Tips For Adulthood: Five Comfort Activities When You’re Sick

comfort activities when you're sick

Editor’s Note: Half the people I know have come down with Covid (again!) in the last week or so. I was very sick with it myself a couple of months ago, so I know how that feels. In the event you or someone you know has Covid, I am re-posting this set of tips on comfort actitivites when you’re sick.


On occasional Wednesdays I offer tips for adulthood.

I really resist being ill. On some fundamental level, I don’t want to accept that my defenses are down and I can’t accomplish what I normally do. So I spend a lot of time feeling frustrated when I’m sick, which is not only pointless, but counter-productive.

Over the years, however, I’ve come to realize that if you can re-frame it, being sick is actually a nice excuse to relax and engage in “comfort activities” that you might not allow yourself during your normal routine. So now I try to approach illness with a whole new outlook. Here are five comfort activites when you’re sick:

1.  Play Board Games.  I’m a huge fan of board games. The drawback (and advantage) of games like Risk and Settlers of Catan is that they can take several hours to play. So you really need to clear an entire afternoon or evening, which can be tough to manage during “normal times.” But when you’re sick, you’ve got nothing better to do. Assuming you can actually sit up, and have some company, playing a board game is an excellent way to spend a sick day.

2.  Watch Old Movies.  Watching old movies is another great comfort activity when you’re not feeling your best. In theory, any film should do, right? But there’s something particularly soothing about old movies. I’m particularly partial to musicals, so my collection of Oklahoma!, West Side Story and The Sound of Music are staples.

3.  Drink TeaI’m a coffee person. But when I’m sick, I take a hiatus from coffee and drink only tea. There’s nothing that screams relaxation quite as much as a large mug of tea. Preferably with sugar and milk. Yum. And if you’re not into caffeine, my new favourite herbal tea is Yogi Sweet Chili. Sounds gross, but it’s awesome.

4. Take a nap.  Despite all the research showing that naps boost productivity, I never, ever nap unless I’m feeling ill. But when I’m feeling unwell, I allow myself this luxury. Boy, is it worth it every time.

5.  Read a guilty pleasure.  What counts as a “guilty pleasure” will vary from person to person. I don’t read women’s magazines, so that’s never going to work for me. But we all have a pile of “to be read” books on our bedside table. You know, the ones you really want to read, but feel you *should* be reading something else? So after, like, I don’t know…six months… I finally picked up Sally Rooney’s latest novel, Beautiful World Where Are You, and plunged in. So glad that I did.

OK, so I know what you’re thinking. If these things are all so fantastic, why don’t I incorporate them into my regular routine? I’m working on it, folks. Really I am.

Image: Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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