Try as we might to stay healthy, getting sick is something we all have to deal with at some point. If you find yourself under the weather, taking a sick day (or two) is one of the best ways to feel better faster and prevent spreading an infectious illness to others.
So what are some things you can do to help make staying home sick a little more bearable? We’ve collected a few tips for making the most of your day at home, even if you are not feeling your best.
Perfect the art of doing nothing
In today’s busy world, some of us may have the impulse to check a few things off our to-do list while taking a day off from our work or other personal responsibilities. However, the best way to get better is to focus on doing nothing at all. Here are some tips to help you do, well, nothing at all:
- Take a break from your phone and computer. This can help manage stress levels and prevent the temptation to read the news or respond to work emails or calls.
- Put away the to-do list. Non-urgent tasks like cleaning the house, doing the laundry or working in the yard, garden or garage can wait while you get much needed rest.
- Ask for help from friends, neighbors or family. Sometimes, there are tasks that can’t wait. For urgent or necessary things like picking up a prescription, walking the dog or getting the kids from school, ask for help. For an extra special touch, send your helper a hand-written thank you card once you’re feeling better and promise to return the favor.
Keep your energy up with healthy meals and hydration
Another way to get better faster is to ensure that your body is getting all the right nutrients and fluid it needs. Here are some tips to make it easier for you to eat healthy and stay hydrated while sick:
- Maintain your fluid intake. About 20% of fluid intake comes from foods. It is also a good idea to consume beverages throughout the day, with each meal, between meals and whenever you feel thirsty. A Teladoc dietitian can help determine the amount of water that’s right for you (based on age, gender, health status, etc.).
- Keep frozen popsicles or lemonade on hand for your sick days. The cool liquid will feel good if you’re feverish or have a sore throat, and the frozen treats can deliver some additional fluids.
- Prepare ahead. While you’re healthy, stock up on chicken broth, herbal teas and honey (only for those over 12 months old).
- Keep a few healthy frozen meals or leftovers in the freezer. This way, you can still eat well without having to cook a meal from scratch.
The next time you make a batch of soup or stew, double the recipe and freeze the extra for homemade soup that’s ready in minutes.
Indulge in some sick day self-care
Taking care of yourself can feel good even if you don’t. Try some of these restful activities:
- Take a bath or shower. The warm water will relax you, and the steam can soothe raw or congested nasal passages. Add Epsom salts to your bath to help relieve achy muscles.
- Catch up on your favorite shows, or put on your favorite movie. Or try a podcast instead so you can listen with your eyes closed.
- Sleep. Your body needs extra sleep while you’re sick, so nap as much as you want. Keep your room cool and dark to help you rest, or wear an eye mask to block out light.
See a doctor
If you’re sick, seeing a doctor can help you feel better faster. Here are different care options for when you’re feeling under the weather:
- Request a telehealth visit for:
- Go to urgent care for:
- Minor cuts
- Go to the emergency room for:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Broken bones
With Teladoc, you have 24/7 access to doctors right from the comfort of your living room, so you can see a doctor without ever leaving the house.
Did you know sleep can affect our health and our body’s ability to fight off sickness? If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, follow these 7 tips to get the best sleep of your life.
Updated July 28, 2022