Last week, my husband brought something unpleasant home from work with him. Though he recovered by Sunday afternoon, it clung to me like a bulldog, beginning with a painfully sore throat and ending with my being zombie-like for the entire week until today—though I’m still easily tired. It seems we’re not the only ones struggling with the cold-cough-whatever it is (we’re thankful it’s not the flu!), and I thought I’d offer advice as to how you can redeem the time.
1. Drink lots of tea. As in buckets of the stuff, loaded with honey and lemon. Bonus: By the end of your sick time, you’ll be a tea expert. You’ll also have an excuse to buy more tea (which, thanks to my recent discovery of Steepster, was made a little too easy). Bonus 2: Your skin will look fantastic, even in the dead of winter.
2. Get a lot of reading done. I’ve clocked through roughly 300 pages of Middlemarch and several vintage craft magazines (to say nothing of many blog posts) since Monday afternoon. That probably does not sound like much, but when you consider the time also spent sniffling, holding my aching head, napping, doing my best not to cough up both lungs, and all of the aforementioned tea-drinking, it’s not too shabby. (I worked, too, but my productivity—well, let’s just say it wasn’t exactly up to par despite a very game effort.)
3. Whip up some beef (or chicken) stock. Now, this is going to puzzle a few of you, but why not? Once everything’s in the stockpot, all you need to do is hang out in its general vicinity and let it bubble slowly away for a few hours. Once it cools, strain, skim, and pack into some canning jars and freeze. Bonus: Extra humidity. Which, believe me, if you get whatever this is, you will WANT.
4. Work on some embroidery. Or knitting, crochet, or other small, easily-held task. So long as it’s washable. That bit I doubt needs explaining…
5. Watch old movies, the funnier the better! You had to know this was on the list somewhere. I put a lot of stock in the old “laughter is the best medicine” proverb.
6. Go through all of those seed catalogs that began arriving directly after Christmas, allowing wonderfully impossible, overblown gardening planning for this summer to take over your mind. Might as well. You’re sick. Right? And no, this does not fit in with #2; seed catalog perusal involves not just reading, but letting one’s mind wander a great deal.
7. Listen to lectures. This actually didn’t work out so well what with all the coughing, but a valiant effort was made nonetheless. And making the effort helped me feel better. Sort of. (Hey, I learned a FEW things.)
8. Nap and cuddle with your pets. Everything is so go-go-go these days, but that won’t help you return to health anytime soon. Though it’s difficult to take time out—particularly for a Type A such as myself—it’s worthwhile to remember that a little rest now more likely than not means a quick recovery and return to normal days. Pushing ourselves while sick means running the risk of a longer or more severe illness. As someone with chronic health issues, I should of course know this, but it’s difficult to override that whole Type A personality even after all these years. Even I, though, am able to occasionally figure out that discretion is the better part of valour!
How about you? How do you like to pass the time while ill? It is something no one likes to think about, but something we all have to deal with now and then. I’d rather look at the pluses of a sickness than the minuses, don’t you agree?