How to Beat the Sickness Blues

Three Methods:Distracting YourselfPampering YourselfNurturing Yourself

Being ill is never fun. However, if you notice yourself feeling a little sad about your illness, you definitely aren’t imagining it. Many symptoms caused by illness closely mirror depressive symptoms, so it’s no wonder you’re feeling a little blue.[1] Being stuck at home on a sick day can also make you feel very restless and completely bored – two feelings that don’t exactly promote happiness. Luckily, there are many solutions to these problems, so don’t let your sickness get you down!

Method 1
Distracting Yourself

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    Have a movie marathon. Being sick can have its perks, and the best one is the opportunity to genuinely veg out with absolutely zero guilt. Seize this moment! Watch all of the movies you’ve been meaning to watch but just haven’t had the time – in a row. Or try choosing a theme that will keep your mind elsewhere.
    • For example, you could watch all of your favorite Disney films, revisit your guilty pleasures, or just get totally random with your Netflix account. Your imagination is the limit!
    • Make yourself some popcorn to go along with your movie marathon. Treat your marathon with the seriousness and respect it deserves! And movies deserve popcorn.
    • Stay in your pajamas all day. A movie marathon requires no dress code.
    • Get silly. Build yourself a “fort” with your blankets and pillows, just like you did during your childhood movie marathons. Why not? No one’s looking!
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    Play games. Being physically ill doesn’t always mean feeling mentally clouded and that’s when the boredom tends to hit. Games of all kinds are a great distraction for your mind. Even better, research has found that the enjoyment and positive feelings that come from playing games actually boosts your immune system and lowers stress levels.[2]
    • Pull out one of your favorite video games and save a princess or two.
    • Give your brain a good workout with crossword puzzles or sudoku.
    • Get online and have a Scrabble battle with a complete stranger. Whatever your favorites types of games are, play them!
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    Listen to your favorite music in bed. Research has proven that music has the power to uplift your mood, reduce sensations of pain, and foster relaxation by promoting calmness.[3] Plus, how often do you get the chance to put your favorite music on and listen to it with no distractions? Not that often, probably.
    • Revisit some of your favorite tunes and make yourself the ultimate sick day playlist.
    • Daydream and ruminate on happy memories while you listen to music. Let your mind drift off and soak up the healing music vibes.
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    Curl up in bed and read an entire book. For many people, there is nothing more soothing than reading an awesome book. You’ve got all day, so read it cover to cover! Pull a paperback from your own library, reread an old favorite, or Google a few book lists for good suggestions.
    • If you don't particularly like to read or if you're not feeling well enough to concentrate on a book, try an audiobook instead. Audiobooks are a great solution when you want a story without the actual book.
    • If you aren’t in the mood for a story, get absorbed in an excellent TED talk or track down a podcast on a topic that you’re interested in.
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    Make yourself laugh. Laughter is a great way to get your mind off of being sick. It also has healing properties of its own. Research shows that laughter releases chemicals in your brain that boost your body’s immune system, improve blood circulation and lower stress.[4]
    • Check out your favorite comedian’s stand-up act online or hop on Youtube and look up funny videos. If you aren’t sure where to start, use search terms like “funny animal tricks” or “hilarious home videos” and you’ll find yourself in hysterics pretty quickly. Thanks, internet!
    • Think about your favorite jokes – and then think up some new ones!
    • Call up your funniest friend and have a chat. This will cheer you up and give you an opportunity to try out a few of those new jokes you've been working on.

Method 2
Pampering Yourself

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    Take a long bubble bath. Bring in a cup of your favorite tea and a book and kick back in those luxurious bubbles until you’re a certified prune. Keep the lavishness going by lighting a few candles and having big fluffy towels and a cozy robe ready for you when you step out of the tub.
    • The steam from a hot bath will open up your sinuses and act as a chest decongestant, so your extravagant tub time is therapeutic along with being a great pampering experience.
    • Add a cup of Epsom salt and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your bath for even more restorative effects. The Epsom salt will ease muscle pains and aches while the eucalyptus oil aids in decongestion.[5]
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    Treat yourself to a foot massage. Your feet are one of the easiest parts of your body to massage, yet they always seem to get the least amount of attention. Because of this, a simple foot massage can feel ultra pampering.
    • Start by soaking your feet in a warm bowl of water. Focus on indulging the soles of your feet with a deep massage using a circular motion with your thumbs.
    • Don’t forget your toes! Flex them back and forth and give each digit a little massage.[6]
    • Add Epsom salt to the warm water in your bowl to soothe aching feet. Sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil in the water for additional relaxation and pampering.
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    Give yourself a small budget and enjoy some quality e-commerce time. There’s no need to go crazy and spend a ton of money, but set yourself a spending limit and indulge in a little retail therapy – without having to leave the comfort of your bed!
    • Browse Etsy, load up on books from Amazon, jump into a bidding war on eBay, or finally order that awesome jacket you’ve been eyeing for months. Give yourself a treat. You deserve it.
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    Take a break from social media. It’s easy to find yourself refreshing your Facebook page every 3 minutes when you’re bored and sick at home, but the best thing for you to do is disconnect from it completely. Focus on yourself instead.
    • Yes, social media interaction can be fun sometimes, but it’s also often filled with stressful news events and other kinds of negativity. You deserve a day just for you.

Method 3
Nurturing Yourself

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    Eat well. Aim for antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, beans, apples, avocados, almonds, oranges, and pears.[7] The antioxidants protect your body’s tissues against the stress and inflammation caused by illness while boosting your immune system. Try to eat foods containing omega-3s (such as salmon), which stimulate blood flow and also boost immune function.[8]
    • Add a little onion and garlic to your meals. Garlic is known to have anti-viral, antibiotic, and antiseptic properties, and onion can soothe congestion and other respiratory issues.
    • Avoid foods high in sugar and fat. Sugar can suppress your immune system and fat is harder for your body to digest when sick.[9]
    • You need more calories than usual when you're sick because your body is working hard to heal itself, so don't be afraid to indulge moderately in comfort foods. Keep your portions reasonably sized and avoid overindulging in any one food.
    • Opt for healthy versions of your comfort foods - if your comfort food is ice cream, for example, go for a low fat ice cream or sherbet.[10]
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    Drink plenty of water. Staying well-hydrated benefits your respiratory system and helps your immune system work optimally.[11] Keep a glass or bottle of water near you at all times and try to drink as much as you possibly can.
    • Add some lemon to your water for a tasty boost of vitamin C. Lemon also supports your immune system.[12]
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    Sip herbal tea. Herbal tea will help keep you hydrated while offering many additional health benefits. For example, drinking ginger tea can help with fever reduction and stimulates your circulatory system. Ginger also has a soothing effect on coughing and other respiratory issues.[13]
    • Chamomile tea will soothe you and help you get to sleep more easily. Elderberry tea can lower a fever and has blood purification properties.[14]
    • Add a little raw honey to your cup of herbal tea for additional benefits. Honey can soothe a sore throat and has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.
    • Add a slice of lemon for a vitamin c boost. Lemon can also help reduce phlegm.[15]
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    Do some gentle stretching. Gentle stretches will help ease aching muscles and get you moving around a bit. This will increase your blood circulation. If you feel up to it, try some simple yoga poses along with your stretching.
    • If the stretching hurts or makes you feel worse in any way, stop immediately.
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    Get plenty of sleep. Our bodies recover from illnesses during sleep. Getting plenty of it keeps your immune system functioning at an optimum level. Get at least seven to eight hours of rest every night for a faster recovery.[16]
    • Take plenty of naps throughout the day, along with getting a full night’s sleep.
    • If you find that you are unable to sleep or just not sleepy, at least lay down and relax.

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Categories: Health | Conditions and Treatments