Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2nd -- How to Recover From a Mild Illness and Manage Household

I am in that period of recovering from a cold and asthma complications where I'm beginning to feel up to getting out of bed. I even have enough strength to tackle a a few tasks. As you might guess, after being in bed with the cold/asthma for nearly a week and having had some back issues for several days before that, I do have some important things to catch up. Here are some things I've learned in the past and am learning now about how to make your comeback after a short time of being indisposed.

It's a fact of life that at some point, you or a member of your family will undergo a temporary illness. For those with hardier constitutions, this might not be very often. For those who are more susceptible, this can occur frequently.

In some cases, there are things you can do that might strengthen your and your family's immune systems so that you don't become ill so frequently. Here's a post about that on PHE: The Home Manager's Health and Beauty.

When you are recovering from an illness, it's important to recover fully so that you don't slide back into a relapse or sustain another illness soon. Resist the urge to go full sail ahead when you're at half-mast physically. This will take some patience, especially if your to-do list is long or you see things piling up around the house. Yet, the world won't come to an end if you take the time to get well. In the end, you will be of more service to the Lord and others if you help your body to get back to full strength.

Here are some ideas for easing back into your routine:

1) When your illness takes a turn for the better and you start to be on the mend, you'll likely feel it. When this happens, it's a great time to shower or bathe. Apply a sweetly scented body lotion. Put any clothing you've been wearing while contagious into the hamper to be cleaned, or if you or a family member can wash it now -- do so. Ask a family member to help you change the sheets so that you can recover in a fresh bed. During the next several hours, you may feel like doing what you can to freshen up your appearance. You and your family will be happier for that! You might even use an afternoon of recovering to do some girly things that you might not otherwise take the time to do. Try your hair in a new way, for example. Or, buff and file your nails. Massage cream around the cuticles.
2) You don't have to do all of these things at once if you are still weak. Catnap between doing different activities if you need to. It's good to challenge yourself to move around a little so that you prevent weakening further. But, be wary of overtiring yourself.
3) Don't forget to keep taking any necessary medications. Keep on drinking plenty of fluids. If you are doing things like breathing steam, drinking tea with lemon and honey, rinsing your nose with salt water sprays, etc., continue those as needed. Keep these things up until all of your symptoms are gone.
4) When you become a little stronger, your first concerns around the house are to disinfect and dust. Wear a mask when dusting to prevent further irritation to your nasal passages. After that, clean out the fridge. You may have lots of laundry to do as well. Even if your family members have been keeping up with the laundry while you're down, you'll want to wash any towels you've used, any clothing you've worn, and any linens you used while you were sick. Work as you can, resting when you need it.
5) Don't be upset with yourself if you need an afternoon nap for several days in a row, provided that you are sleeping all night and still feel the need of a nap. If your naps mean you can't sleep at night, you probably don't need them. Instead, sit down and put your feet up.
6) Think in terms of easy meals. What can you throw in the crock pot, for example? Do you have any meals in your freezer that you made ahead of time? If so, now's a good time to thaw them out and use them. (If you have a chronic illness with random flare-ups, get in the habit of making two meals at one time and freezing one for use during such a flare-up.
7) Ease back into exercise. Even if you had a cold that lasted for three days only, you will have lost some conditioning. Do stretches, gentle walking, etc. for a few days. Then, slowly ramp back up to your usual routine.
8) Don't be upset if you become peevish when attending to very detailed mental work or tasks that require a lot of decision making. Mental concentration uses a lot of our nutrients and energy. Take it slow until you are back to full health. Go do something else that is important, but not as mentally taxing, and then come back to the work at hand.
9) Your family may naturally have pitched in to help when you were obviously at your sickest. But, when you're up and feeling somewhat better, you may look well to them. They may not understand that you still need help until you are completely recovered. After all, only you know how your body feels. Resist the urge to be impatient with family members' expectations. Gently explain how much you feel that you can and can't do. Assure them that you're on the mend and will be back in full swing soon.
10) Use recovery time as a time to put people over things. Invite your children to cuddle up with you for an afternoon of reading books. Take the time to play a game with a child.

Happy home management!


Ivy in the Kitchen said...

A very timely post! I've been sick off and on for a month and a half now; I hope you continue to feel better.

Your suggestions for easing back into routine are great! I have a tendency to jump in head first if I think I'm able, and then wear myself out again.

-Miss H.

Buffy said...

What a brilliant list! Thanks for posting.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Ivy and Buffy,

Thanks for commenting! I hope you feel better too, Ivy.