10 Things to Do After Getting the 24-hour Flu.

Via Jennifer S. White
on Mar 5, 2013
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Source: via Jil on Pinterest
Source: via Jil on Pinterest

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


About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She's also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.


8 Responses to “10 Things to Do After Getting the 24-hour Flu.”

  1. Rogelio Nunez says:

    you don't have to give up your yoga practice when sick, if you have a fever savasana is most helpful, w some restorative poses.
    otherwise Setubhandha sarvangasana ( bridge pose supported and halasana supported held for 5 or more minutes) can cut a colds grip on you….Sirsasana can help to decongest stuffy head, followed by some version of supported salamba sarvangasana. viparita karani version…is great. proper poses sequenced correctly can up your immune system and recharge your energy stores…

  2. Jennifer White says:


    Read my article link here. I agree with you. However, I'm talking specifically about noroviruses, which actually aren't even related to the flu (http://healthvermont.gov/prevent/norovirus.aspx). This 24-hour "stomach" flu (see title) is so violent there's no way you're doing much of anything. Your suggestions definitely match my thinking for other illnesses, though. (see previous link)

  3. Jennifer White says:

    and it's short lived—which is why I spoke to the day after, rather than the longer time period pertaining to colds,like you suggest.

  4. Amanda says:

    You know I haven't been sick for years, even living in a four season climate and a place in the winter that gets cold and windy as anything. I put it down to having a few cups of hot ginger tea first thing in the morning. What I do is grate about eight inches of a ginger root up (yes, that much) put it into a coffee plunger and pour the boiling water over it. I'm totally addicted to it. It's incredibly hot but fabulous – and as I said I haven't had even a cold for years.

  5. Jennifer White says:

    I hear you, and I appreciate this recipe. For me, I also am generally never ever—ever—sick, but I have some things surrounding my situation that are outside of my realm of control and really lower my immune system functioning. Thanks for sharing though!

  6. Keith says:

    Glad you mentioned the norovirus …. you know, but others might not… you are talking about stomach flu – gastroenteritis or similar, maybe food poisoning. These afflictions have nothing to do with influenza (flu), but are debilitating as well. Crackers, ginger ale, and easy-to-digest comfort foods are what we might need.

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