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It starts with that scratchy tickle in the back of your throat.
“Maybe I’m just imagining it,” you tell yourself. “It’s probably nothing, it’ll probably go away.” That’s what you keep assuring yourself, that is until the next morning or so when you wake up to a sore throat, aching head, and a downright awful case of the sniffles.
“Uggg!!! I just don’t have time for this right now,” you yell. (in your head, of course, remember that sore throat?)
Unfortunately, the most wonderful time of the year also brings with it all sorts of “yucky bugs” as we call them in our family. I firmly believe that it should be against the law for Moms to get sick, but somehow all the viruses and infections floating jollily around this time of year just haven’t gotten that memo yet.
Until they do get it, there’s no doubt that if you have children in school they’ll be sharing a lot more than holiday cheer this time of year–with all their friends and then right home to you. Since this is inevitable here are my secret weapons to help get you through this season! Here’s a hint at my best secret weapon and tip….
5 Ways to Not Be Miserable When You’re Sick
#1 Stock Up
The first thing you’ll need to do is go and stock up right now before that itchy throat tickle kicks in. I know, I know–I’m always telling you to go stock up but for good reason!! Trust me on this one! Right now is the perfect time too, just after Thanksgiving’s crazy rush but before the last-minute Christmas shopping rush begins. I’ve found the “sweet spot” to go shopping at Walmart is right after school drop off. The morning stockers have just wrapped up setting up for the day so the shelves look beautiful, and you have aisles all to yourself because it’s before the senior citizen crowd rolls in.
What you’ll be stocking up on this trip is Bigelow Tea! I’ve loved their Plantation Mint Tea for as long as I can remember. When you pick Bigelow Tea you can know you’re getting foil packaging, freshness, US manufacturing, plus quality tea & ingredients–which means you can Tea Proudly, even when you’re sick! As I’m sure you already know, tea is one of the most tried and true methods of fighting off colds and flu. Here are the varieties you’ll want to make sure you purchase during this trip (though I’m in love with just about every Bigelow Tea flavor).
- Green Tea
- Green Tea with Lemon
- Plantation Mint
- Lemon Ginger
The best part? Right now there’s an Ibotta Deal for $0.75 off any box of Bigelow Tea
You’ll also want to hop on over to the produce section and pick up fresh lemons and mint. For this trip I grabbed a bag of Meyer Lemons–they’re actually a lemon variety from New Zealand that has a sweet and sour vibe to it that I’m obsessed with. They’re seasonal (like Pomegranates) so grab them now while you can! My fresh mint originally came from Walmart but now grows in my garden. Your store might be like mine and sell herb plants right in your produce section. If you’re somewhere the snow is already coming down you can keep these in a container garden in your kitchen, or if you’re in the south like us you could still plant them as the ground hasn’t frozen yet. I have basil, rosemary, and 2 mint varieties that all came from this section of my local Walmart and are flourishing in my garden. I love being able to step outside to snip off some fresh mint for an extra boost in my tea (plus it just looks pretty).
Don’t forget the honey!!! You’re not going to want to ruin all this natural goodness with refined sugar–no sirree! Honey is the only way to go for sweetening any of these varieties. Walmart carries an awesome selection from the inexpensive classic brand you’ve always trusted, to local raw honey (so perfect for those icky days). Whichever variety you choose be sure squeeze in a nice heaping amount to taste.
Now that you’ve got your hot tea soothing your throat and warming your body on this chilly winter day, you can relax and move on to the rest of our plan!
Honestly, I should probably call this one un-schedule but if you thrive on plans like me, that just doesn’t sound very good. It’s just not fair, but it’s well known that sickness is the most prevalent in months that are the most crammed packed full of activities for parents. Holidays, School, After School Activities, Oh My! Add normal day life on top of that with appointments, work, chores, and eeevverryyything else you do as a mom, and you’re likely to have a jam-packed list for every day from here to the end of the spring–already booked!
I know this will be painful, but you’ve got to trust me on this one, truly you’ll be thanking me!! Right now you need to go through your upcoming 2 months and schedule in time — to be sick!!! Yes, you heard me right. Now no, you won’t know exactly when your family is going to get hit. That’s the part you really won’t like. You see, you need to look through everything you have planned to do, and scale waaaayyyy back. Now don’t get me wrong–I’m not saying you have to sit around all December and throw your traditions out the window and mope. I’m saying it’s time to cut back on the set-in-stone activities, push off all the appointments till into the New Year, and embrace traditions that can easily be rescheduled or that have multiple dates. If you go into these months with the mindset that everything is tentative, it’ll be a lot easier to keep your whole family from being disappointed when you miss something. Backing away from extra obligations outside your home also frees you up to have some amazing down time together, and keeps you from letting anyone else down.
This will look different for every family, but for us, it means that the kids are not in any extra circular activities until the spring (other than Amber’s Chess Puzzle which meets directly after school so requires no extra trips on my part).
This is so critical, it really is. By leaving wide-open gaps in your schedule it means that you can possibly even *gasp* take a sick day when you or one of your children is sick! Yes, you really can, and you really must!
I’m hammering this point home because I’ve learned the hard way how critical this is. Far too often I’ve plunged full speed ahead through colds, only to end up in the Walk-In Clinic a few weeks later as a result. This year at the first sign of that tickly throat I cancel everything extra on my plate. Yes, I did miss out on going to that fall carnival, but it was absolutely worth it to be better in a week, not 2 months.
This actually isn’t as gloomy as it sounds, either, read on to find out how you can help your family have *fun* — while you’re sick!!
#3 Save Entertainment
Here is my next secret weapon for you! You know that book series you’ve been dying to read, but just never have the time? Or that tv series that’s been on your marathon watching list forever, that all your friends keep raving about? Well, I have good news! During your sick day (remember, you’re supposed to be taking one) thanks to your un-scheduled, schedule you can curl up with your delicious tea and read or watch to your heart’s content! The distraction will take your mind away from the aches and you just might get to the point where you look forward to sick days!
#4 Snuggle Up
Of course, you can only enjoy your entertainment if you’re absolutely cozy! When sick days hit, pull out your comfiest t-shirt, your coziest yoga pants, and your softest blanket. Since you already stocked up on everything you can just snuggle in with your tea (it really is this attached to my hands during sick days–I guzzle in non-stop from morning till night). This will help you feel so much better and help get your body the rest it needs to recover. I’m not one of those people to go out of the house in PJs and with no makeup on, even for school pick up and drop off lines, but on sick days those rules fly straight out the window and we all get a free pass!
Carry on the cozy and do your body a favor by getting LOTS of sleep. Again, with your free schedule you should be tucking the kids into bed at 7:30 (if you have older kids do what we do and have them in their rooms by that time with night time routines complete, but with a later age-appropriate time for lights out). And get yourself on into bed waaaayyyy earlier than you think you should be. Do yourself a favor and switch over to the Lemon Ginger Tea around 5 PM — it’s Caffeine Free and the perfect soothing drink to help you drift off to dreamland.
Sickness this time of year is inevitable–but hopefully armed with these tips you’ll be able to, dare I say it, not only not be miserable but actually *enjoy* your next sick day!
What are your best tips for not feeling miserable when you’re sick, did I miss anything? Leave me a Comment and let me know!
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