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Being sick is no fun, and with cold and flu season just around the corner, it’s time to get prepared. So today, I’m sharing my favorite tips to help you survive a sick day, whether your at home or stuck at work!
How to Survive a Sick Day
Somehow, I’ve already gotten sick once this fall. I blame my husband, who travels constantly for work. He must have brought those nasty airplane germs home with him (just kidding … maybe!).
Thankfully, it was a 24 hour thing, and I recovered quickly. But being sick reminded me that cold and flu season is almost here, and that now is the time to get ready.
Being under the weather is the worst, but if you want to get better, you need to do a few things.
I’m sharing my favorite sick day tips below, and you can use them whether you’re at home or stuck at work.
Get Settled and Cozy
Before you hunker down on the couch or in bed, take a few minutes to gather a few creature comforts. Grab that book you’ve been meaning to read, a pile of unread magazines, or a crossword puzzle or sudoku book.
Pull out a couple pillows and a few blankets to ward off any chills. Round up cold medicine, cough drops, and tissues. Find some snack and drinks.
Make sure the remote, phone, and computer or tablet are within reach. Don’t forget chargers!
Basically, keep whatever you can find to keep you entertained and feeling better within arm’s reach, because you won’t want to get up once you get comfy!
Stuck at work? Close your office door if possible, and eliminate as many distractions as you can. Wrap a scarf around your neck to stay cozy and keep everything you need as close as possible.
If you want to survive a sick day, you need to stay hydrated. Fluids help to flush out your system, and if you don’t drink enough you’re bound to feel worse than you already do.
Water is always great (add lemon for a dose of Vitamin C), but my go to sick day drink is tea. A cup of hot tea is a tried and true method for fighting off colds and the flu.
It’s comforting, soothes a sore throat, and warms the body on chilly days. To me, there’s also nothing more relaxing when I’m cranky than a cup of my favorite tea.
I’m a huge fan of Bigelow’s Green Tea, and it comes in a huge range of flavors, from classic to pomegranate. The Green Tea with Lemon was so soothing on my recent sick day.
Make sure to cheer yourself up by using a cute mug for your tea, too. I love my owl mug! It’s guaranteed to make me smile, even when I’m feeling my worst.
Stuck at work? Warm up with a cup of tea at your desk. Stir in a little honey to soothe your throat.
Get Some Fresh Air
When you’ve been sick for a few days, the air in your home is bound to feel stale. If you’re feeling up to it, bundle up and take an easy walk or sit on your porch. Just breathing in the fresh air is bound to perk you up a little bit.
If you don’t have a porch, or just aren’t up for a walk, try cracking open a window for a few minutes. You’ll get the same benefits without leaving your home.
Stuck at work? Take a short walk on your lunch break to grab a bowl of soup from a nearby restaurant, or just step outside the office for a few minutes.
Indulge in a TV or Movie Marathon
My favorite way to survive a sick day is by catching up on my favorites shows, losing myself in a good movie, or binge watching a new-to-me series. When else will you have so many uninterrupted hours?
When it comes to movies, I like to watch my faves, like Waitress, Hairspray, or the Hunger Games series. A cheesy, romantic comedy will often cheer me up, too.
A sick day is also the perfect time to binge watch a TV show that’s been on your list for too long.
Right now, I’m loving anything British. Call the Midwife, The Fall, Orphan Black, Happy Valley, Catastrophe, and Broadchurch are a few of my recent favorites. You could also watch an old standby like Friends, Seinfeld, or Gilmore Girls … the options are pretty much endless!
Stuck at work? Take a break and close your door. Indulge in a few YouTube videos or ask your friends for sympathy on Facebook.
It’s so tempting when you’re sick to try to catch up on things. Put the to do list aside though, because you’ll get better much faster if you simply take it easy.
Illnesses always seem to strike at the worst time. If it’s busy at work, try to delegate as much as possible or only do what is absolutely necessary. Ask a friend or neighbor for assistance with a task or personal errand that can’t be put off. They’ll probably be happy to help.
If you’re having a hard time sitting still, use the downtime to reflect on your life a bit. Make lists of goals you’d like to accomplish in the next few months or years. Day dream about a beach vacation. Call a friend or relative that you’ve been meaning to connect with.
Whatever you do, give your body a chance to recuperate.
Stuck at work? If possible, work on the essentials tasks that can’t be skipped, then delegate the rest or leave them for another day. If you can, head home early.
Take a Shower or Bath
When you’ve been sick for a few days, nothing feels better than a quick shower or bath. You’ve been hot, you’ve been cold, your hair hasn’t been shampooed in days … yuck!
Before you settle on the couch for another day, take a few minutes for a relaxing shower. If you’re feeling achy, a warm bath filled with epsom salts will soothe your muscles.
At the very least, wash your face and brush your teeth. I guarantee you’ll feel a little better.
Don’t forget to change into clean clothes (I suggest your favorite pajamas or yoga pants topped with your coziest sweater!) when you’re done.
Stuck at work? Run your wrists under cold water, or splash your face, to perk yourself up.
Unless you can’t keep anything down (crackers for you!), make sure to eat regularly. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or fancy … you probably don’t have the energy anyway.
Cold medicine can be really hard on the stomach, so warm up some broth to soothe your throat and tummy. Chew on crackers, cheese, and fruit, or munch on veggies and hummus. Make a tomato and cheese omelet; it only takes a few minutes.
Of course, soup is always the best! Yet, whenever I’m sick, my cupboards seems to be bare.
Thankfully, I usually have all the ingredients for my go to sick day remedy, a yummy Peas and Rice Soup, in my pantry. It’s super soothing, can be made with any frozen veggie, and is very easy to make (no standing over the stove required).
Stuck at work? Pack some crackers (or other snacks) to keep your energy up during the day. Warm up a can of soup for lunch.
Before Your Get Sick
Of course, the best way to survive a sick day is to plan ahead. That way, you won’t have to drag yourself to the drugstore when all you want to do is stay in bed.
Stock your medicine cabinet now with cold medicine and cough drops. I like to keep this stuff in a box that I can pull out at the first sign of illness.
Make sure you’re prepared with something to eat, too. Fill your pantry with soup and nonperishable snacks, and keep your freezer stocked with homemade soup, too. Whenever I make soup, I cook a double batch and freeze half.
Looking for More Sick Day Ideas?
What is your favorite way to survive a sick day?