. So the ability to sleep went out the window.
Speaking of windows, the room was all windows – looking out to the interior of the hospital with its fluorescent lighting and no curtains or blinds so it felt like it was as bright as day. And did I mention the chatty nurses at the nurses station next to my room? Plus the screaming babies.
And the referring doctor told me definitely don’t bring your laptop as robberies are rampant in the hospital. (yes, really . . .)
And all of the above is just the tip of the iceberg.
So take all of that and add in my already depleted mental, emotional and physical state and let’s just say, running my business became exponentially more difficult.
And while that incident was only for 2 days, I did end up seeking help from a private hospital and ended up there for 14 days with every possible complication from surgery.
Which brings me to –
What does all of this have to do with running your business? Well . . .
In my Simplified for Business online training, I mention how we should always have a scheduled queue of posts (blogs, social media, emails) . . . in case of emergency. Inside the training, I share with you ways to do just that.
And I actually did have everything scheduled (I do my best to walk my talk!).
But I put them all on pause.
Because while everything was prepped and ready to be shared, I did not have the energy to manage comments and replies.
I had to let it go.
I did forward my business emails to my phone, just in case there was anything that needed to be taken care of urgently.
But I wasn’t in a mental space to be able to do anything.
The moral of the story:
Always be prepared and plan out your posts in advance.
While also recognizing that sometimes, you just have to hit PAUSE in order to take care of your well-being or whatever may be happening in the moment.
Your clients and community will still be there when you return – whether it’s from a hospital stay or a much deserved vacation or just taking a few mental health days.
You can’t run a business if you’re not taking care of yourself. You need to come first.
If you need to take a break, take a break.
What I’m currently doing? Easing back into my business. I used the pre-prepped content that I had put on pause in between my stays at the public and private hospitals.
Eventually, I’ll get back to showing up online and marketing my business. When I have more energy.
For now, my time is focused on my recovery, rest and current clients. Who, thankfully, have all been super supportive and understanding.
Over to you: Have you had a time in your business when you needed to hit PAUSE?