8 Self-Care Essentials for Tough Days With Illness

Whether I’m feeling physically or mentally exhausted, I am always told it’s important to remember to take care of yourself as much as you can.

These are the things I find make my life easier on a “I can’t possibly leave the house or maybe even my bed” day.

Granted, I don’t use all these tips every time I feel awful. I’m as guilty as the next person for neglecting self-care in favor of beating myself up over not being able to magically make everything better, but I hope even just one of these suggestions helps make someone else’s life easier or inspires their own ideas.

1. Bottles of water. Store some next to or under the bed. Keep yourself hydrated even when moving to the kitchen feels like it requires too much effort.

2. Keep medication on hand. Yes, it seems obvious, but any old cosmetic bag/gift set bag dedicated to this purpose makes life so much easier. Beats rummaging around in a drawer half-filled with empty boxes.

3. Comfortable clothes. I have an entire drawer dedicated to loungewear. Soft touch fabrics are heaven to me, as are those fluffy bed socks (providing they are minimal on the elastic around the top – thanks, big calves!).

4. Invest in a heated throw. Plug it in, turn it on, wrap yourself up like a taco and let it go to work on those aches.

5. Easily preparable food. So you’ve made it to the kitchen but cooking is out of the question. I’m talking noodle pots et al. Flick the kettle on and get some warm food in you. It may not be “healthy” but it’s often better than not eating at all.

6. Deodorizing wipes. For the days when a shower feels like too much. They come in many varieties – big, small and just plain old face wipes. Nobody’s judging here.

7. Dry shampoo. Yep, this one may seem silly, but hey – even if no one is going to see you, sometimes it’s nice to be able to look in the mirror and not just see greasy locks staring straight back.

8. Lastly, but most importantly, let yourself relax. Put your favorite music on, put a podcast on, read a magazine, light some candles or just close your eyes and take a nap. Whatever it is that you find helps distract you. It’s essential to give yourself permission to rest.

The housework can definitely wait.

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Thinkstock photo via Olarty.

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