8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You Are Sick


Getting sick as an adult is no fun. When you were a kid you had a parent to take care of you, but when you’re all grown up, you get to take care of yourself. Can you even remember what to do? Or maybe it’s just been so long since you were sick that you aren’t sure of the best remedies to help you feel better. While preventive health strategies are the best approach, sometimes, you can’t help it if you get sick. Here are 8 ways to take care of yourself when you’re sick.

Stay Home

The most important thing you can do when you’re sick is to stay home. There is no need for you to grocery shop and go to restaurants. And with store delivery services nowadays, you can even order your over-the-counter medicines and have them delivered to your home. Stay home and keep friends and family away so that you can rest and get better without sharing your germs.

Sleep if Possible

Getting rest is critical when you are sick. Sleep is even better. Your body’s immune system is working hard and doesn’t have energy for much else. Your dishes can wait. Your laundry can wait. But you definitely need to rest and sleep as much as possible when you are sick. Some doctors will prescribe cough medicines that include an ingredient that can help you get the rest you need.

Eat Warming Foods

Soups, hot sandwiches, and warm roasted meats and vegetables are great foods when you’re under the weather. If you can’t taste anything, you may not feel like eating, but getting a little something in your body can help you feel better more quickly. Focus on whole, nutritious foods instead of processed junk foods when you aren’t feeling well. Ask someone to make you some soup or a casserole so that you don’t need to expend too much energy in the kitchen.

Drink Lots of Fluids

Most people don’t drink enough water as it is, let alone when you are sick. Your body produces all kinds of toxins when you aren’t feeling well and drinking water helps flush them out of your system. Focus on drinking 2-3 liters of fluids a day from water or fresh juices.

Get Medical Evaluation

Sometimes, it’s more than just a cold and you need some medical evaluation. An urgent care, telehealth appointment, or a visit to your primary care doctor should be enough to help you figure out what’s going on. They will evaluate you for the common illnesses including influenza, strep throat if your throat is sore, ear infections, and sinus infections. Sometimes these illnesses are viral and will need lots of rest to clear up, while others are bacterial and need antibiotics. Doctors prescribe Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate to fight off infections like strep throat, ear infections, and sinus infections. Symptoms that include fever are often bacterial, and this is when an antibiotic would be necessary.

Take Medications

If you’re prescribed an antibiotic, it’s important to take it until it’s gone. Doctors only give enough to treat you one time, so it’s important to take your medications if you want to get better. Medicines like Tamiflu may be prescribed to shorten your flu duration if caught early enough. Other medications like cough medicine and steroids are prescribed to ease the symptoms of your sickness. While they won’t help you get better, they will help you feel better which can help you get the rest you need to fully recover.

Use Immune Boosting Supplements

Vitamins C, D, and A are great to take when you’re under the weather. You can even incorporate magnesium and zinc into your protocol. When you’re fighting off viral and bacterial infections, your body uses up more of these vitamins than you can get back through your diet. Adding them in supplement form gives your body what it needs to get better more quickly. When you’re vitamin deficient due to illness, it takes longer to get better.  

Use a Humidifier

Dry winter air can make it tough to feel better. Using a humidifier, especially when you sleep can help you get the rest you need when you’re sick. Bacteria and viruses also don’t travel well in humid, moist air, so it can also help reduce transmission of your sickness at home. By moistening your airways, you’ll feel better as your body heals.