A couple of weeks ago, I had to take a sick day due to a run-of-the-mill head cold.

Last week, my husband caught my bug which he let me know each time I brought him hot soup, liquids, aspirin, and fresh tissues. Ladies, you know what I mean!

This is the time of year when colds and flu run rampant. We all experience more stress around the holidays and usually not feeling well is the body’s way of saying, “Stop. I need to rest.”

You know that I believe our homes are a healing place—mentally, emotionally, and physically. So if you find yourself feeling “under the weather,” take a day, be kind to yourself and let your body heal. Give yourself the pampering you deserve.

I promise everything on your to-do list will get done, at least the most important ones. And the rest of the list? A month from now will you even remember? Most likely not.

Here a few suggestions:

1. Listen to music and interesting podcasts in bed. Sometimes reading and even sitting up to watch TV can feel like too much effort. Don’t fight it. Cue up your favorite podcasts or music, lie down and close your eyes. If you’ve been having trouble getting to sleep, perhaps the soothing sounds of an informative podcast will help you drift off … and if not, it’s still a lovely way to pass the time. Plus, you won’t get that zoned-out feeling that goes along with the typical sick-day TV marathon.
2. Make yourself a tray. Cookbook author Marion Cunningham once said about breakfast in bed, “I instantly forget that it was I who fixed the tray.” The same goes when you are sick — if you don’t have someone to fix the tray for you, make yourself a nice little platter of things to nibble and sip, a box of tissues and any remedies you are taking, and carry it back to bed with you. You will feel well cared for!
3. Read a whole book. Have a book you’ve been dying to read but haven’t gotten around to it? If you’re not too zoned out, now is your chance. Carry it everywhere on a sick day and you may even be able to finish it by nightfall. Want an extra excuse to pick up that guilty-pleasure thriller or romance novel? A page-turner will surely keep your mind off of how icky you feel.
4. Get cozy … but maybe skip the fire. A roaring fire might sound appealing when you need extra TLC, but if you have a cough, the smoke will only make things worse. Find other ways to get cozy and comfortable instead — like popping a cashmere sweater over your favorite pajamas and curling up in your most comfortable chair with a hot-water bottle, a hot drink and stacks of books and magazines.
5. Camp out in the tub. Adding a few drops of an essential oil like eucalyptus or peppermint to a hot bath can ease congestion. Bring in some tea to sip and a book to read, and stay in until you get all pruney. Be sure to have plenty of fluffy towels, fresh PJs and a cozy robe on hand for when you get out. And if the steam from the bath is making you feel better, consider forgoing the fan this time — no, it’s not great for your bathroom, but sick people are allowed some concessions.
6. Make lots of lists. Being sick takes us out of our usual daily routines, and if you’re not too groggy, this can be a good time to step back and think about what your goals and dreams are. If you find it difficult to write in a journal, I suggest making lists. Lists are easy. They roll right onto the paper with practically no effort. To get started, try listing things you want to accomplish in the next 12 months, things you would do if you didn’t have to worry about time or money, or things you want to change, upgrade or fix around the house.
7. Get some fresh air. Even if you feel awful, it can be good to get fresh air. Try wrapping up in a warm scarf and a cozy blanket, and sit outside for a few minutes. If you find the fresh air is making you feel better, you could even take a leisurely walk around the block. Live in a city apartment or just don’t feel up to going out? Just crack open a window for 10 minutes.
8. Nourish yourself. If you’re hungry, feed yourself well … even if that means you need to order in. Hot noodle soup in various incarnations is a classic cold remedy around the world; if you don’t feel up to making your own, order some from a local restaurant, then sit down to eat it from a real bowl at the table.
9. Clean up a little. Even if you’re really tired, try to take a few minutes to go around the house throwing away used tissues and collecting dirty dishes to soak in hot, soapy water. You can deal with the rest tomorrow, but having a head start will make it easier.

10. Sleep … or at least daydream. You’re home because you need to rest — so be sure to actually do it. Even if you don’t feel sleepy, simply lying down and closing your eyes will help your body recover. Let your mind wander. Daydream.
Photo credits: HOUZZ

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around


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