How to stay happy on a sick day

tips for sick day

Getting sick is SO frustrating. You eat your veg and take your vitamins but sometimes the body can’t fight off infection without a few rest days. I don’t know about you I can’t wait until we’re all floating heads inside robot bodies (joke).

As someone who prides myself on prioritising fitness and healthy eating I am horrified at the idea of having to take time off work to recover from illness, but I’m starting to see the importance of sick days and nipping it in the bud instead of struggling on and feeling miserable.

With that in mind here are a few simple and easy to follow tips that you might not have thought of for staying happy on a sick day.

Eat carbs

Although you might lose your appetite when you feel sick it’s key to keep eating to ensure you have enough energy to recover. My favourite comforting carbs are pasta, mashed potatoes, rice or a huge pile of toast smothered in peanut butter. If you’re too tired to cook grab a Cliff Bar for an energy boost with zero effort.

If you’re not hungry or you can’t really taste food, I recommend making a smoothie jam-packed with spinach and bananas (I love this post from Amy about the health benefits of bananas) and leave to chill in the fridge before drinking. A nice cold beverage will soothe a sore throat and help keep you hydrated too.

No guilt

There are two types of people, those who call in sick at the drop of a hat and those who would rather die at work than take a day off. Hello! I’m the latter.

I really hate taking days off due to sickness and only do it when my back is playing up because I physically can’t get out of the house. To me, sitting at home feeling guilty is more painful than showing up for your shift when you’re under the weather. I’d rather suffer that day than let anyone else down, but we all know that’s a pointless attitude to have.

I’ve been trying to work on my guilt – in every aspect of my life – for a while now. I’m definitely getting better, but it takes time and practise. If you want to truly feel better about yourself on a sick day then try your best to remember that your health comes first, and without it you’re useless at work, as inconvenient as that may be!

Get dressed

I was ill recently and spent the first day in bed, wearing the same pyjamas all day with my hair matted and my face unwashed. The next day I forced myself to get up, take a shower, get dressed and managed to drag myself to the store to buy some medication.

I felt so much happier on the second day, and although that may have been the medication I also just felt more alive because I was dressed in something other than smelly old PJs. You also might like to take it a step further and treating yourself a face mask. I like this Garnier Sheet Mask because it requires minimal effort but really plumps up dry, dehydrated skin.

Open a window (or at least the curtains)

Fresh air might not be what you’re body is craving, especially if you’re cold, but consider opening all the curtains in your home when you’re feeling unwell.

Studies have shown that workers in sunlit areas are more productive than workers without exposure to natural light, so if you want to speed up your recovery having a natural light source is a good idea.

Not only does natural light increase endorphins and serotonin leading to improved mood, but did you know it can even boost your white blood cell count? Get those curtains open!

Stay connected

Being home alone all day can be a real downer. I’m a total introvert but even I think that being sick needs company! Obviously if you’re infectious (no, I’m not talking about your infectious charm) then it’s a but unfair to subject others to your germs, so you might want to find company via phone. Normally my mum is the first person I speak to when I’m sick because she’s the best at sympathy. Mums are good for that!

Chat to friends on Twitter or WhatsApp but avoid emails in case you get sucked into work related enquiries. Text that friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, or Skype your long lost cousin. Whatever keeps you occupied and in the loop with other humans is essential.

How do you stay happy on a sick day?

 

3 practical ways you can encourage a more positive body image

how to have a positive body image

Lying curled up in a ball, crying, wondering what the hell you’re going to wear today because nothing looks good. Jeans are too tight. Boobs are too saggy. Arms the flabbiest they have ever been. To top it all off you’ve just seen the latest Kim Kardashian beach snaps and she looks phenomenal, having pushed not one but two babies out of her seemingly unaware midriff which gets flatter by the minute. This is what real women all over the world are going through on a daily basis; we hate every inch of our bodies but many of us really want to change that mentality. We want to learn to love out bodies at ‘any size’, like all the plus size models proclaim. We want to be comfortable flaunting our belly rolls like Megan Jayne Crabbe or bravely strut our stuff in fashionable gear like Felicity Hayward.

The truth is getting to that place of acceptance is hard. It’s incredibly hard. Telling that sobbing woman with nothing to wear just to ‘Learn to love your body!’ is so much easier said that done. It’s basically like we are having to retrain our own brains to stop seeing ourselves as unworthy because we don’t look like supermodels or celebrities. I’ve been looking for more practical ways to start building a more positive body image and I wanted to share a few simple tips that you can implement today.

Curate your wardrobe

One of the major things that makes my feel shit about my body is my clothes. If I put something on and it’s a little too tight, or pulls in the wrong places you can guarantee that I’ll automatically start putting tearing myself apart internally with every other outfit I try on. It’s all well and good keeping hold of clothes because you like the idea of them, or have memories of how they looked on you in the past, but let’s be honest; keeping clothes that don’t fit any more does nothing good for your mental state. It’s like keeping a picture of an ex-boyfriend up on your wall years after you’ve broken up. You’re not fooling anyone. Rip it up and move on. Instead of trying to make old clothes work for your new body, go shopping and find a style that you’re comfortable with. I’m turning 30 this year and I’ve come to realise that being comfortable is a main priority for me. I like long-sleeved shirts. I like tops to be oversized, but with a deep V-neck to show off my collar bones. I like elasticated waists. My best asset is my butt and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to make the most of it. Get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel like yourself, or is restricting you in anyway – physically or a otherwise. Throw away everything from your teenage years.

Quality control the images to consume

We’re all so overwhelmed with images of the female body it’s inevitably going to contribute to your low self esteem if you’re feeling inadequate. I really enjoy exercise and going to the gym, so over time I’ve followed quite a few Instagram girls who have enviable bodies from working out. Instead of inspiring me to eat well and workout regularly I realised that I was basically trapping myself in a world of unrealistic expectations, where I never felt like my body was good enough. I was restricting my diet and exercising more and more as a form of punishment, adamant that my gruelling regime would earn me the body I thought I deserved. The women themselves have beautiful bodies, and I’m not bashing them and what they do for a living – it’s just that their genetics are different to mine. I dieted hard and lost a lot of weight but was exhausted, lacking energy and still nowhere near revealing the washboard abs I dreamt of. I’ve tried to update the media I consume by changing my Instagram, Bloglovin, Facebook and Twitter feed to surround myself with healthy messages about body image. I follow plus size models, bloggers and people who promote a more balanced approach to food and exercise.

Talk to other people who are struggling

Trying to love your body the way it is can be testing when magazine headlines still promote crash dieting and taking fat burners for breakfast. We are all trying to fly the flag for body positivity and although online it can seem like everyone else is on board too, in the real world not many people are talking about themselves in a loving way. Everyone is ‘starting afresh’ on Monday, or calling today a ‘write off’ after an 11am doughnut delivery to the office. How do we surround ourselves with other strong men and women who believe they are worthy of happiness no matter what their size? I think  we can help instigate that change by being verbal about what we believe to everyone we meet. Sometimes talking to others who are struggling with the same body issues can highlight how distorted our own views are of ourselves. Listening to friends point out their jiggly bits, wrinkles and grey hairs always takes me by surprise; What are they talking about? I can’t see any of their apparent flaws, in fact I envy their figure and their fabulous dress sense! This happens all the time, and although I’m sympathetic to the mental turmoil they are going through (I totally geddit), I always make sure they know why I think they’re beautiful the way they are. The way I see it, if I can get as many people as possible into this new way of thinking, they’ll help support me when I’m feeling low and vice versa. If you can create a community of people who will lift you up then you’re onto a winner.

Are you learning to have a more positive body image?

Four surprisingly positive things about being unemployed

being positive about being unemployed job hunting staying happy

Unemployment sucks. That’s how it seemed to me at first anyway; a hideous mind-fuck of the tallest order where you question your purpose in society, your ability to function on little money or benefits and wonder if you can survive eating cardboard for a few weeks until you pluck up the courage to ask your parents for money. I hate to say it but things will get worse before they get better. Take me for example, I began writing this post from bed, at 1am in the morning. Not because I have a creative mind that seems to spark to life in the peaceful hours of darkness, but because my sleep pattern is messed up because I have no routine. My wonderful husband is working his new dream job for at least eight hours a day and the best I could’ve hoped for some days was a shower before lunchtime. I mean that got serious bonus points right there. In between that and making various snacks, meals and keeping Instagram updated with quality snaps of said meals it’s a wonder I found time to look for a job at all. But it did get better. Here are five surprisingly positive things I’ve found about being unemployed.

The chance to explore new career paths

This is a great opportunity to think about your next career move. Maybe it’s time to consider something brand new? For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to get into teaching. You might not be able to afford the training just now, but you could find out more about the job and whether you would like it or not. Look through your contacts and find someone who is a teacher – or knows one – and set up a meeting to pick their brain about conditions, pay, benefits and how to go about getting into the profession. You could also look for some work experience in your chosen field. Even if it comes to nothing or you find out it’s not your bag, you’ll have something new to add to your CV for that next job interview. I’ve been working on my graphic design, blogging and SEO skills whilst I’m out of work and I’ve managed to get some freelance work out of it.

Your tea never gets cold

This might seem like a small matter, but really there is no greater pleasure than a fresh cup of hot tea. Today’s world is so distracting that most of us only ever get to enjoy half a cup at best before a child needs our attention or the doorbell rings. Yes unemployment is difficult and scary, but try and appreciate this newfound time you have to completely unwind and have some much-needed quality time to yourself. Grab that book that’s been sitting waiting to be read for months, make a cuppa and relax.

Time to try out old and hobbies

We’ve all got pastimes that we wish we had more time for. It might be something you used to be an expert at like painting or writing and can easily be revived . Once you get back into your groove you might even feel confident enough to offer your services as a tutor to others for a small fee. If you’re feeling adventurous why not go out on a limb and try something you’ve always wanted to do like learn a new language or take up knitting? Search You Tube for tutorials or check your local library for books or find free classes in your area. I’ve rekindled my love for yoga after years of trying to commit to doing it regularly and I’m so glad I did it.

Your washing is always up to date

Is there a more satisfying feeling than seeing the bottom of your laundry basket? Maybe I’ve been unemployed for too long, but to me that’s pure happiness right there. Not working can leave you feeling unfulfilled, but putting that extra time into keeping your home clean and organised can be a good way to fill the days and feel productive. I like to put at least one laundry wash on everyday, clean all of my dishes as soon as we’re done eating, clean the bathroom twice a day and I have been filing all my paperwork on a regular basis too. I’m basically excelling at being a fully-fledged adult in every other area of my life to make up for the lack of income.

I’ve been seriously job-hunting for over a week now and although I’ve not found any permanent work, I still feel like I have a place in the world. I’m creating content everyday, improving my blog layout, developing my own style and connecting with people all over the world. I wouldn’t be able to do all this without the time I have to spare everyday. So until opportunity comes a knockin’ I’m doing just fine.

Have you found a positive side to unemployment?