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. 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, life goes on even if you’re under the weather. You 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.
Sick Day Tips for Grown-Ups
After a while, scrolling on your smartphone can get boring, right? These are the tips for sick day activities for adults. I’m going to tell you how to achieve the best nap, things to do while you’re resting, what foods are best and how to occupy kids so you can lay down. 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 and Wear Jammies
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. Set up a bed on the sofa with your pillow and blankets so you can lay down and still watch over the house. Consider having your kids “camp out” with some books and toys on the floor near you. Naturally the sofa bed only works if you’re no longer under quarantine or not contagious.
Call in Reinforcements
You’re completely miserable and can barely keep your eyes open. The kids, on the other hand, are boundless balls of energy and you need HELP! Time to call in a favor. Get a hold of Grandma, a friend or neighbor and ask them about babysitting so you can get the rest you desperately need. Naturally this can only happen if you’re certain that the kids aren’t also contagious.
Self Care 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.
- A thermometer is imperative, especially when temperature checks have become a norm. Get a high quality version like this Touchless Forehead Thermometer (and stock up on backup batteries for it at the same time).
- 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!)
- If you’re able to get quiet time alone, a nap is best. A Sleep Mask is perfect for blocking out ambient light and allowing your body to sleep more deeply.
- Before crawling into bed, set up your area. 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. But this cooling towel is even better 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 bedside along with a wastebasket to toss them into.
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? As a general rule following a bland diet when sick with stomach issues is best. As an acronym it’s called the BRAT diet. Choose bananas, plain white rice, applesauce and toast. Here are a few items to keep stocked in your pantry for those days when you’re under the weather:
- 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.
- When you’re picking up your sick day essentials, be sure to add some saltine crackers to your basket.
- If you’re sidelined with a cold, broth-based soups are ideal and the steam can help with congestion. Have soup mugs with a handle to make sipping easier while resting.
- 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 turning on the TV for some kid 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: Things to do at home with kids.
Create a Sick Day Box for Kids
Create a special box of goodies that can be used to occupy the kids when you need sick day activities. 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 (no need to break the bank). Think quiet stuff, because you won’t want noisy toys blasting when you’re trying to rest! These are a few awesome 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.
- Magnetic Tile Blocks are easy for 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!)
- WikkiStix are cheap and fun without a mess.
- 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.
- 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.
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. Here are a few sick day activities you can do while still getting rest. Take advantage of the downtime and do something that you’ve been wanting to do.
- If you’re not dizzy (and there’s another adult home), take a warm shower and 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.
- Read that book you’ve been wanting (or reread a favorite).
- Give yourself a manicure.
- Empty your email in-box down to zero (you’ll feel so accomplished after this task!)
- Dig out that bath bomb you got in your Christmas stocking and take a relaxing soak in the tub.
- Complete a crossword puzzle book.
- Catch up on all the magazines you’ve been stockpiling.
- Go through the old photos in your phone and delete.
- Remember that vacation you took 5 years ago and the images are still sitting in your laptop? Create a photo book on Shutterfly with your favorite photographs.
- 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 always put on a bit of lipstick just to brighten up my pallor.
- Binge watch that show everyone’s been talking about.
- 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.
- Suggest to your partner that a foot rub would be beneficial!