How to master your sick day

When Ned Stark told us to brace ourselves, because winter was coming, I think he was talking about cold and flu season. My co-workers and I have been passing around this bug for a while now, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that this particular bug has been pretty brutal. Luckily, I was able to take the time off work to get better, and I think I really nailed down the components of a perfect sick day. Being sick comes with a few rules that I think it is your duty to impose upon yourself in order to make a quick (and happy) recovery.

Do not, under any circumstances, Google your symptoms

Has this ever ended well for anyone, really? Just now I looked up “neck pain”, and the results ranged from muscle strain to Cat Scratch Fever to a brain aneurysm. So seriously, just don’t do it. Your mom has much better advice than the internet does in this particular instance.

Don’t wait too long to go to the doctor

If you have something worse than a winter cold—a fever, a sore throat that’s so bad you can barely sleep, a stomach bug that’s got you down for longer than 24 hours—take yourself to a medical professional. I know the doctor can be expensive and the waiting room can be full of screaming kids, but you have to take care of yourself, and a professional can really help. On the plus side for me, my doctor kind of looks like Zach Braff and says things like “ehh, that’s awkward” when he forgets my name.

Whine as much as you want to

You’re sick! If you feel like having a pity party, do it. If you feel like sending melodramatic gifs to all your friends about how you think you’re dying (not that I would do that), that’s totally fine too. I spend most of my life trying to be strong at all times, so being sick is the one time I let my guard down and admit that I’m not invincible.

Gather all of your favorite things

Do a sweep of your house and the grocery store to gather all of the supplies you’ll need while you try to fight off this sickness. Blankets are a must if you intend to build a fluffy fortress on your couch, which you should. Fill your Netflix queue with your favorite movies and shows. I’m not saying you HAVE to watch Gilmore Girls, but I am saying I have found it to have healing effects.

Even with all the Netflix in the world, I can still get bored just laying on the couch. So I decided to think about what I did as a kid when I was sick, and then I got some coloring books. Now you don’t have to feel like you’re wasting time, because you are literally making artistic masterpieces. Go you!

Don’t feel bad if all you want to do is sleep

A sick day is not the time for productivity. I sometimes feel guilty about all of the stuff I need to get done, or how much my co-workers must hate me for not being there to help. But if your body is telling you to sleep 12 hours, just sleep 12 hours! It’s the only way you’ll get better, and if you push yourself too much, that’s just going to prolong the sickness.

Your diet doesn’t exist right now

Again, you have to listen to your body. If your body is telling you to eat ice cream and pizza, it would be downright rude to ignore it. I’m a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, and my thinking becomes a lot more positive when I hear the delivery guy at the door.