How I cope with being Ill

I’ll give it away in the first sentence, I don’t.

I’ve been ill the past week and it means that I have to take time off work which is something I hate doing. I hate the feeling of letting people down. I hate thinking that they think that I’m missing work on purpose.

I had a cough that started last Sunday and by Wednesday my throat hurt all the time especially when I swallowed. By Thursday I felt so ill I was sent home from work.

I hadn’t been sleeping well because my throat hurt at night and I was coughing whenever I was awake. Being tired makes my mental health a lot worse, so not only was I run down because I was feeling so poorly, I was also feeling worried and stressed because I was missing work. I knew that I wouldn’t be very good while at work, but my mind was telling me that the people I work with were moaning about me not being in work and not believing how poorly I was. Which was stupid because they had sent me home so they knew I wasn’t well, but you’re mind plays horrible tricks on you when your run down and worried.

I thought I’d share with you some tips and tricks to try and make yourself feel better when you feel like crap.

1. Get into bed with a hot water bottle

This is the first thing I will do when I’m ill. I put on my pyjamas, if I’m not already in them, take whatever tablets I need to, make a hot water bottle and get into bed. You don’t have to sleep, just knowing that you are warm and cosy is sometimes enough to make you feel a little bit better. Your body is also working over time trying to kill the bad bacteria making you ill, so if you do get tired, you’re in the perfect place to fall asleep if you need to.

2. Listen to a podcast

Listening to a podcast takes little to know effort. I love chatty podcasts, so I feel like they are having a conversation that I am included in even if I don’t have anything to say about it. My current favourites are Wonder Women with Carrie Hope Fletcher and Celinde Schoenmaker, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd and Harry Potter and the Sacred Text with Casper Ter Kuile, Vanessa Zoltan and Ariana Nedelman

3. Catch up on your reading

If you’re feeling up to it, reading a book can help with keeping your mind busy while you’re resting. If your mind wanders and worries, like mine, this can be very helpful as it gives a little escape for a while. I have a selection of books that I use for when I’m not feeling my best, they don’t need all my concentration, but they have enough of a story to keep my focus.

4. Watch something on the TV

Again, nothing to strenuous. Just something to fill the background that if you do fall asleep, you’re not too bothered if you’ve missed something. I usually put on a few episodes of Friends or Charmed, something I’ve seen so many times that I know what happens if I do fall asleep.

5. Have a cuppa tea

This might be the Britishness in me, but I think a cup of tea makes everything better. The process of making tea is quite therapeutic to me, especially in a teapot. Tea is better than anything else for me when I have a sore throat. I also don’t think there is anything better than curling up in bed with a good cup of tea.

So there is my five tips and tricks to surviving a week off work when you’re ill. What do you do to combat the negative thoughts of being ill? Leave a comment below and let me know.


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