Dealing with Illness and Injury When You’re Self-Employed

Being your own boss is great! You get to do what you want, when you want, and however you want to. And though you do get more control over the work you do, you lose some of those benefits that regular employees have, most significantly sick days.

Knowing that you can take a day off to recuperate from the flu or to heal after surgery is somewhat of a distant dream for many self-employed people. Interruptions like the holidays or a vacation away can be planned for, however an unexpected injury or illness is enough to set you back, ruin your reliability, or worst case scenario, shut you down.

However, there’s no need to stress about the possibilities just yet. It’s time to go over how to deal with injury or illness if you’re self-employed in order for there to be minimal disruption to your business.

  1. Be Proactive

There are multiple things that you can be doing on an everyday basis to keep yourself in good shape. Regular exercise, a varied diet, good habits, and some self-care can go a long way in keeping you healthy and less prone to catching a bug. Remember to also take some time for reflection, de-stressing, and your personal needs, as burn out is a contributing factor to a weak immune system.

  1. Make Arrangements

If there was a situation in which you could not work for 1-7 days, how would you react? What would you need to urgently get done? Set things in place now so that you aren’t scrambling while you can hardly think straight in the first place. Team up with a local freelancer who does similar work to you and make an agreement to cover each other if anything was to come up. Otherwise, involve a friend or your significant other in your work so that they would know how to the run the critical components in case you couldn’t. If you are a maker, always have an emergency stash of prepared items in case something was to happen and you couldn’t work for a while. Depending on your line of business, there are a number of solutions that could work for you.

  1. Rest

It’s tempting to work from bed while you’re burning up with a fever and to keep carrying those boxes even though your doctor told you not to pick anything up for a while. You’re a business person. Think of this logically- is it better for you to be completely out for a few days or weeks and back to 100% productivity in a short amount of time, or work at a low efficiency for months or even years? We did the math for you and it’s time for you to take a break. Sleep, rest, relax, and do exactly what the doctor recommended. It’s your best chance for getting back to business in the shortest amount of time.

  1. Insurance

Many workplaces cover their employees for some additional medical expenses like vision care, dental, or physiotherapists. Now that you are your own boss, it’s time for you to take care of your employee – yes that means you. Look into a health insurance policy that works for you and includes anything you might need. Make sure to include treatments that can get you back to speed in a short amount of time like chiropractic care and massage therapy. Chiropractic treatments do not require much time though they are what allows your body to heal properly, which exactly what a busy self-employed person needs.

Working for yourself can be flawless, but you have to put effort in to make it that way. Plan in advance for illness or injury, and you’ll be as good if not better off than regular employees. Remember that you are the most essential part of your business and you need to respect yourself in able to achieve anything.

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