Health & Wellness

Published on August 7th, 2011 | by thevyne

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Ten Ways on How to be Sick

By Ebony Staton Weidman of KyraCultivar

A few days ago, I woke up feeling pretty rundown.  Later that day, I had the chills, a fever, aches and pains.  Not only did I feel awful, I was haunted all day by memories of a previous illness that had resulted in 18 days in the hospital, 3 surgeries and 3 months of recovering at home.  The phone relay began between me and my doctors, and I started down the familiar road of lying in bed under a haze while plotting my sick strategy with anticipated healthcare obstacle courses and roadblocks.

I did the right thing and stayed home from work.  (Shout out to my boss-lady who takes health seriously.)  But, I didn’t really rest.  In general, I have a hard time winding down and doing nothing.  When it comes to being sick, I must acknowledge that going into hyper-efficient, health advocate mode—phone calls, WedMD research, cold compress, salt bath, coconut water, Advil, and temperature checks every hour—is definitely not resting.  And resting is often times the most important thing one can do in order to feel better and hopefully recover.

So, what to do? Well, I think women who always bring their A-game to everything they do require a special intervention in order to rest and feel better.  You can’t tell us just to drink some orange juice.  We have to cross something off a list everyday, even if we’re crawling on our knees in pain to get to that piece of paper.

To address this, I have come up with the perfect prescription for getting through a real sick day.  This is a combination of advice from other women in my life as well as tested-by-me remedies.  Cross these to-dos off your list when you’re sneezing and sniffling and you’re sure to feel better, even if just for a moment. (Disclaimer: I do not have the letters M.D. after my name, so still give her a call, ok?)

Ten ways on HOW to be SICK:

1) Write down how you’re feeling.  This will help you get a better sense of your body and list of symptoms to pass on to your doctor.

2) Doctors always say stay hydrated, and I couldn’t agree more.  But plain ole water can taste gross when you have sick, cottonmouth.  Add a slice of cucumber or some mint leaves.  I’m a huge fan of VitaCoco Coconut Water too with its low sugar/high electrolyte combo.

3) Create an “I-feel-like-‘ish box”.  This is not the general family box of aspirin and Neosporin.  This box is to be filled with the special things that make you smile. This is your go-to when you’re feeling down and need some comfort or a nice distraction. (Feel free to use the contents of my box as inspiration.)

* Vacation pictures!  I can almost feel the sun on my skin just by looking at them.

* My favorite dark chocolate bar with almonds and sea salt

* Overpriced but yummy loose leaf jasmine flowered green tea

* My most lux hand lotion

* Dance movies! Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Bring It On, Fame, Center Stage, Step Up, Sister Act (no dancing but I love it!)

* The reddest nail polish ever, Essie’s Fifth Avenue

* Lavender eye pillow

4) Get out of bed, then schedule a nap.  That’s right.  Get up and do a few light stretches to get the blood flowing.  Take a shower and change into comfy clothes.  And after watching a few fun movies while sipping on tea with lemon, take a nap.  You know you can’t do anything unless it is scheduled on your iPhone or Bberry.  So, put it in and do it.  At least 30 mins.

5) Eat something.  Apple with peanut butter, popcorn, and frozen grapes are good staples.  A Chic-Fil-A sandwich has been known to brighten my day too.  Because of the protein, of course.

And a few don’ts…

5) Don’t call or text your ex.  You’re laughing, but this could be worse than a drunk text. You’re feeling yucky and vulnerable and dizzy.  Not a good time to reconnect.  You will regret it when you feel better.  Oh yes…you will.

6) Please don’t do any work.  While you are the center of all things indeed, let someone else step it up today.  Turn on your out-of-office reply and delegate delegate delegate.  Not only will this put your mind at ease, but also it will reinforce all of the work-life balance conversations you’ve had over the years.  And if you’ve ever shook your head yes during one of those forums on women’s professional development, girl, you better take this day off seriously!

7) Don’t do housework.  It’ll be there waiting for you when you feel better.  It’s also a good time to ask your partner or kids to get to scrubbin’!  And hey, Angie’s List can be a great resource for a good cleaning team.  Worth every penny!

8) Don’t hesitate to call your bestie.  Your best friend is always there—when you’re feeling great and salsa dancing the night away together and when you’re going through a box of tissues every hour.  Make her tell you a “remember when” story and get you laughing.

9) Don’t feel bad about calling doctors over and over until you get a live person on the phone.  Simply put, it’s their job to take your health seriously.  If the staff is rude or no one is getting back to you, don’t feel bad looking for another doctor.  I’m just sayin’.

10) Don’t beat yourself up.  For some reason, when I get sick, I start

blaming myself for not getting enough sleep, not eating right, not taking my vitamins.  Getting sick is oftentimes our bodies telling us to slow down and pay attention to its demand, so listen to what it has to say.

After following some of the list above, I did feel better.  I ended up taking 2 days off so that I could go in and see my doctor, but I did finally rest and recover as well.  The thing is, you already know that life can be tough and being sick is no fun.  And you also know that if you master how to be sick, you can recover quickly and get back into the game.  So, continue to conquer everything in your life with focus and determination, and try applying it when you’re feeling less than your fabulous self.

Whatever ritual or steps work for you, honor them and feel better soon!

Do you have any get-well-soon tips to share with other women?

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