As a bona-fide Type A personality, I struggle with the notion of being forced out of action by something as mundane as being sick. But it happens to us all, and sometimes, you just have to admit defeat and call in sick to the world for a day. Here’s my guide to making it as good as can be (NB: none of this is ground-breaking advice, but we can probably all do with a little reminder to slow down when we need to):
1. Ditch the guilt + woe. If you’re anything like me, sick days will inevitably induce feelings of guilt (“but I don’t have time to be sick! There is so much to do!” etc. etc.) or self-pity. Getting sick is your body’s way of telling you to slow down, so listen and do as it says. Guilt-free. (No one will congratulate you for forcing yourself to work when you’re an incubus of germs anyway)
2. Take care of yourself. Your body will be devoting all of its energy to getting better. Help it along by wrapping up warm, taking the medicine/remedies you need and getting plenty of fluids and healthy nutrients. Tea, soup and orange juice were invented for days like this!
3. Get cosy. You’re not leaving the house all day (really, no one else wants your germs), so get comfortable! Fluff the pillows, change into your favourite pyjamas, and fix yourself a tray of healthy snacks, tissues, medicine and supplies so you don’t have to move more than you want to.
4. Rest. You’re home for a reason, so give your body what it needs and spend the day doing as little as possible. Go straight back to bed after breakfast, have a nap every few hours or just rest as long as you need (no guilt allowed).
5. Indulge in a little escapism. There is no point even attempting anything energetic, so spend the day as peacefully as possible. When I’m feeling horrid, I like to escape with a happiness-inducing book, some light-hearted TV or an old-favourite movie (avoid anything too intense or cerebral, or you’ll just fall asleep anyway).
Pictured: (Top) John Lewis bed // Marks & Spencer lamp // White Company bedding // Diptyque candle // Aerin fragrance // (Bottom) Warby Parker ‘Huxley’ glasses // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (a gift from Nicolette).
6. Pamper. You’ll probably feel dehydrated, achey and flat, so a little nurturing won’t hurt. I try to take a long bubble bath (the heat eases aches and pains and the steam will help clear your sinuses), slather on a face oil before climbing back into bed (to combat parched, dull skin), and a healing balm to soothe dry lips and nostrils. A spritz of face mist during the day and a few drops of relaxing lavender oil on an oil burner also work wonders.
7. Tidy up a little. No matter how sick you are, wallowing will only make you feel worse. Open the window and spend five minutes collecting all the tissues, straightening your room and washing a few dishes. The outer order will improve your mood, if nothing else.
8. Indulge in small pleasures. Don’t waste your precious energy on anything elaborate, but now is the time to indulge in a few of your favourite small pleasures to cheer you up. I like to light a few candles (even if I can’t smell a thing, it lifts the mood of the room – just don’t fall asleep with them lit!), have a piece of dark chocolate and make a pot of my favourite Laduree tea. Such pleasures certainly won’t cure any ailments, but they will make you feel a little rosier.
9. Do one small task. even though I only take sick days when I’m so unwell I’m physically incapable of leaving the house, I struggle with productivity-guilt if I do nothing with my day. I find it helps if I do at least one tiny task. Now is not the time to do anything requiring sharp focus or decisiveness. Tidy a junk drawer, file a stack of paperwork or clean out your medicine cabinet.
10. Go back to bed! Just when you’ve spent the day resting, go back to bed and sleep some more. Hopefully, you’ll wake up feeling like yourself again (and if not: rinse and repeat tomorrow!).
How do you try to make the most of a sick day?
Love, Miss B xx
Pictures via my Instagram (because who whips out a DSLR when they’re sick?!)