Why I'm grateful for this cold*

Stuffy nose, sore throat, killer headache... why on Earth would I be happy to have a cold?

Least of all during my precious annual leave!

Catching the common cold during my time off work is fairly, well, common - and it's easy to see why. Stress builds up, I'm thinking about the job 24/7 and then suddenly I don't need to worry about that huge part of my life for a while. It's such a shock to the system that I'm left sniffling when I want to be doing other things.

But instead of feeling resentment as I put a hold on any holiday plans, I actually feel ok. Grateful, in fact*.

* I may not be so grateful if I didn't have my supplies

This is because there is always, always something I should be doing - I must clean the car, I should clear out that cupboard, I must catch up with friends, I should finish that book... I need to get as much done as possible to make the most of my leave.

Except when your body forces you to stop. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of getting sick, but it does make me listen to my body; and when it's saying STOP, I know it's ok to just stop.

Relief washes over me and any guilt for slowing down is released. I need to look after myself and take it easy.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert celebrates the Italian expression, the 'art of doing nothing.' We live in a culture of such constant activity and over-achievement that we neglect the need to take a breather.

I'm at my happiest when I'm relaxed, unhurried and can get through the day at a satisfying pace. Sometimes I forget that and it takes a cold to remind me to slow down.

That is why I'm grateful for my sniffles!

Plus, as long as I follow the 'neck rule', it doesn't affect my running. Taking it easy can include a gentle run!

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