This blog post was inspired by the unfortunate news that my sister recently broke two bones in her foot while at university. Although not technically ill, she lacks mobility, is forced to spend more time indoors and can no longer do lots of the things she usually enjoys (some of the main downsides of being poorly)!
Over the years I’ve found that there are a few things I do while I’m poorly (usually with the flu) that help take my mind off how miserable and sorry for myself I’m feeling.
1) Get into a new TV series
Especially if you have a busy job or are snowed under with university work, you’ll probably find that you lack the time to properly get into a television series. Maybe you watch the odd episode here and there when you get a chance, but how often do you put aside half the day to watch back-to-back episodes in a guilt-free binge session? I hardly ever find time to do it…until I’m ill.
Not only does watching a good series take your mind off how bad you’re feeling, but it requires almost no mental energy which is ideal for when you’ve not got any in the first place.
2) Treat yourself
Unless you’ve got a stomach bug, and are unable to keep food down, eating and drinking treaty things during the day always seems to cheer me up when I’m feeling poorly and miserable.
So load up on chocolate, steaming cups of tea and hot chocolate, tasty fruits to help the immune system, and a hearty dinner to give you strength to fight off your illness. Before you know it you’ll be better and able to go back to your usual balanced (I hope) diet.
3) Read a book
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll know I’m a massive bookworm and so when I’m poorly I enjoy snuggling under a blanket on the sofa with a stack of some of my favourite books. My top picks for when I’m poorly would be something like Harry Potter or Little Women, books that are cozy and uplifting and easy to get lost in.
If you’re feeling particularly unwell and even reading a book seems like too much effort, it’s equally nice to plug in some headphones and listen to an audio book instead. There’s something so soothing and relaxing about being read to and you don’t even have to feel bad about drifting off to sleep halfway through!
4) Do something you don’t normally have time for
One of the few perks of being ill is that you suddenly have a full day to fill with things you wouldn’t usually have time for. It could be anything from drawing to journaling; suddenly you have all the time in the world to devote to it for the duration or your illness.
I try and make the most of having a chunk of time where there are no demands on me other than to recuperate and get my immune system back on track.
5) Listen to music
I’m a big music lover and always love to have music playing but usually it’s in the background while I go about my day doing other things: commuting to work; cooking dinner; having a shower. I rarely just sit and exclusively listen to music.
When I’m ill, one of my absolute favourite pastimes is snuggling on the sofa under a blanket, plugging in some headphones, and doing nothing but listen to music.
6) Have a long shower
Maybe it’s just me, but when I’m really ill I just feel disgusting. Sweaty, snotty, sneezy…all things you wouldn’t want to be. At the end of the day, I always make sure to have a nice long shower and wash away all visible signs of being ill. Afterwards, I get into a lovely clean pair of pyjamas and climb into bed feeling like a new person.
7) Watch feel-good films
If there’s ever a time to get out your favourite feel-good films, it’s when you’re ill. There’s nothing worse when you’re feeling really poorly than spending ages trying to pick the perfect film to take your mind off how bad you’re feeling. The easiest thing is to pick one you already love. That way you’re guaranteed to enjoy it and the bonus is that you can fall asleep midway through and it won’t matter.
8) Spend time with friends and family
I find that when I’m ill, it doesn’t matter how gross and miserable I feel, I just want to be with friends and family. It may be tempting to hide yourself away, but being around people you love can have a very healing effect.
This doesn’t mean that you have to join in with the conversations, or be the center of attention, you can just lie quietly on the sofa and enjoy their company.
9) Pamper yourself
I’m a bit advocate for pampering yourself and this is also the case for when I’m ill. A soothing face mask, a long bubble bath, a few sweet treats…anything that feels like a treat is bound to cheer you up at least a little bit no matter how horrible you’re feeling.
– Tiger Lily –