Self-Care in the Fall When You’re Sick

Ah, fall. Fall is a time of change. A time of rebirth. A time of cooler weather, cozy sweaters, hygge, self-care, and enjoying your space anew.

It is also the prime time to get sick.

If you are like me and manage to catch at least a cold every year, then you and I can commiserate together. There are a few different self-care strategies that I use to keep myself functioning throughout this time of the year so that I can actually enjoy myself and my favorite holiday! (Yes, it’s Christmas. More on that later.)

Know Your Body

For one, I try to be mindful of the signs that indicate I’m getting sick. It’s become fairly routine for me that when I am starting to come down with something, it revolves around one thing: I don’t want coffee. It’s hilarious when I describe it to people, but it’s true! I’m practically Loralei Gilmore when it comes to drinking coffee, and when I’m feeling under the weather, my body doesn’t crave it. My body wants tea. It wants soup. It wants me to close my eyes and curl under a blanket. Then the other symptoms start: aches, pains, the whole enchilada. Because of that connection to my body and knowing what to watch out for, I can either mitigate the damage (preventing the so-called inevitable) or plan for when it really hits (resigning myself to treating the symptoms).

self-care "sick day" foods


Think about a “Sick Day” Kit

Something that I try to keep on hand can be loosely defined as a survival kit for sick days. It’s not in any packaging, but there are a few key items that I have on hand, even when I’m feeling fine.

Tea: Clear fluids are the best way to go, and my body craves tea when I’m sick. I keep a few different kinds on hand, but a favorite when I’m sick is Earl Grey. Fluids are incredibly important to your body at any time (drink as much water as you need daily, babes), but they’re especially necessary when you get sick. They help keep you hydrated and basically cycle things through so that you get better, faster.

Food: Again, you want to keep your body hydrated, so I suggest soup as the main component here, but also incorporate some things that you know work for you. One of my sick day foods? Toast.

Meds: Don’t forget to pick your aid, the Healer of your self-care methodology. (Yes, this turned into a D&D analogy. Work with me.) It can be botanical or chemical. Whether you prefer Theraflu or echinacea, there are a multitude of (legal, safe) substances that are there to aid you in feeling your best.

Take Your Sick Days

Here’s another thing: if your employer has allotted you sick days, use them. (And yes, that includes mental health days.) You want to be in peak condition so that you can do your best work, and so does your employer. That’s why you have them. Take the day (or two) for self-care. I do my best to rest, relax, sleep, drink lots of fluids – see above – and generally focus on getting better. Your coworkers and supervisors will thank you later. You’ll want to make sure that your bases are covered – reschedule meetings, make sure someone can cover your duties, etc. – but you should not feel guilty about taking that time.

photo by matthew henry on unsplash.
I feel you, my dude.

Move Around

One last thing in my arsenal: movement. I do my best to move daily (or every other day; #realtalk) and when I’m sick I still try to go through the motions as best as my body will let me. This usually involves lots of yoga, as my sick butt doesn’t like to do crunches on a normal day, let alone a sick day. However, if you’re feeling up to it, then go for a walk. Get some fresh air!

What about you, my dears? What self-care methods are you using this fall? Let me know below so that I can steal ideas from you! 😉 Take care of yourselves. Xx

Note that I am not a medical professional and my advice should not be taken as such. I am only speaking from my experience. Please seek professional medical help if you need it.



  1. Well, it’s spring where I am, and I’ve made it through the winter without any sickness, yay! My secret weapons are probiotics on a regular basis, and when I feel that I may be coming down with something, some zingy tea: rooibos tea bag, some fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp turmeric, a twist of black pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and a thick slice of lemon – add boiling water and let it stand for a few minutes to brew and cool a little – then add 1 Tbsp local raw honey and sip away. It tastes lovely to me (albeit quite spicy) and has lots of good-for-you stuff in it, like anti-inflammatory turmeric, antioxidant rooibos tea, vitamin C rich lemon and sinus-clearing cayenne.

    I agree with you about getting some rest. I work for myself so I can be my worst enemy when it comes to sick days. I tend to work until I fall down and then be surprised. I will be sure to remind myself of your advice next time I feel a lurgy coming on, and take a sick day.

    1. wow, that does sound like a very spicy tea!

      I have never tried rooibos before, but I see the name popping up everywhere I turn (it was even on a color trend board I looked at earlier this week).

      I think it’s time I give it a try!

      Thanks for the tip!

    2. Yay for not getting sick! It’s the little things, Tracy. I may have to try that mixture! Thanks for sharing. It is definitely a journey to try to find the balance you need. Experiment with it a little!

  2. I really like the idea of a sick kit! Hadn’t thought of it this way but I’m definitely going to check to make sure I have everything I need! My main food when sick is chicken soup. I know, we’ve all heard it before but it does work! I also drink a ton of tea (echinacea) 😉

    I agree with moving around and trying to push through. I guess sometimes it depends on how sick I am, if it’s a cold I definitely try to “move” it out. If it’s a stomach thing then I’m staying bed haha! Sometimes we need a little self-care 🙂

    1. I totally agree with you, Tiffany! Definitely depends on the sickness. I like echinacea mixed into things, but I can’t get behind the flavor on its own. Do you drink it as a solitary flavor, or is it mixed?

  3. Great tips. Knowing your body is super important so that you are aware when it is communicating with you. All too often it isn’t until I’m already in full-on “body chills mode” that I finally realize that I’ve been trudging along with aches for days but have been too concerned with deadlines to take notice.

    Chamomile and Earl Grey are my favorite teas. I will try to indulge myself with them more this fall and get out of my coffee routine.

    1. I am so with you there, Kya – it was like that for a long time for me too! It definitely takes some introspection to get in tune with what your body needs. Sometimes it’s an “a-ha!” moment, and sometimes it’s a quiet, “oh”.

      Earl Grey is one of my favorites, too! Something about that bergamot, I think. 😉

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