The Grown-Ass Woman's Guide to: Being sick

You’re a grown-ass woman, and you want your mommmmmyyyyyy. Being sick is the worst, and it doesn’t stop being the worst just because you’re living on your own and you have a mortgage now.

Plus, you’re sick and you still have to pay your mortgage! And you keep burning your tongue on Neocitran. Waaaaaaaaah. I’m sick right now, maybe you are too. Temperatures are changing and that is messing shit up. Here’s how to get through it.

Go on a blender bender
Any way you can get fluids and nutrients into your body is good. Water: good. Juice: good. Smoothies: gooooooood. Especially if you’re not up for eating solid foods. Avoiding dairy can be helpful if you have loads of phlegm, so just chucking some fruits (Or some of the nicer-tasting vegetables, go nuts! Treat yourself!) and orange juice in a blender with ice will serve up a delicious and healthful alternative to chicken noodle soup. Although that stuff works wonders too.

Shower please.
My natural inclination when sick is to nest. It’s really gross. Left to my own devices I’ll just Miss Havisham myself in some pyjamas and emerge three days later feeling slightly better. This is not the way. Clean yo’self.

Don’t be afraid of the doctor (or the walk-in)
ATTN, People who are “afraid of doctors”: you are afraid of being sick. If you feel like you need to go to the doctor, it’s probably because you are sick, and the quickest course of action to stop being that way is getting your disease-ridden butt to the doctor, pronto. Get over it and be cripplingly afraid of something legitimately scary, like sharks.

Comfort is not limited to food
Old Disney movies are the warm mashed potato of film. That big old sweater from high school is sartorial chicken soup. I’m pretty sure Vicks’ VapoRub does nothing, medically (sorry guys), but it reminds me of being taken care of by my mum as a kid, so I always put some under my nose when falling asleep with a cold, and it does some kind of comfort-voodoo. Anything that makes you feel better, however legit or silly, is fine when you’re sick. Wear your favourite ratty socks, read a trashy mystery novel, and get some rest.

Vitamins and potions
My favourite part of being sick is mixing up get-better potions. Right now I’m big on cayenne pepper and orange juice (apparently the OJ’s vitamin C is boosted by the pepper?) and a nighttime blend of honey, lemon, warm water and whiskey. Just because you’re sick doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nightcap, plus honey is a natural cough suppressant, DAD. Also, don’t skimp on the vitamins this week. Vitamins C and D and also Echinacea—which is an herb but whatever—are good for your immune system.

Don’t feel bad about taking the time you need
I always feel this need to put on some kind of insane caricature of illness when I call in sick for work. “Sobby, I juz rully cabt eben talk ribt now, bozz. I think I’b sick.” It makes me sound like I’m faking it even when I’m not. If you’re ill and you need a day off, don’t be a guilty weirdo about it because that’s totally fine. It’s in your work’s policy, probably. Hopefully. I think legally? Anyway, the same thing applies to not going to the gym or whatever else. If you’re not feeling up to it, don’t wreck yourself by trying to “power through it.” Just spend a day or an evening drinking lots of fluids and taking care of yourself. It’s fine and it’s allowed. (Although if you can handle a yoga class and are past the point of contagion, exercise helps.)

Those are the best tips I can muster from my bed of pain. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to gingerly dip my nose in some Vick’s while reading old Nancy Drew.
~Monica Heisey

Follow Monica on twitter @monicaheisey.

Read more of Monica’s Grown-Ass Woman guides on getting other people’s parents to like you, getting shit done, your face, sneak-cercise saying no, twitter, talking about your body anxieties, hangover maintenance, vintage clothes, how to have a long-distance relationship, sounding smart at cocktail parties, and packing to disappear.

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