Leisure Sickness

It took me a little while to find my sabbatical groove, but by about mid-January I felt like I’d found a routine that worked for me, one that included writing, reading, exercise, a decent amount of sleep, and healthy food. I was feeling good, things were ticking along. I was getting caught up on things that had been sitting on my “to do” list for far too long. And then…

…major illness. I was knocked flat out (and even spent some time in Emergency – fun, fun!) for the last part of January. Ugh. So not what I wanted to be doing on my sabbatical. The silver lining, I guess, is that it did happen while I was on sabbatical so I didn’t have to reschedule meetings or classes. But still! What a waste of time! I’m still not 100%, but am well enough that I’m trying to get back in to that sabbatical groove again. It is slow going, but each day is getting better. I’m still waiting to hear back on some test results to get a better idea of what happened. Not fun.

This whole incident got me thinking about how often it is that we get sick when we are able to relax a bit. I was feeling good, I had established a healthy routine, and BAM! Sick. Why? I would have expected this when I was not maintaining such good habits. Turns out there is a whole phenomenon out there called “leisure sickness.” Who knew? Anecdotally I’ve known of many people who get sick when their stress lets up a bit, but I didn’t know this phenomenon had a name.


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