Life sucks when you're ill. It's even worse if you normally suffer with a chronic illness or disability. A very kind stranger has shared their germs with me and the best way to describe how I'm feeling is ughy! (That's a technical term, by the way).
It doesn't seem to matter what time of year it is, people are always getting sick and no matter how hard you try to avoid the germs, even if you're housebound, you still manage to catch them.
I want to share with you my top tips on what to do when you're ill and how you can feel better as fast as possible.
1. Listen to your body - that means REST if you need to. Take things slower, gently and don't try to push yourself because you should. It sounds simple; but do you find yourself trying to keep everyone happy, making yourself do things when you're feeling dreadful? Saying no or taking a day off will speed up your recovery time.
2. Eat what you can, not what you should - I know, I know, it's important to get lots of vitamin C and healthy food when you're ill; but sometimes it's more important to eat something, anything, when you're ill. Having had severe swallowing problems and nausea as a result of my ME/CFS I've learnt that you have to eat what you fancy and trust it's what your body wants.
If all you can face is chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal then do it. Don't worry if it's not typically "healthy" food, it's more important to keep eating when you can.
3. Nap. Whenever you need to! If you need to sleep during the day, do it! If your body is tired, trust it and curl up on the sofa or go to bed. You'll feel better afterwards.
4. But what if I can't sleep at night? This can be because you're coughing or feeling too ill to lie down, the best thing I find is to prop myself up in bed with lots of pillows and/or a bean bag.
Don't just lie there feeling ill, keep resting, closing your eyes to see if you can sleep and then do something for 20 - 30 minutes, before trying to sleep again. It's so much easier than lying there wide awake trying to force your body to sleep.
Make sure you have everything you need at hand to keep you entertained...
5. Have fun! This can seem impossible when you're feeling so ill; but the best way to get through any illness is to distract yourself with fun things to do. It takes your mind off your symptoms and helps you to relax, both of which are going to make you feel better faster.
Find your favourite film or book, listen to some music or watch some classic comedy on TV - you can never go wrong with Friends. Or check out Live in Love in Laugh in which I promise will give you lots of fun things to do and will take your mind off life right now.
Fill your time with things you don't normally get to do, so at least something good can come from being ill. If you're having fun then everything starts to feel better. I hope you'll be feeling better soon too!
What are YOUR best tips for feeling better fast? Share in the comments below.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about people who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.
9/5/2013 08:01:02 am
Lovely article full of useful tips and reminders. Thank you.
10/5/2013 08:28:21 pm
Feeling ill does stink! LOL! Thanks for some great tips on getting through it..with a smile! Hugs, Claire!
13/5/2013 10:46:48 am
These tips are all essential to getting through feeling ill. Absolutely. There's one more that works well for me - I send butterflies. When I send butterflies to someone who needs them, I get a little lift, too. Never fails to help me feel just a little better. Hugs and butterflies, ~Teresa~
13/5/2013 12:36:54 pm
Thanks for the great tips. I had the flu in January and it wiped me out like never before, more so because I also had to take care of my daughter who was also sick. I find that rest is the best medicine.
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I'm an author, disability activist, winner of the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition and The EABA for Fiction 2020 and co-founder of Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses (ADCI).
The Choice is available from:
Title: The Choice
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