I’ve been sick more this year than I’ve ever been in my life.
I’ve been blessed with the 24-hour flu twice in the last couple months. I won’t get into my own personal reasons for being illness-prone (sleep deprivation, daughter’s first year in school—okay, maybe I will mention it); anyways, you want to know what to do the day after.
You know, the one where you still feel run over, but, comparatively, you feel like a professional athlete with the night before.
I’m not a physician, and I have no upcoming plans to become one, so as always see your doctor for any necessary medical consultations. Having said that, here’s a list of things to do (and not do) coming from a recent pro, yours truly.
1. Ask for help. This morning I asked my husband to take our little girl to school for me; something that I always do. Ask for help when you need it, and this “morning after” likely counts.
2. Rest. Today is not the day to run a marathon or push your limits at the yoga studio. If you spent your night vomiting or having a visit with that oddly impolite Southern cousin, then you’re probably dehydrated today (among other reasons to take a rest). Your body went through a lot—be respectful of that.
3. Hydrate. You also probably awoke with a killer headache. (Again, you can thank your dehydration.) Hydrate with water (or electrolyte-filled fluids) before you pop pills and chug coffee to relieve your head woes.
4. Stay in. Stay away from others for at least 24 hours after your fever ended, if this was another symptom you experienced.
5. Contact people you were with. This is just being courteous, but it’s nice to notify people you spent time with prior to being sick that you got ill. Incubation periods for viruses vary, and there’s nothing you can do now, but it’s still nice to let those you spent yesterday with know that you spent that night hugging the toilet. Make sure, however, to be positive and not give gory details. You hopefully do want your friends and co-workers to stay healthy, so send positive energy and health their way along with your information.
6. Wash up. Make sure to wash your bedding and clothing. (Another note: I generally wash my things in cold water, but use hot for instances like this.) It’s also nice to clean or change toothbrushes.
7. Eat lightly. I know that food sounds gross right now (trust me), but you do need to give your body energy to recover with. On the other hand, if you have plans to tour Little Italy, it’s a good idea to say “Arrivederci” and stay home. Eat things like dry or lightly buttered toast, crackers and soup broth, rather than foods like spaghetti bolognese.
8. Prevent. Prevent another illness in you (I know, I’m one to talk, aren’t I) and in others by disinfecting your bathroom and other areas of your house. Hand-washing, especially before eating and touching your eyes and nose, is also another great habit to get into.
9. Give yourself a break. If you’re like me, and you clock weekly hours on your yoga mat; you eat well; you get as much sleep as possible despite having a sleep-loathing toddler; and you practice good hygiene, then it’s easy to beat yourself up when you do get sick. Yes, if you’re getting sick a lot (ahem) then do look into the reasons why, but also make sure to have love and compassion for yourself, your body and your situation. Sometimes we get sick, period.
10. Nap. I know that I already suggested “rest,” but this is slightly different. I use “rest” to remind you not to over do it. Naps, though, are really great ways to get your energy and strength back. Personally, I don’t have a lot of time to nap, but every little bit helps. Additionally, napping can help relieve your headache symptoms if sipping liquids didn’t work.
I’m sending you positive vibes that you might not need to use this article’s suggestions. I wish for you health, wellness and a flu-free rest of this season. Still, if, like me, you find yourself battling illness despite your good intentions and habits, then use these tips during your recovery.
Now for a nap.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise