Sunday, March 1, 2009

How To Be Sick

by psyberartist

'Tis the season, at least in my hemisphere. It's late winter, the time to get the virus en vogue if you didn't get it over with earlier. This time around, it seems to be a nasty little number that masks as a common cold but lasts a gross ten days to two weeks. Oh yes, life is hard, but if you become a sicky there are ways to ease your psychic pain, if not the physical.

Stay home from work/school/what have you.

It seems obvious, but I see all of you out there going in sick! Whether it's to save up your "sick days" for a vacation, avoid makeup work, or just plain denial, it's probably best for all parties involved if you just stay home. In certain circumstances, this means skipping your exercise routine. If your symptoms are below the neck, like fever, chills, chest congestion, or a hacking cough, exercise could make them worse. But if you only have a runny nose or a sore throat, you're probably okay. Just listen to your body and tone down the workout if necessary.

Eat healthfully.

You may not have much of an appetite, but if you can eat, try to have a balanced diet. Mild fruits (so the citric acid doesn't bother you) and vegetables are always good. If solids don't excite or agree with you, load up on 100% fruit juices to avoid low blood sugar. (My friends can confirm that I LOVE apple juice.) In any case, drink tons of liquids/water so you don't get dehydrated, especially if you are vomiting or have diarrhea. Dehydration is seriously awful; my mother once had to go to the hospital because of it. Take heed!

Have rituals.

I think this is the most important habit for retaining your sanity, but alas, many of us adapted it in our childhood only to abandon it as adults (or near adults). I'm talking about dropping your daily routine in favor of rituals that make it more pleasant when you're ill. Mine look something like this:
  • Play video games all day.
  • Stay in my pajamas.
  • Take decadent baths.
  • Refuse to clean up my room. (This usually results in the floor collecting a mess of used tissues and dirty dishes, which I clean up when I'm feeling better. It feels like a fresh start!)
  • If I happen to be at home, my mother brings me juice in a sippy cup. :)
Here are some other ideas:
  • Meditate.
  • Learn to knit. Wear all of your new the same time.
  • Reorganize your books by color/author/title/genre/cover height/Dewey decimal system/whatever strikes your fancy.
  • Fill up a sketchbook with doodles (even if you can't draw).
  • Enlist your significant other/friend/child to bring you food in bed.
  • Keep a list of everything you want to do but can't because you're sick. When you get better, look at the list and act accordingly.
  • Read trashy magazines.
  • Make yourself huge smoothies.
  • Watch your favorite movies and TV shows over and over again. Throw used tissues at the characters you don't like. Recite the parts you've memorized.
  • Give your best friend money and have them pick out a new set of pajamas for you.
  • Make a tent over your bed.
  • Steal extra pillows and bring all your stuffed animals in bed with you.
  • Order some relaxing bath treats from Lush for the next time you're sick.
  • Write letters to all your friends pretending you're on vacation in some exotic locale.
  • Talk to yourself more than is considered normal.
Hope you're feeling better already!



  1. Oh Anna, once again I find that you are a friend and a prophet. Not half a week after you post this, and here I am laid up in bed fighting Dorm Plague with bed rest, and herbal tea. Oh well. Supernatural powers are nothing new to you, I hope (they're fun).

    I've been out and about today, but my oh my, I kind of wish I was on stronger meds - I found one of the trippiest movies ever; Wizards, a 1977 animated film which combines found footage, Scooby-Doo quality animation, psychedelia, and elements of both fantasy and Post-'Poc Sci-Fi. Weird as all heck, but it's like a fever dream without the actual danger to life and limb.

  2. Oh noes! I hope you get better soon. (And I totally need to see that film...)

  3. <3 You're a sweetheart.

    Let's see. . . thus far, I've played a LOT of online Flash video games (, watched the aforementioned movie (in pieces on YouTube) as well as some documentaries about the Ghost Dance and the Cascdia Free State. I'm staying in my PJ's and fruit juice is my friend. . . I never thought that reconstituted apple cider would taste SO GOOD!

    Wish me luck - tonight is Hampshire's semesterly tabletop RPG tourney - DEATHFEST!