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How to Conquer Your Sick Day

Today I am blogging from home. In fact I’m writing this from my bed where I’ve been taken hostage by the dreaded summer cold. It crept up in the corners of the humidity of our cottage and then tip toes closer to me during a few sleepless nights with my toddler. Add a few crazy workouts to a body whose immunity was already low and voila….. here I lie.

In general I am not a sick person. I spent the bulk of my career working in a university clinic. If we are looking at germs per square foot, I like to compare that space, primarily visited by sweaty, hormonal late teens and twenties to the hygiene equivalent of a day care center whose patrons don’t know how to toilet themselves. My immunity is pretty strong. On top of that I am a sanitizing and hand-washing freak. That being the case, healthcare practitioners are not immune.

Some people love sick days. They are an excuse to relax and binge on Netflix. I on the other hand hate them. I have an unrealistic sense of guilt that I am letting my patients down (even though my very wise husband always points out I would be letting them down far more by getting them sick). As a small business owner it is frustrating to lie in bed when I think I could be more productive (said the woman a bit wonky on cold medication). Either way, my preference is to be well and to get back to what I love doing, helping other people stay well.

Since being out of commission for more than a day or two is not really an option for me, here are some of the things I do to make my sick days worthwhile.

Rest

This one is counterintuitive for me and I do not do it well. I do however realize that sickness is my body’s cry to slow down and restore itself. For that reason I do try to sleep (or binge watch Netflix…I’m only human). I don’t workout at the height of illness and I try to put work aside. Writing a blog isn’t really working is it?

Hydrate

Hydration is a great way to flush toxins and illness from my system. I love hot lemon water to cleanse my digestive system and citrus fruits for their high vitamin C content. Whether I feel like it or not, I always keep a glass of water beside me and take small sips through the day. My favorite sick drink is hot water with lemon and orange slices, fresh ginger and organic honey. My Irish Nana would probably advocate adding a bit of rum to kill the bugs but only take her advice if you want to live to her ripe young age of 95.

Eat Clean

The body absolutely needs nutrients to heal. Often when you are curled on the couch, comfort foods come to mind but this is the exact time to eat lean and clean. I try to incorporate foods that have a high antioxidant level such as berries as well as foods that have anti-inflammatory benefits such as pineapple, green tea and ginger.

Soak

Aside from the fact it just feels great, an Epsom salt bath can help draw lactic acid from sore muscles and the heat can be therapeutic for stiff or achy joints. I also just find this a great quiet space to relax my brain and try to quiet my body, likely the two biggest culprits of my illness in the first place.

Reflect

Illness can be our bodies trying to give us a message. Perhaps we are pushing too hard, strayed away from a healthy balance or over indulged. Whatever the cause of the illness, it can serve as a gentle reminder to be good to yourself and make life changes that keep you on track.

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Only my dog is happy that I am home sick because it means she gets extra snuggles.

 

 

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