You know when you feel sick but you’re not quite sick enough to say you’re sick? You want to feel better but cold and flu tablets seem a bit intense and you don’t want to go to the doctor because you’re not THAT sick… you just feel a bit off.
A few weeks ago, I felt just like that. I wasn’t sick… but I wasn’t well either. I felt tired, weak and a little shaky. I wasn’t sick enough to drown myself in Sudafed and cuddle under a blanket but it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed and tap out a few half-hearted articles, unpack the dishwasher and sigh a lot. I just wasn’t well. It seems that plenty of people are feeling this way at the moment so I thought I’d put together some tips for feeling better when you’re not really sick.
How to feel better when you’re not really sick…
Whenever you need to. After work, after dinner, at lunchtime. The only time your body can recover from illness is during rest. If you don’t stop moving you will drastically increase the time that you feel unwell. Take yourself off to bed as soon as humanly possible tonight. If you struggle with sleeping, an eye mask and a wake-up light will change your life. You can read more about those here.
I’m what you would loosely call a health nut. Not a fifth strain vegetarian who eats nothing that casts a shadow but a dairy/gluten/sugar/carb/salt avoider. When I’m not feeling well, I eat anything that will make me feel better. Which often means salty crackers, miso soup, lemon gelato, bowls of rice or oven fries with tomato sauce. Ignore the fact that you usually don’t eat starches after 5pm and down that bowl of creamy pumpkin soup. Fruit juice is also amazing when you’re unwell so get the calories and start drinkin’! Give yourself a few days to eat whatever is nourishing you. Your body is pretty smart and knows what it wants so listen to it when you want to feel better than you’re feeling.
The world will not implode if you don’t pay your phone bill on the day it arrives or if you start your assignment a little later than you planned. If you have a willing mother/father/boyfriend/girlfriend/housemate then let them take care of you. Be a little sooky. If you live alone, tuck yourself up on the couch with snacks, drinks and the remote. Stay there. For a really long time. Then go straight to bed. Say no to all social occasions and just hibernate for a while.
As many vitamins as you can. Eat a spinach omelette, make beetroot and carrot juice, have some steamed broccoli and eat a fruit salad. I can also highly recommend probiotics and armaforce as excellent supplements when you’re feeling a bit off.
Take a day off
You don’t have to be on your death-bed to use your sick leave, just don’t make a habit of it. When I was in high school my mother would let me take the occasional ‘mental health day’ where I wasn’t actually sick, I just needed some time off. These days are important, so take the occasional not-entirely-sick sick day. Even if you just go home early so you can spend the afternoon drinking tea and watching Netflix. Preventative time off is really important so if you feel yourself sliding into a full-on episode of sickness, take a day off. It may well mean you end up taking less time off when you’re actually sick.
Skip the gym
Body Combat and Spin will be your worst enemies if you’re low on energy and feeling flat. Try yoga, walking or a gentle bike ride. Intense physical exertion will only make you feel worse. You’ll be back at the punching bag in no time if you rest properly. I REALLY struggle with this because I like to work out hard but it’s really the only way to get your body to rest properly. I do F45 classes and if I’ve been sick, I tend to go to classes and just do the strength parts of the class. So instead of jump squats, I’ll just do gentle squats. It’s all about easing yourself back into the swing of things.
It’s easy to get into a permanent state of blah when you’re feeling ordinary. Hang out with a fun friend, watch a movie that guarantees giggles or call someone who always makes you feel good. If your brain is feeling fab, your body will soon follow.
Extra reading for the keen beans out there…