The Ill Person’s Guide To Being Ill

Not blowing my own trumpet here, but I hardly ever get ill. Whether that’s due to all the amazing homecooked food I eat or the little to no exercise I do, I’ll never know. Nevertheless, the season of freshers’ flu is upon us and though I am very far from being a despicable fresher, I have found myself ridden with none other than the freshers’ flu. It’s not something that goes away overnight, nor is it something you can push through with a few dainty coughs here and there. It’s the ugly kind where 12 hours of sleep is nowhere near enough and you do this phlegmy smokers’ cough that makes everyone around you lean back ever so slightly. Not fun (gimme love pls). Needless to say, it can get a little dull and restless, so I’ve compiled a few of my favourite things to do when I’m ill. Guaranteed to make you feel better, if just for a moment.

  • Make yourself an endless supply of hot tea.

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Tea can be great for masking that horrible taste in your mouth when you’re ill, and inhaling that steam can help loosen all the mucus up your nose (yummy). Personally, I tend to go for lemon and ginger tea with honey when I’m ill – the ginger helps open up the sinuses and the honey soothes my throat. If you have a decent stock of tea but have no idea what to try, you might like this post on what certain types of tea are great for.

  • Re-watch episodes of your favourite TV show or a favourite film.


Oldies tend to be goodies. Haven’t watched Armageddon in a while? Put that on and get your air guitar on to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” whilst geeking out over how epically cheesy (or cheesily epic) the film score is too. Trevor Rabin knew a thing or two about rousing spirits.

  • Create something.


I hate to say it, but let those creative juices flow in full force without expecting anything. Grab a pencil and a bit of scrap paper and doodle. Find a pretty picture on Google images and sketch that – I’ve gotten into that recently and it’s incredibly therapeutic, though animal paws are surprisingly hard to draw.

  • Get through the less stressful part of your to-do list.


Rest is all-important when you’re ill, but just getting on with your day in a less high-octane fashion can give you that buzz of productivity which feels oh-so-good. Do those little things you’ve had on your to-do list for a while but never got round to doing. Wrap that present, send that email, trim the stems of those flowers in your kitchen. The trick is to keep it low-key and mind-numbing enough to distract yourself from how ill you feel, but enough to give you that feeling of accomplishment.

  • Learn something.


Get under that duvet and read a book. A psychology article, today’s paper, what have you. Give yourself a distraction from how much your throat hurts and marvel at something you may never have heard of.

  • Show some love to others.


Get in touch with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and ask them how they are. Help a friend out with something. Share a fellow blogger’s blog post you’ve really enjoyed on social media and tell everyone how great it is.  Being ill is a great time to look after yourself, but we often forget that this includes showing love to others without expecting anything in return – that shit feels good.

Are you ill at the moment? If so, do all the basics – wash your hands regularly, get those much-needed vitamins, and SLEEP. Take some medicine and get a good night’s sleep. That being said, do you have any favourite things to do when you’re ill? I’d love to hear them – literally anything to occupy the time not spent sleeping. Let me know in the comments below! You go girl.

– J

13 Comments on “The Ill Person’s Guide To Being Ill”

  1. I looooove this post. It’s so true, being ill it’s all about giving yourself time to unwind. I’ve been rewatching old films at the moment to make myself feel better! I like what you said about sketching something from google, can see how that would be relaxing xx

  2. If you have a cold, blast it away with a really spicy omelette! If you don’t have the energy to read, find a good audio book or a podcast. If you have a sore throat, find things that you can eat that won’t hurt, such as mashed potato, yoghurts or icecream! And if you’re feeling really awful, give yourself some duvet time and don’t struggle in to work/uni or whatever – your friends don’t want it too!

  3. My cure all’ is a hot whisky with honey and lemon, 2 paracetamol and get into bed with a book till it blows over.

    Hope you feel better soon xxx

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