It was a busy Thursday when the stomach flu hit. 

It was also the day I was planning to do my final prep on key messages for an upcoming Monday TV segment. Needless to say, I got nothing done. 

I wasn’t too worried as I started to feel better late Friday and I knew that I still had a couple of days until my TV segment. But, I didn’t get better and in fact, started to feel worse again on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon, I was still laying in bed, feeling weak, trying to decide if I should cancel the TV segment. I didn’t want to do that last minute and so, I slowly started to get ready. 

Not only did I have to finesse my messages still (it had been a busy month!)  but I also had to prepare and pack props for the segment. Unfortunately, this was a time when I hadn’t booked a food stylist. It was an easy food display (not a recipe segment) so I was styling it myself because I do have fun with that sometimes. I was starting to regret that choice! 

I decided to simplify my set up and my key messages. I didn’t have time or energy to research new facts and so went with what I knew and what the client needed — nothing above and beyond. I scaled back enough that I could manage the work but not so much that the segment or set up would suffer. “Good enough” I kept telling myself! “It doesn’t have to be perfect”, I’d remind myself. “No one will know that there is only one lemon on the set instead of the two you had planned for!” (I couldn’t manage getting to the grocery store and my husband was away for work). I let go of the little things. 

It took me all afternoon and into the evening to get ready. 

Monday morning came and I definitely felt better, but because I hadn’t really eaten in 4 days, my energy levels were pretty low. I piled on the make up (no make up artist at this station, darn!) and headed to the station. I got set up and was so thankful that I had kept it simple. I was wishing I could have a perk up from coffee, but I wasn’t up to drinking coffee yet. So, I had to conjure up my own energy. And, so I did!

The segment went off without a hitch. I kicked into performance mode and managed to fake some energy and a big smile. While I didn’t feel that I was at my best, I know I delivered above and beyond how I truly felt. The only thing – I completely forgot to take any photos of the set, or of myself with the host. Sigh. Ah well, I wasn’t throwing up and so that was a good thing. HA! 

As always, there’s a learning to be had! This time, I learned I should plan well in advance of a segment (although I do work well under time pressures), it’s good to be flexible, and it’s okay to simplify when you need to. I also learned: I can do anything cheerfully for about 4 minutes — even without coffee.  

Editor’s note: Thanks Shannon for sharing your terrific story with us! Glad you’re feeling better. Now go get some coffee!

About Shannon: Shannon is a registered dietitian and nutrition communications specialist who promotes simple, good foods that nourish a healthy, vibrant life. She is a pro at creating communication experiences that make messages come alive! Check out her site and follow her on IG @shannoncrocker.RD & Twitter @shancrockerRD