Catch a bug and feeling derailed? Need help recovering from being sick? Welcome to the club no one wants to belong to! In this post I’ll discuss what to do if you get derailed from your plans when you get sick a time or three in a row and how not to beat yourself up over it.
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I don’t know about you, but I really dislike being sick for a long period of time. Maybe it’s because I already at times have a limited supply of energy and fatigue here and there. Maybe it’s because I have lots of plans and goals for myself and I enjoy hitting my targets. And maybe it’s because getting sick once isn’t a huge deal, but a continual barrage of “germ-spray” is finally getting on my nerves since I’ve had one thing and then another over the last several weeks.
What’s the best way to handle this barrage on your wellness, energy and time? Is it possible to enjoy recovering from being sick? Let’s dig in and dish on how to recover from perpetual recovering! Oh, and Happy New Year, friends!
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Why Being Sick Over and Over is Exhausting
Look, I don’t have to tell you why being sick over and on repeat is exhausting and hopefully you seek proper medical attention if you are truly sick and not recovering. But I just want to step along side you and let you know I know how frustrating it can be to lose your ground to feeling cruddy.
You’re not alone if you’ve felt tired, crummy, deprived, frustrated, a bit off, out of control and missing out. Being unwell for periods of time can tax even the most serene and patient of us.
- Maybe you missed a gathering
- Couldn’t celebrate in a way you were looking forward to
- Had to be satisfied with something simpler
- Had to rely upon someone else and felt bad about that
- Didn’t have what you needed
- Couldn’t get out to get what you needed
- Maybe the illness set you back financially
- Maybe the illness hindered your productivity
- Maybe your life has slowed down a bit because of how tired you now feel even several days or a week(s) after your illness or because you caught something again (or again)
Whatever it is, I just want to acknowledge that it can really stink. No one wants to go out of their way to complain to others over and over again about how bad they feel again, either. When we start keeping it to ourselves, it can feel lonely or just tiring.
I don’t know about you, but a majority of the cleaning stops in our household when I or my hubby isn’t feeling well. Then we get to look forward to lots of laundry and chores that were minimal but are now more to do. Yay!
Even if you are starting to take better care of your eating, sleeping, stress and wellness habits and are on the right track, none of us are immune to crud.
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15 Ways to Get Energy Back After Sickness
Have you ever asked yourself “why am I so weak after being sick?” or “why do I have no energy after being sick?” Most of us notice that we feel tired or fatigued for at least several days after having a cold or flu or whatever. It may feel impossible to know how to regain energy after flu when we’re in the thick of it. We may also want to know the answer to what should I eat to get strength back after an illness?
Most of us just want to know how to recover from being sick fast because we have lives to lead.
Here’s my purely informational list of things to do to help you feel better fast:
- Rest – The first thing most people need when they are recovering from being sick is rest and LOTS of it. Now, this varies person to person and situation to situation, but changes are if you’ve been down and out for a bit, this is a no brainer. You will have so much fatigue that you’ll almost have to nap after trying to pretend you’re feeling better.
- Hydrate – The second most important thing is to get plenty of water and other liquids. While hydration is important all of the time, it’s even more important when it’s cold out, when you are around forced heat and during and after illness. Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, hot coco, power drinks, etc. to help your body move out the bad stuff. I never drink Gatorade except for when I’m sick and I’m glad that I have it on hand.
- Comfort foods – There are a few foods I’ll shy away from when I’m sick, and those include dairy, sugar and gluten because for me they make me feel worse. But, sometimes you might really want one of those groups because they are comforting. For me, I ate a ton of chocolate when I was recovering. Chicken and rice soup was my go to as well. For some reason, after I had the flu all I wanted was beans and rice and it really hit the spot. I always love to investigate foods to give you energy after being sick.
- Meditate – When you’re really sick or recovering, sometimes you won’t have the energy to read, listen or think too much. Even lights might be too much if you’re light-sensitive. Instead, you can simply rest or meditate. I enjoy a good Bible meditation or listening to ocean waves on YouTube.
- Compassionate Reading – Read something that makes you feel comforted.
- Reduce Sensory Inputs – This goes along with #4. Put down the phone if you’re really out of sorts.
- Speak with a compassionate loved one – Just letting someone know you aren’t feeling well can be a relief.
- Recalibrate your own goals to adjust for your needs right now – It can be frustrating to watch time go by when you’re not feeling well, especially when you had plans for that time. But it might be out of your control. If you lost time, accept it and make a new time to begin again. There is for everything a season.
- Set boundaries – This accompanies #8 and is very important. If you don’t set agendas for your time, trust me, someone else will come along and want you to help them with their agenda. Learn to set boundaries for your time especially when you are overwhelmed with your own life. No is a sentence.
- Reduce obligations – If you have a lot on your plate stressing you out, now is the time to step back and see what you can reduce. It’s not forever, just to help you get through this season. If you cannot take something off, see if you can get more time or help from someone else.
- Go to bed earlier – Fall asleep binge watching Netflix or Prime? Catch the sleep where you can. Personally, nothing substitutes like my comfy cozy bed.
- Assess – Use this time to re-assess. There’s nothing quite like sickness to help us prioritize what is most important. Are you already doing what is important? Great! Are you secretly enjoying this unstructured time to do whatever you want? Interesting – is there a way to do more of that when you’re feeling better, too?
- Let Yourself Go – Ok, ok, hear me out here. When was the last time you totally let go? If you’re anything like me, you probably always have a lot going on either professionally or in your personal life like family, hobbies, goals, etc. If you’re already a high achiever, use this time (unfortunately) to just let go and unwind. You’ll get going again when your energy returns.
- Focus on what you can do – Can you get up, get dressed and make breakfast for yourself whereas yesterday you stayed in bed all day with sickness? Maybe you got through your entire day without feeling the urge to nap. Maybe you got outside for a short walk and it felt amazing. Celebrate the baby steps towards feeling better.
- Tidy up – I know I’m on the mend when I get the urge to tidy up again. There’s something that’s helpful psychologically about a clean, tidy and neat space even if I’m still not 100%.
How to get energy back after being sick? Try these 15 things and see if you don’t begin feeling better soon thereafter.
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How Long Does it Take to Recover?
It’s complicated, right? In my experience, I can rebound more quickly from some ailments than others, but there are a lot of factors in play. The best thing you can do for yourself if to rest, stay hydrated and give yourself some time to heal. Pay attention if it seems like it’s taking longer than usual and seek the help of a trusted healthcare provider for any questions.
Should I Gargle with Salt Water?
Some of you may have heard about gargling with warm salt water as a diy home remedy to speed up recovery.
Pros of salt water gargle
- Can help kill bacteria
- Can sooth the throat
- Can help with excess mucus
Cons of salt water gargle
- Some people can’t stand the taste
- Others have a hard time with gargling
- May work slowly or may not work as desired
Other thoughts on salt water gargle
I have used a warm water gargle technique with salt and clove oil, and I found that it did alleviate some of my throat issues. It helped to bring mucus up and out (tmi alert) which really helped. Use your best judgement and seek proper medical advice.
I also recommend a saline salt water nasal spray for alleviation of nasal congestion.
If you’re feeling unwell or dealing with fatigue after the fact, please feel better and rest up as best you can! Hugs and rainbows your way 🙂