Sick at home? These are some of the best sick day activities for adults, that offer ideas on self-care, stock-up items, and how to achieve the best nap. This article also includes things to do while you’re resting, what foods are best, and how to occupy kids so you can lay down.
This post was originally published as a sponsored post, published Feb 20th, 2019. This article has been updated and republished with a new date.
Sick Day Activities for Adults
When was the last time you took a “sick day”? If it’s been awhile, you might not know what sick day activities to do when you (and the kids) require quiet entertainment.
After a while, scrolling on your smartphone can get boring, right? This article will outline some great tips for sick day activities for adults.
Stay home sick-day activities for parents
If you’re a busy parent, there’s usually no rest for the weary. Even those parents who are sideswiped by a nasty cold! When you are a mom or dad, life goes on even if you’re under the weather.
Parents might be home trying to rest and recover with little ones running around. I’m sharing a few ways to take care of yourself when you’re sick, even if you have kiddos with you.
Feeling bored and looking for easy activities?
Of course you need to be feeling well enough for any kind of activity! Having the right get-well essentials on hand that make you feel better is important. Find out why you should stock up to have these items at home when you most need them.
Dress the Part for Sick Days
If you’re feeling down and out, you need to show everyone in the house that your goal is to recover. So put away the jeans and pull out the pajamas! If the family sees that you’re dressed for bed, it will better convey the message that you need to rest.
Now I’m going to share something just for the ladies, especially those of you with “delicate” bladders. If your illness includes sneezing or coughing you might find yourself leaking.
I highly recommend a few pairs of leakproof underpants, of which I review multiple brands in this article. Wearing leak-proof underwear is going to save you from having to change your pjs every time you cough or sneeze!
Make a Sofa Bed
When I’m at home and sick with my kids, I can’t always relegate myself to the bedroom. I need to be in the living space to keep an eye on my little ones. Naturally the sofa bed only works if you’re no longer under quarantine or not contagious.
Set up a bed on the living room sofa with your pillow and blankets. This way you can lay down and still watch over the house in a comfy spot. Consider having your kids “camp out” in a blanket fort with some picture books and toys on the floor near you.
Call in Reinforcements From Friends and Family Members
You’re completely miserable and can barely keep your eyes open. The kids, on the other hand, are boundless balls of energy. You need HELP!
Time to call in a favor. Get a hold of grandma, another family member, a friend, or neighbor. Let them know your predicament and ask them about babysitting so you can get the rest you desperately need. Of course, this can only happen if you’re certain that the kids aren’t also contagious.
Sick Day Activities for Grown Ups
Feeling well enough to hold up your head and stay awake for longer than an hour at a time? Most likely you’re bored of being home sick and need something different to do.
Take advantage of the downtime and do something that you’ve been wanting to do. The best sick day activities for grown ups allow you to feel relaxed, while still being productive.
Pay attention to your energy levels and don’t exert yourself too much with any specific activity. Here are a few simple activities you can do while still getting rest.
Bathe – If you’re not dizzy (and there’s another adult home), take a warm shower or warm bubble bath. Dig out that random bath bomb and take a relaxing soak in the tub.
Change into clean pajamas. This always makes me feel a hundred times better. I’ll even request that someone else brush and braid my hair.
Reading – It’s finally time to read that book you’ve been wanting. Or reread a beloved or favorite book that already captures your attention. Tackle that pile of old magazines that’s been stacking up, then recycle them.
Self Care – It’s the perfect time for well-deserved pampering. Give yourself a manicure. Put on a soothing face mask. Suggest to your partner that a foot rub would be beneficial!
I know when I’m sick, I try to avoid looking in the mirror. The sight of my pale, colorless face just makes me feel worse. I put on a bit of lipstick, just to brighten up my pallor.
Simple Tasks – These are activities that take very little energy or thought, but you’ll feel so accomplished after these tasks! Empty your email in-box down to zero. Clean out a junk drawer.
Clean out papers from your file cabinet or off your desk. Take the files to your bed, then just relax and sort into piles for keeping, reorganizing or shredding.
Organize the files on your computer. Delete things you don’t need and file things properly that you want to keep.
Adult Activities When Sick at Home
Relaxing Brain Activities – Choose a few of these laid back pen and paper activities. If laughter is the best medicine, play a few rounds of Mad Libs with an older child.
Complete crossword puzzles in a book. Journal your thoughts. This can be a great activity for either a sick day or mental health day.
Manage Memories – Go through the old photos in your phone and delete images you don’t want.
Remember that vacation you took 5 years ago and the images are still sitting in your laptop? Create photo albums on Shutterfly with your favorite photographs.
Television – Binge watch that show everyone’s been talking about. Use a streaming service to catch every movie in a series. Play video games with your kids.
Listen – Play relaxing music on the radio or put on a favorite album. Ask friends for recommendations of great podcasts.
Get Outdoors – Fresh air can be one of the great activities to participate in on the road to recovery. Sit quietly outside or take a slow walk.
Self Care Essentials to Have on Hand When Sick
When your illness is at the peak, this isn’t the time to play catch-up on housework. Your body need to recuperate and the only way that will happen is with proper rest.
These are a few must-have sick day essentials to have on hand now. Keep all these needed items in a single location, like a get well box, so you’ll always know where they are. Hand sanitizer is always ideal, but there are a few additional things.
A thermometer is imperative, especially when temperature checks have become a norm. Get a high quality version like this Touchless Forehead Thermometer. Stock up on backup batteries, while you’re at it, too.
A chest rub with menthol isn’t just great for reliving congestion. The scent in Mentholatum Nighttime Vaporizing Rub can help alleviate headaches as well. Rub it on the bottoms of feet to aid with coughing (it really works!)
Another great relief for stuffy noses is a Shower Steamer. The essential oils of menthol and eucalyptus in these shower bombs aid in relieving congestion.
Chills can come on quickly during flu season. If you have cold chills, try an old-fashioned Hot Water Bottle under the blankets at your feet to warm you up.
Even better for keeping the chill away, is a heating pad with temperature controls.
If you’re feverish, a chilly wet washcloth feels so good. This cooling towel is a wonderful option, as it will stay chilled longer to bring down a temperature.
Runny nose? It’s tempting to just use a roll of toilet paper. But with constant nose wiping, invest in Ultra Soft Kleenex to minimize nose rawness.
Put the tissue box next to the bed, along with a wastebasket to toss them into.
If you’re able to get quiet time alone, a nap is best. A Sleep Mask is perfect for blocking out ambient light, allowing your body to sleep more deeply.
What to Eat When You’re Sick
Depending upon your illness, you may not feel like eating. Or maybe you just don’t know what foods to eat when you’re sick? Here are a few items to keep stocked in your pantry for those days when you’re under the weather.
Stomach Ache – As a general rule, follow a bland diet when sick with stomach issues. As an acronym it’s called the BRAT diet. Choose Bananas, plain white Rice, Applesauce and Toast.
Warm tea doesn’t just warm you up. Herbal teas like Lipton Soothe Your Tummy have ginger, peppermint and fennel that can help ease stomach issues.
Cold and Flu – If you’re sidelined with a cold, broth-based soups are ideal. The steam can really help with congestion. Have soup mugs with a handle to make sipping easier while resting.
When you’re picking up your sick day essentials, be sure to add some saltine crackers to your basket.
Sore Throat – While not a food, cough drops and lozenges for a sore throat can help with discomfort. Ricola Herb Cough Drops are a classic.
Though less romantic than a traditional breakfast-in-bed, having your nourishing sick day meal in repose is obligatory. This Media Bed Tray has space for your phone or tablet, as well as your food.
Keeping Kids Busy So You Can Rest
Life goes on, whether your under-the-weather or not. And for parents, that means the kids still need caring for…even when you want someone to just tuck YOU into bed!
If you just need a good hour of rest, have no guilt in offering screen time for some kid-friendly entertainment. I’ve been known to buckle my toddler daughter in her high chair and play an educational television show for her, just so I can get an hour to myself.
And thank goodness for the ability to call for food delivery, right? If you just can’t muster up the energy to cook the kids a meal, dial up their favorites and have it delivered to the front door.
READ MORE about Things to do at home with kids, including easy and fun activities.
Create an Entertainment Sick Day Box for Kids
A special box of goodies that’s reserved as sick day activities can be used to occupy the kids. These are going to be items that the kids will play with when you’re sick. You can also save these items for a day when the kids are home in bed.
Fill the box with small new things on a budget. There’s no need to break the bank. Think quiet stuff or gentle activities, because you won’t want noisy toys blasting when you’re trying to rest in the family room! These are a few awesome suggestions of items that will entertain your kids.
Mess free crafts are perfection for young kids. Try these magic marker-type coloring books like Imagine Ink Magic Pictures.
Search and find books are a kid’s favorite. This My First Search & Find Around the World is good for younger children to “read” themselves.
Board games can be tricky to play while resting. A card game is something you can play with older kids, even while laying down. This pack of 6 card games include classics to play with multiple kids.
Look for cheap and fun craft items that can be done without a mess. WikkiStix are great for toddlers and preschoolers.
Magnetic Tile Blocks are easy for young kids to build with and don’t require your assistance.
Even if I’m trying to lay down, my kids will still want to play with me. Small plastic animal figures or dinosaurs can be played with on a bed. Blankets make great mountains!