Whether it’s a short illness like a virus or the four, or it’s a flare up of a chronic illness, low energy and pain can make the days and evenings feel long. Time on social media can make matters worse as you look on from the sidelines at your friends doing all the things you wish you could.
For me, a great coping mechanism has been low energy hobbies that give me a sense of purpose when I’m unwell. These activities were particularly important when I was a teenager and was too poorly to attend school.
Something as simple as turning off the TV and reading a book, listening to an Audio book or doing a puzzle can make a sick day less like a punishment and more helpful for you mindset and wellbeing. After all, while it’s important to rest and recuperate physically, it’s also important to look after your mental wellbeing.
Here are five ways to make poorly days more fulfilling:
1.Experience a story
If you’re well enough to read then why not choose a book you’ve been looking forward to reading but have’t had the time? A gritty crime novel or absorbing work of historical fiction will keep your mind from wandering.
If you’re not up to reading then why not listen to an audiobook or watch a favourite film or new drama TV show? By picking something you’ll engage with and enjoy, you’ll avoid mindlessly watching whatever is on and feeling as though the day has passed without any enjoyment.
2. Get crafty
If you experience fatigue you might think crafting is out of reach. However, throughout my illness as a teenager I found sketching, making cards and knitting were all doable for short periods of time. Making a card or making anything will mean you’ve accomplished something even when you’re unwell.
I still love to knit as it helps me avoid a low mood and feel creative even when I’m having a flare up.
3. Don’t be afraid to make believe
I’m a writer and even when I’m unwell I still usually find time to write, even if it’s just jotting down a few ideas or writing a paragraph a day.
I think writing is a great emotional outlet and can also be a great distraction if you’re making up ideas for stories, characters and settings. If you’d like to give creative writing a go I have some prompts to help. Writing is a great mindfulness activity for all and can really help fill days when you’re at home alone.
Meditation is a fantastic tool to build resilience and find moments of peace even in stressful times such as illness.
Guided meditations are a more accessible way to give meditation a try. I love Yoga With Adrien’s Meditation for Anxiety and also really recommend the 10% Happier App.
I find body scan meditation is really helpful for relaxing when experiencing pain as moving concentration around the body can help to relax muscles and joints.
5. Blue sky
If you can get outside for a short while it will really help your mood and break up the day. A short work will help aching muscles and mean you can relax more when you return home and the daylight will brighten your mood and is also really important for sleeping well.
If getting outside isn’t possible then opening your window and sitting near to it can help boost your mood too. The natural light of feeling of fresh can be both refreshing and soothing, as can listening to the sounds outside of your window.
I hope you find these tips helpful. If you’re experiencing something like this and have some practices you use to help then share them in the comments below.
To book your space on my upcoming New Year Journalling and Mindfulness workshop go to the event page here; https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/new-year-journaling-and-mindfulness-workshop-tickets-52860500179