How to Make the Most of a Sick Day

CC Photo "There's Nothing Like a Hot Bowl of Soup" courtesy of Arielle Nadel on Flickr

CC Photo "There's Nothing Like a Hot Bowl of Soup" courtesy of Arielle Nadel on Flickr

I firmly believe in staying home from work when you are sick. I know some people take pride in “pushing through” the workday despite being under the weather, but I don’t see the point. Going to work when you are ill just robs you of the time you could be using to recuperate and exposes your co-workers to your nasty germs. Sharing is caring, but you can keep that virus to yourself, please and thanks!

I spent the weekend developing a wonderful cough/sore throat combo that I was hoping to have wiped out with gallons of tea and ALL THE SLEEP by Monday. Unfortunately a combination of coughing myself awake and an over-heated apartment made it difficult to get much of the sleep I needed, and I woke up yesterday feeling worse than ever. Not one for forcing myself into the office when I’m ill (see above), I called in sick to work and decided to make the most of a crummy situation. Pot of tea by my side, I sat in my newly refreshed office and pieced together this list of ways to make the most of my sick day:

  1. Read. I’ve been working on the same library book for about a month now. It has been a difficult slog because the book is only okay, but I’m curious about how it ends so I would like to finish it anyway. I feel committed, you know? It’s tough to find time for pleasure reading some days, but when there is a full day ahead of me that I can barely muster the energy to face reading is a great option to pass the time.

  2. Nap. Like most people, I have to be careful about naps. If I sleep too long I find myself completely unable to close my eyes when bedtime rolls around, which can throw off my sleeping patterns. However, a 20 minute nap when I’m sick feels like the most perfect thing sometimes, particularly when it’s followed or preceded by my next sick day activity, which is...

  3. Take a bath. In fact, I will often take multiple baths throughout the day when I’m sick. I pour in some foamy stuff (technical term), light a candle, and chill out with a book and a cup of tea. The steam from the bath soothes my stuffed up head and the book helps me relax and takes my mind off of how much pain I’m in.

  4. Write. I might not be creating masterpieces on my sick days, but at least I’m getting some ideas out on paper (screen?), and making progress on something.

  5. Watch all the things! I love movies, but unless I commit to going to a theatre I can be terrible at actually watching them. I will often guilt myself out of sitting down to do so because I feel like I need to be doing other, more productive things with my time. When I’m sick and hurting it is much easier to give myself permission to hit the couch, so I will often take advantage of the downtime to scratch a film or two off my to-watch list.

Sick days still aren't my favourite, but it’s nice to know there are things I can do to pass the time while I’m busy getting better!

Do you call in sick when you are under the weather, or do you feel pressure to go to work anyway? What do you do to make yourself feel better when you are home sick?