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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Friday, March 20, 2020

13 Fun Things To Do When You're Feeling Icky

Sick at home with a cold
Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

It happens to all of us at some point in our lives; we get sick. We've all had those days where we have felt like total crap, and we didn't want to do very much. Let's be real, with some ailments, we can't do much of anything. It's hard to even sit on the couch and watch Netflix when you're running to the bathroom every 30 minutes with a stomach bug, just saying. If you're feeling particularly icky, it's better to just rest. But what if you're just feeling a little under the weather? I'll be real with you, I'm not going to just stay in bed over seasonal allergies. I usually don't even stay home over a cold, I'll just cough into my elbow or sneeze into a tissue to avoid spreading it. Even when I'm feeling crappy enough to stay home, as long as I'm feeling functional, I still want to do something with my day, even if that something is playing The Sims all day.

All of that being said, because I'm writing this as the COVID-19 outbreak is escalating in North America (and most of the world), we're being advised to stay home if we're unwell. Even if we're just feeling a little under the weather. I'm not going to go on and on about the coronavirus, as I am not an expert on it, but even if you know you just have a cold, it's not a bad idea to avoid putting any further stress on your immune system. You don't want to risk catching anything else at the same time. Besides, it's actually better to let your body rest so that it can focus on getting better, and you can start feeling better sooner. I mean, who wouldn't want to feel better quicker? Even if you're not feeling horrible, it's still not fun to have a cold, or any ailment, regardless of how minor.

But once again, I know that you probably don't want to just stay in bed all day with the sniffles or a slight cough.  If you're anything like me, you want to feel productive or have a little bit of fun, not be bored out of your mind watching daytime television on the couch and aimlessly scrolling social media. While it is necessary to be gentle with yourself when you're not feeling your best, there are still some things you can do so that you don't feel like you're just wasting your day away.

Simple Ways To Avoid Spreading Germs

First thing's first, let's avoid spreading it further!

Before I get into the fun stuff, let me take a brief moment to discuss how to prevent the further spread of illness, because when it comes to germs, sharing is not caring. Even if you know that all you have is the common cold, nobody wants that either. I don't mean to sound harsh, but I'm just saying. As minor as a cold might be for most of us, they still suck. It's also important to remember that not everyone can handle a cold, as they may have a compromised immune system due to other health conditions. Regardless, it's just courteous to be conscious of the wellbeing of others. So here are a few things that you can do to keep your germs to yourself and prevent getting other people sick...

Laying in bed feeling a little under the weather
Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Keep your hands clean - Let's be honest, you should be washing your hands all the time anyway, regardless of whether anything is going around or if you're sick or not. At the very least, you should be washing your hands after going to the bathroom and before handling food on any day; and that's hardly the bare minimum. But during cold and flu season, or when something is going around, you may want to seriously consider stepping up your handwashing game. Washing your hands with soap and water, for at least 30 seconds, is actually the best way to kill germs to prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place. But even when you're already feeling icky, it's still crucial to wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of illness. Our hands are Petri dishes for germs, and we touch everything with them. So let's try to keep them as clean as possible, shall we?

Keep frequently touched surfaces clean - Do your best to keep high-touch surfaces as clean as possible, especially hard-surfaces. At the very least, it's not a bad idea to disinfect doorknobs, faucets, and countertops. It's also not a bad idea to wipe down electronics like phones, keyboards, tablets, and remotes, although it's even better to just avoid sharing them if you can. If you're up to it, I also recommend washing your own dishes (and only your own dishes), so that others won't have to handle them.

Cover your coughs and sneezes - I know this seems like a no-brainer, as it's just basic respiratory etiquette, even for when you're not sick and just got something in your nose or throat, but seriously, cover those coughs and sneezes. Those respiratory droplets can travel up to 6 meters, and be floating around in the air for 10 minutes, leaving plenty of time for other people to breathe them in. They can also land on surfaces where they could survive for hours, if not days. So cover your nose and mouth! Preferably, you should avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands, and try to do so into a tissue, then immediately throw that tissue away. Don't let it sit around because it's just gross to leave them anywhere else. If you don't have a tissue or you don't have time to grab a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow. If you do happen to cough or sneeze into your hands, wash them as soon as you possibly can, or apply some hand sanitizer if you don't have quick access to a sink.

Sick on the couch
Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Distance yourself from others - Not going to lie, but as an introvert, I kinda love having any excuse possible to avoid close human contact. I don't like being sick, but you know what I mean. When you're sick, it's not even an excuse, it's actually necessary to distance yourself from other people to avoid spreading it to them. Generally, it's best to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (or 2 meters) from other people when possible, or to at least avoid touching anyone, this includes shaking hands. Another option that you have is to wear a surgical mask, but this isn't always necessary, and you probably don't need one for a cold. Although, if you feel that you may have the flu (or something that may pose a high-risk to sensitive groups), it might not be a bad idea to wear one if you decide to go anywhere; such as to the doctor.

If you can stay home, then stay home - I totally realize that this is not always an option for everyone. Not everyone can afford to take time off work over a minor ailment. Not everyone wants to stay home from work or school just because they're feeling a little under the weather, and lose pay or fall behind. Not everyone has the option to work from home, and I know that you probably don't want to use your vacation days for something you can tough out. I get it, I'm not at all telling you to stay home from school or work for a minor ailment (under normal circumstances) if you can't. But if you don't actually need to go somewhere, and it's not that important, then just stay home. Allow your body to rest a little bit.

Okay, so one more thing before we start talking about fun, but please be kind to yourself if you're not feeling well. Don't push yourself past your limit. If you're feeling particularly unwell, there is nothing wrong with just staying in bed and doing nothing. Don't stress your mind or your body out even more. But if you're just feeling a little under the weather, and you want something to do to stay productive or occupied, then perhaps you may be interested in a few of my go-to activities for sick days. Many of which can be done while sitting in your chair.

13 Thing To Do When You're Sick

Try some gentle yoga or stretches

Doing yoga
Photo courtesy of Elly Fairytale on Pexels

If you're feeling up to it, and you feel that it won't be too much for your body, you might find that you could benefit from some slow and gentle yoga, or even just some light stretches to help relax your muscles. It doesn't have to be anything intense or vigorous. As a matter of fact, it shouldn't be. It's actually better to just rest when you're sick, but if you want to get some sort of movement in, you can always roll out your mat and find a gentle at-home yoga practice on YouTube, or find some easy stretches on Pinterest. You can even search specifically for routines that are intended for sick days!

One YouTube channel that I highly recommend for at-home yoga is Yoga With Adriene. Adriene has a lot of different videos on her channel for when you're not feeling great, whether physically or mentally, and she has an abundance of slow and easy yoga videos. Honestly, it seems that she has a yoga video for just about anything that you can think of. Adriene also has more challenging yoga videos for when you're feeling better, and you're ready to get your sweat on. I also have to say that I appreciate how she encourages you to find what feels good, rather than to try to force yourself to do something that you don't want to do, which is especially important when you're not feeling well.  On that note, I'd like to say that if you choose to just leave this one, it's completely understandable. If you're unsure of whether or not you can handle it, then just don't. Even if you exercise regularly, and you don't like to miss a workout, it's okay to take a few days off; it's okay to take a full week off. Take as much time as you need off from working out, and only do what you know that you can handle.

Do some light cleaning or organizing

Cleaning supplies
Photo courtesy of Heather Ford on Unsplash

I have no idea why, but when I'm dealing with a mild cold, or my seasonal allergies kick in, I like to straighten up my room a little bit. I generally won't do anything too major, and I'll just tidy up my drawers a little bit and make sure everything is where it's intended to be. I also might do a little bit of laundry, vacuum, and wipe down easy-to-reach surfaces, but that all depends on whether I'm feeling up to it or not. It's best to save the deep cleaning and anything potentially stressful, such as decluttering, for when you're feeling better, but doing some light cleaning won't hurt if you're just feeling a little under the weather. Even if you just opt to do some digital spring cleaning. But once again, if you don't feel like cleaning anything, or straightening anything up, then just save it for when you're feeling better.

Prepare yourself an easy healthy meal

Cooking a healthy meal
Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska of Kaboompics

While you shouldn't be preparing food for other people when you're sick, if you enjoy cooking, you can still make a healthy meal for yourself. It doesn't have to be anything super heavy, nor does it have to be a complicated recipe. Pinterest is full of amazing healthy recipes that are easy to make, and that can even be prepared with ingredients you may already have at home. Remember, when you're not feeling well, your body needs nourishment, and food can be the best medicine, as long as you eat the right foods. So if you're feeling up to it, try to prepare yourself something that will be light on your digestive system, but nourishing to your body.

Brothy-soups are often the best, and there are a ton of recipes out there if you don't just want to eat the canned stuff. If you enjoy spicy foods, they can also be great for congestion, but they should be avoided if you have an upset stomach. You can always get creative with your healthy sick-day meals if you wish, or you can keep it super simple. And the best part is, you don't even have to share what you prepared with anyone else. You shouldn't share what you cooked with anyone else when you're sick, as you want to minimize the spread of germs as best you can. So if you end up enjoying the meal, more for you! You can always make some for everyone else when you're feeling better.

Use your creativity

Getting creative
Photo courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Creating is my absolute favorite way to be productive, as it is often stress-free, and it's actually a lot of fun; or at least it should be anyway. When you're a content creator, and your hobby becomes your work, it can become stressful, so it might not be a bad idea to take a mini-break from it when you're not feeling well. All of that being said, finding an enjoyable and stress-free way to get creative can be a great way to keep your mind occupied when you're feeling under the weather, and you're stuck at home. And there are many ways that you can get creative.

Personally, I love writing and designing web pages, although both can pretty mentally demanding at times. So when I'm really not up for writing or coding because I'm not feeling all that well, I love creating graphics and drawing as well. I also love creating in The Sims, and just having fun with my creativity! Seriously, just have fun being creative. It doesn't have to be Instagrammable. You don't have to create your next masterpiece, although you never know what might end up being your next masterpiece. Just get creative, and enjoy it. Let yourself have some fun like you would have when you were creating as a child.

Color or try "paint by number" activities

Coloring book
Photo courtesy of Jaqueline Kelly on Unsplash

If you want to get creative, but you're drawing a blank for ideas, or maybe you just don't want to think very much about it, coloring is a magnificent way to keep yourself occupied. Seriously, coloring is not exclusively for kids. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of advanced coloring books out there that are geared toward teens and adults. Adult coloring books have a ton of tiny details in every design, and each page is sure to keep you occupied for hours. Seriously, they are great for when you're not feeling well, and you're stuck in the house; and they can help keep you off of social media for a little while too. Just put on your favorite playlist and color away.

If coloring isn't really your thing, or your dominant hand is cramping at the very thought of coloring all day, there are also a variety of "paint by the numbers" crafts that you can try. Recently, I've been loving latch-hook sets that come with pre-cut yarn, and an easy to follow "paint by the numbers" guide for putting it together. I also recently discovered diamond painting, which also looks like it could be a lot of fun; and a great way to relieve stress or boredom. 

Play video games

Game controller
Photo courtesy of Goran Ivos on Unsplash

You don't have to tell me twice to stay at home and play The Sims. You really don't. I'll be honest, there were a few times that I was a little overdramatic about a cold so that my mom would call me off school, just so I could go back to bed for a few hours, then wake up and play video games. I can't be the only one who has done this. I know that I'm not the only one who has done this. But hey, no one at school wanted my germs anyway, right? So there's absolutely nothing wrong with staying home and playing video games if you're feeling icky.

Most video games aren't physically demanding, and can easily be played while resting in your chair while you drink some hot tea and wrap up in a blanket. If you're not up for sitting in a chair, console games can often be played while lying in bed. If you don't have a console, there are tons of mobile games that you can play for free, and that can surely keep you entertained for hours, without even making any in-app purchases. Just make sure that whatever you choose to play, you're enjoying the game, and you're not getting too worked up and putting stress on your mind or body over it.

Call or text a friend

Calling a friend
Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Although it's better to avoid human contact when you have a cold, the flu, or anything potentially contagious (or you're unsure of whether or not you're contagious), you can still talk to your friends and family electronically. One of the best things about modern technology is the fact that we can communicate with people remotely in a variety of ways, whether those people are people we live close to or people that live farther away. So if you start to feel a little lonely, or you just want someone to chat with, pick up your phone and call or text a friend. Seriously, there is no reason that you have to completely isolate yourself from others, just because you're not feeling well (or if you're quarantined), when you can talk to your friends and family remotely, without spreading any germs to them.

Take a bath

Taking a bath
Photo courtesy of Elly Fairytale on Pexels

Taking a hot and steamy shower is great when you're not feeling well. Not only can the steam help loosen any gunk you may have in your chest, and help clear congestion, but the hot water can help to relax both your body and your mind, and make it easier for you to get some rest. But if you're not up for standing in the shower, or you just want to relax a little bit more, try running yourself a nice warm bubble bath. Allow yourself to relax in the bathtub for a little while, and just enjoy it as much as you can. If you find yourself feeling super relaxed after your bath, take advantage of it, and allow yourself to take a nap while your mind and body are at ease.

I personally love hot or warm baths, not just for colds or respiratory congestion, but also for when my stomach is acting up, as it also helps to calm an upset stomach. I also love taking hot baths when my muscles are sore, as the hot water helps to relieve sore muscles and body aches as well. 

Read something fun and easy

Reading a book
Photo courtesy of David Lezcano on Unsplash

If you enjoy reading, then grab a hot cup of tea with honey, and crawl into bed with a good book. Or maybe wrap up in a warm blanket and sit on the couch with your laptop or phone and read some blog posts. When I'm not feeling well, whether mentally or physically, I like to read things that are fun, easy, and lighthearted as a way to relax and get my mind off of how I'm feeling for a little while. Reading can be a great distraction and can even help you to relax enough to fall asleep if you're having trouble resting.

Binge-watch your favorite shows, movies, and videos

Watching netflix on a laptop
Photo courtesy of Anton Mihhailov on Unsplash

Most of us are guilty of binge-watching an entire season of a show on Netflix in one day, if not the whole series. I know that I am, even though I don't do it too often; I'm more of a YouTube video kind of girl. I can spend a whole day watching YouTube videos and not even realize that I've been doing it all day until it occurs to me that the sun went down, and I'm sitting in the dark. Occasionally, I also find myself watching movie after movie without thinking about it. It happens to all of us, right? At least, it happens to all of us that are introverted and don't generally go out on weekends anyway. Or those of us who forget that "just one more video, it's only a few minutes" eventually adds up to "oops, it's 4:00AM". Anyway, my point is, when you're not feeling well, why not allow yourself to wrap up in a warm blanket and just binge-watch whatever you feel like watching? Especially when there is no guilt in staying home and sitting on the couch as you allow your body to heal itself.

Find a way to laugh

Photo courtesy of Sewn Apart on Unsplash

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and it can actually help to boost your immune system by lowering your stress levels. And honestly, I have to say that, when I'm feeling a bit under the weather, comedy actually is the best distraction for me. Even when I feel like absolute shit, if I'm able to laugh at something, I actually find that I get some immediate relief. I might not feel 100% better, but even if it only helps a little bit, and only provides some temporary relief, it's always worth it to find something funny to watch or to scroll through some memes.

Distract yourself with positive social media

Browsing the web
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

While it's undeniable that social media can be extremely negative and toxic, I am a firm believer that social media can be positive as well. It all depends on how you choose to use it, and what you choose to do with the time you spend on your phone. Sure, you might not be able to totally avoid negativity online, just as you can't avoid it in real life, but there are a few easy steps that you can take to limit your exposure to the negativity. For me, one of the biggest steps involves actively looking for things that make me happy, especially in times where I need a little something to lift my spirits, such as when I'm feeling icky.

Personally, my go-to social media platform when I need a little pick-me-up is Pinterest, as it's super easy to find and follow whatever makes you happy on there. It's also easier to filter out the negativity on Pinterest than it is on Twitter or Facebook, I'm just saying; and when you're not feeling well, you don't want to be stressing yourself out with the news of whatever happened in the world today. When I'm feeling a bit under the weather, I like to destress by looking at content that brings me joy as a positive distraction from that icky feeling of being sick. 

Allow yourself to take a nice long nap

Taking a nap
Photo courtesy of xiangying_xu on Pixabay

As much as I personally like to be productive, and avoid unnecessarily long naps that I don't need, when I'm not feeling well, I know that my body needs the rest. So if I'm not feeling well, and I really want to take a long nap, I'll just allow myself to take that nap, because as I said at the beginning of this post, sometimes you just have to give yourself permission rest. You shouldn't force yourself to do anything that you don't want to do or have to do when you're not feeling well. Don't feel guilty about choosing to do nothing, even if you're only mildly sick. If you're feeling sleepy, then let yourself sleep, because more often than not, the more you rest, the quicker you'll be back on your feet. Besides, naps are amazing. Even if I personally prefer to avoid long ones on most days, just to avoid unnecessarily throwing off my sleep schedule.

Before I end this post, I would like to emphasize that if you're not feeling up to something, and you don't think that you can handle it, just don't do it. Please, if you aren't feeling well, go easy on yourself. This post is primarily intended for when you're feeling mildly or moderately crappy, and you still want to be productive or keep yourself occupied at home. Seriously, don't do anything more than what you know you can handle if you're sick. Don't forget to make sure you're also drinking plenty of clear fluids (water), nourishing your body, and resting. Seek medical attention if you feel you need it. Do what you need to do to get better, okay? That being said, if you're reading this and you're not feeling well, I hope you feel better soon, and again, be gentle with yourself.

What are some of your favorite things to do when you're not feeling good? Do you like to try to be productive in smaller ways, or do you prefer to just rest? What are some of your favorite ways to help yourself relax when you're having a hard time sleeping because you're sick? Are there are ways that you like to pamper yourself when you're not feeling well? I'd love to hear about them!

13 Fun Things To Do When You're Sick Or Feeling Icky

Also, one more thing, but if you need to hear this right now, at the time I'm posting this, while I can't predict the future, I am optimistic that in time, things are going to be okay. It may take some time, but one day, things are going to be okay. I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy. Remember, that the current situation with COVID-19 is affecting all of us in one way or another, and you're most certainly not alone if you're scared, worried about getting sick, or worried about someone you love getting sick. We are all in this together, and we have to be strong. Especially now.
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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