Hey there, lovelies!
See those stormy clouds and angry looking waves in the photo above? That’s what my body has been like this past week. It’s that time of year when I feel like everyone has some type of a bug messing up their system. And if you’re anything like me, you hate getting sick not only because it just plain sucks, but because it messes up your routine and training. But, it is so important to listen to your body and work with it to keep it healthy and strong. Put aside the frustration of how inconvenient it is to be sick right now and focus on the ways you can help your body recover. Being stressed and upset about the fact that you’re sick will only make things worse! So, here are the things I do when I’m sick to help my body fight hard and recover fast.
- Diffusing Essential Oils: This is something I do all the time anyway, but especially when I’m under the weather. I’m currently getting over a cold and having a cozy, yummy smelling environment at home is such a comfort. I got my diffuser and oils off of Amazon for less than 20 bucks, and I probably use them at least every other day. Diffusing eucalyptus, orange and lemon grass are my favorite for a cold since they help open up your sinuses and relieve congestion. Lavender oil is great for sleep, and you know how important it is to get good rest, especially when you’re unwell.
- Orange and Lemon Water: This one might seem kind of funny, but I like to squeeze/juice a whole orange and half a lemon into some nice hot water and drink it throughout the day. The citrus is refreshing and a nice change from plain water, not to mention the vitamin C content.
- Soups: This one is a bit of a no brainer, but having lots of nutrient rich soups is a must. Of course the problem can be that you feel yucky and don’t want to put in the effort or time to make something healthy. So what I do is invest some of my time and energy when I’m not sick into preparing healthy soups for when I am sick. Making a big batch of homemade chicken broth to stick in the freezer is a bi-weekly ritual at our house, and boy does it pay off when you’re not feeling well! This week I got home feeling very poorly and all I had to do was throw my frozen homemade chicken broth, shredded chicken, and veggies into a pot and ta-da! Homemade, nutrient-rich comfort in a bowl.
- Hot Baths and Showers: Nothing beats relaxing in a nice hot bath or shower, especially when you’re sick. The steam breaks up a lot of the mucousy grossness and helps you relax. You can also use a eucalyptus body scrub (the one I use is from Bath and Body Works) and get your diffuser going in the background.
- Light Exercise: This one obviously depends a lot on how sick you are and what illness you have. If you have the flu and are all pukey you probably won’t be eager to get moving very much. So listening to your body is key here. That being said, when I’m in the thick of it I like to take some time to do some really light stretching and foam rolling. The low-intensity movement and increase in blood flow is great for your body even when it’s not at it’s best, and the slight release of endorphins will give you a much needed boost. Once I feel that I’m on the mend I start reintroducing workouts, starting with workouts comprised mainly of static exercises and light cardio before working back up to my high-intensity routine. However, if I have something relatively mild like a cold, I’ll usually continue working out while sick, I’ll just decrease the intensity a little bit and listen to my body carefully throughout.
- Water: Surprise, surprise, drinking lots and lots of water is a must, as always. Pay even more attention to being well-hydrated while sick, your body needs it! And be aware of the other types of fluids you’re consuming, like Gatorade or Ginger Ale. While they may be soothing they are also usually packed with sugar, and sugar is not going to help you get better.
- Move: If you’re feeling restless from hours of Netflix, get up and move. While rest is super important for recovery that doesn’t mean you have to be confined to your bed all day. Get up and do some light stretching, wash a few dishes, maybe freshen up and put on something comfy. The movement and slight change of pace can be refreshing and energizing.
- Get Clean: This one may be totally unnecessary for some people, but for me it’s a must. No matter how sick I am I cannot stand to feel like a mess all day. I always make sure to wash my hair when I feel able, pull my hair back so I feel tidy, brush my teeth and spritz a body spray to feel fresh. While you may feel like a walking disaster area, being as clean and tidy as you can manage can work wonders in your overall mood.
There you go, I hope you’ll all stay healthy and not need to use these tips, but if you do I hope they’ll be helpful.