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How to Reduce Your Stress When You’re Sick

Being sick can be stressful. You may be missing work or other events, your relationships may be strained because you aren’t able to do your regular chores around the house, and of course, you feel horrible.

Here are a few ways to ease the stress of being sick a little bit.

Change Your Mindset

Try to relax about what you’re missing. Think of this time as a chance to rest your mind as well as your body. In fact, the illness may be your body’s way of forcing you to slow down and rest.

A simple adjustment in your mindset, from feeling anxious about what you’re missing while sick to feeling grateful for the time to rest and rejuvenate, can go a long way toward reducing your stress levels during sickness. Because stress hormones can negatively impact the functioning of your immune system, de-stressing can help you get better faster.

Such a mindset change can be easier said than done, however. Here are some techniques to help you.

  • Meditate. Calm your mind and focus on peaceful feelings.
  • Listen to music. Choose some peaceful music to play while you relax. Music can have a calming effect on your brain.
  • Practice deep breathing. Even if you can’t breathe well through your nose, you can still experience significant benefits from some deep breathing exercises while you are sick.

Get Cozy

Help yourself de-stress while you are sick by creating a nest for yourself. Get your coziest pajamas on, and immerse yourself in the softest materials you have available to you. Put your feet up and commit to relaxing as much as you can.

Drink Hot Beverages

Keeping yourself well-hydrated isn’t only important for getting better physically from sickness; a nice hot beverage can also help you relax mentally. Avoid caffeine, which can make you feel jittery and lead to increased feelings of stress.

Warm bone broth is an especially good beverage to consume while you’re sick.

Eat Well

It’s important to nourish your body with foods that help boost your immune system while you’re sick so you can get better faster. But did you know that certain foods can also actively work to decrease your stress levels?

Take a look at the slideshow, “Healthy Foods That Fight Stress,” to learn more.

Accomplish Something Small

If there is something that you can do with minimal energy expenditure that will help you feel like you have still accomplished a task while you are sick, go ahead and do it. For instance, go through that stack of papers that’s been causing you anxiety for a few weeks. Just do it from your cozy nest while sipping a nice warm beverage.

Be Careful with Cold Medications

It’s tempting to ply yourself with cold medications to help you feel better so you can keep going while you’re sick. Be careful, though. Many cold medications and nasal sprays contain stimulants that may keep you from sleeping. Sleep is important to help you get better and feel less stressed while you are sick.

Try using a humidifier or taking a steamy bath to help with your congestion, and add honey to your tea to ease your sore throat.

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