Being ill sucks. Big time.
And if waking up with a migraine, major cramps, or a serious case of the shivers wasn’t bad enough, you’re then faced with the question that haunts every self-respecting employee or student: should you suck it up, or take the day off?
I was faced with that exact decision this morning, and believe me, it’s not easy. All of a sudden, you’re forced to weigh up the pros and cons: quite a task when you feel like you’re on your death bed! You know you should go in – you’re already falling behind on your workload, after all. But could you even focus through this splitting headache? Probably not. But think about the people you’d be letting down! Then again, I’m sure they’d rather you kept your germs far, far away from them…
The arguments and counter arguments are like a Wimbledon final caught on a never-ending deuce. There comes a point when you’ve got to make that winning shot.
If it’s a day at home you’ve chosen, good for you! Now, what are you going to do with your day off?
If “go back to sleep” is on your agenda, think again. It can be difficult to figure out how to use a sick day effectively; the temptation to curl up under the covers and sink into a cosy dreamworld is oh so enticing. How do you get the motivation to make the most of your day?
Luckily for you, I have a few answers.
(I promise you, the urge to turn this into a cringe-worthy Dua Lipa parody was hard to resist.)
1. Get out of bed
That’s right, drag your lazy butt out of bed. Get up! I don’t care if your limbs aren’t functioning properly, or your head hurts to high heavens. The longer you stay in your room, the more you’re going to want to go back to sleep – and then what? Instead of wasting a day of your life, you might as well use your time off to get some outstanding work completed, or work on that novel you definitely want to get finished by Christmas. Heck, bring your duvet to the sofa and set up shop. Whatever you do, just don’t do it in your room.
2. Make a cuppa
Coffee. Tea. Hot chocolate. If you live anywhere near me, chances are it’s getting chilly. As long as you’re not going to throw it back up, why not start your day off with a hot drink to warm yourself up? Water is also a must when you’re sick, so make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day too.
3. Create something
I mean, when am I not going to advise someone to create? I’m an author. That being said, sitting down and writing, drawing, or doing anything creative is my favourite way to distract myself from how crap I feel. Whether you’re sick, sad, or just dwelling on how little you’ve achieved in life, putting pen or pencil to paper is great for leaving those feelings behind you – and you get actually something beautiful out of it. Try it, it really works!
~ Why else would I be writing this blog? ~
4. Listen to relaxing music
When you’re sick, you don’t want to be blasting Nickelback or jamming to club mixes all day long. Still, it’s nice to have some music playing in the background when you’re working from home, especially if you’re home alone. When I take a day off school, I tend to stretch out on the sofa and write with some acoustic pop songs or chilled out tunes in the background. This is especially useful, for example, when your neighbours are having an extension built and you CAN’T FOCUS WITH THEIR CONSTANT DRILLING AT STUPID O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING.
5. Rest up
I’m not saying don’t do anything. However, between periods of work, it’s great to put your feet up and take an hour for yourself. You’re sick, after all! So, grab a bowl of soup and another hot chocolate, and catch up on the latest season of Stranger Things. You won’t regret it. Maybe it’ll inspire you for the work you move onto afterwards.
So, there you have it! 5 tips to a successful sick day. Never again do I want to hear the words “but I was sick” as an excuse for being lazy: unless of course you can’t physically sit up without throwing up, in which case I hope you feel better soon.
As for the rest of you, it’s time to make the most out of your day off.
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Read my last Life blog, An open letter to Dua Lipa.