DISEASE MANAGEMENT: How to care for yourself when you’re too sick to care

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I’ve been dealing with a cold for over three weeks now, and when I saw this picture, I started to think – “How DO I care for myself? What am I doing right now?” So I made a list.

  1. Turtle: This may sound funny, but it’s true. Go into pure survival mode. Do what you have to do to get through the day.
  2. Make lists: When you’re really sick, whether with a cold, the flu, a flare, whatever, stress starts to niggle at you because you know there are things you need to do but can’t. Don’t let your recovery get sidetracked. Instead, make lists. It doesn’t matter what they’re about. Even simple things like “open mail”, “pay bills”, “call cable company” are all things that, once they’re written down, won’t bother you so much.
  3. Keep eating and drinking: Even if this means you consume things you normally wouldn’t, do not stop eating and drinking. Graze if you want, just a little here and there. But try to sip something all day to keep yourself hydrated and flush out toxins.
  4. Self-groom: Or if you really can’t, ask someone else. Just brushing your hair and teeth and running a washcloth over your face will make you feel more human.
  5. Do something to make yourself feel better: Whether it’s finally watching that chick flick you haven’t had time for, spending the entire day coloring, or whatever else will help, do it.
  6. Allow yourself to be sick: Look, America has this idea that every person needs to be productive every day. It’s crap. And it’s making us sick. Not just chronic illness warriors, everyone. Think about all the people with headaches, back pain, etc. A lot of that can be tied back to the need to do do do. You’re sick. You’re battling a chronic illness. Give yourself a break.
  7. Resist the urge to overdramatize your sickness: If you’ve got a cold or some other relatively minor thing, even if you’re a chronic illness warrior, it’s probably not that big a deal. Don’t make it more than it is. Don’t let it be too big or important.

Do you have tips that work for you? Tell me in the comments!

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