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).
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.
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.