How Do You Pamper Yourself When You’re Sick?

pamper yourself when you're sickWell, it finally happened. I caught the cold my husband and kids have had for weeks now, despite weeks of Zicam-ing it up. (With my husband, at least, it was actually the flu — the rest of us had flu shots, so hopefully I (and the kids) got a more mild version.) So here’s today’s fun topic: How do you pamper yourself when you’re sick? What goes out the window the second you find out you’re sick, and what little indulgences do you allow yourself that you wouldn’t normally? (We’ve talked about this before, but another good corollary question: how do you work when you’re sick?

For my $.02, I’ve gone to bed at 8:30 the past two nights (the “I have small kids” version of sleeping in), didn’t get out of my PJs yesterday, and wouldn’t dream of putting makeup on today. I’d also been trying to do low-carb before this, which promptly went out the window when the order went in to our local Chinese food place — wonton soup, shumai, and pork-fried rice, oh my. Instead of working yesterday during my youngest son’s nap like I usually do, I spent the time in bed, unable to sleep but reading an enjoyable and thoroughly ridiculous romance novel. (Which I finished. And then immediately bought the next one in the series on Kindle, another indulgence I don’t usually allow myself — I usually try to get my brain candy books from the library.)

As for working while sick, to me it’s all about energy management — I knew I’d have a few good hours this morning before exhaustion set in so I’ve tried my hardest to get what I needed to done without being tempted by my usual distractions.

How about you guys: How does your routine change when you’re sick? (And, anyone have a good recipe for chicken soup? We tried making one for dinner from leftover rice, shredded chicken from earlier in the week, and consomme broth, but it was a bit… salty.)

We’ve talked a lot about being sick at work in the past, including the six things you MUST have on hand at the office if you’re sick, how to ward off a cold, the business etiquette question of shaking hands when you’re sick, and, of course, the more particular question of whether it’s appropriate to actively network while sick.

Social media picture credit: Pixabay.

how to pamper yourself when you're sick

how to pamper yourself when you're sick


  1. When I am sick, I go home to LI, where MOM take’s care of me. This year, I got some sort of flue bug at the beginning of December, but b/c of the BILLEINGS the manageing partner wanted me to do, I had to tough it out here in NYC. Mom and Dad DID come into NYC with some homemade chicken soup from Grandma Trudy, and they stayed with me on a Saturday into Sunday — thank goodness I have the second bedroom, even if I have my workout materials and home office there. I have a VERY nice pull-out sofa there that they slept in while I was sneezeing away in my bedroom. Dad think’s I should consider a 3 bedroom now that I am a PARTNER, but they are to expensive unless you move to Queens — FOOEY on that! No man want’s to marry a girl who lives in Queens, Myrna says, and she is RIGHT! I need to marry a guy who lives on Park Avenue, b/c that is where I want to live. YAY!!!

    • Ellen,

      I’m enjoying your blog, however, I find your grammar and spelling troubling for a professional woman.

  2. Anonymous :

    What do you all think of Flexjobs . com? Is it worth the fee to find an online job?

  3. Sickness requires large doses of pho with plenty of quantities of sriracha. Chicken soup is a far inferior remedy.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I definitely eat a lot of pho, hot and sour soup or thai soup with lemongrass. Something about it just makes me feel better!

    • What a good idea. I’m sick now and have to go to work tomorrow and will definitely order in pho.

  4. Katherine K :

    I’m in the minority at my small law office, but I take off of work when I’m sick, period (“sick” being influenza or a similarly wretched virus, or GI illness). I have two small kids, and even with the threat of subsequently missing work to stay at home with a sick kid looming, I can’t afford to have an illness get significantly worse because I’m not taking care of myself. I send the kids to daycare (which I realize is a huge privilege), and do the bare minimum to keep the household functioning: laundry, bills, and getting the daycare bags ready. I try NOT to cook if at all possible, because nobody wants my germs. Otherwise, I stay in bed or on the couch with pajamas, and tell work that I’m available in an emergency. Also, I make “Two Peas and Their Pod”‘s lemon orzo soup when I’m sick (easy – I use a rotisseri chicken) and the lemon tastes great.

  5. In-House in Houston :

    I sleep as much as I can. I close the shutters and make the room a little cool so that I’m nice and toasty in bed and I try to sleep it off. I’ll often take some OTC nighttime liquid to zonk me out, and in most cases, I wake up feeling really hungry but generally better.

  6. A hot toddy.

    Hot tea, honey, cinnamon stick, lemon slice, cloves, and capful of whiskey or brandy.

  7. Re: guilty pleasure books – Kat, you probably know this, but just in case: You can get Kindle books from the library too – just as fast, almost as easy, totally free. Of course, your library has to own the book and no one else can have it checked out….

    • Wildkitten :

      Yes! I get all my kindle books from the library

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      This is the best feature of the library. I can read my chick lit books on my kindle/phone and NO ONE KNOWS. I could be reading War and Peace! But no, I’m reading Shopaholic.

  8. I make a big batch of homemade chicken noodle soup and freeze it in individual containers. When anyone in the family doesn’t feel well, I pop it in the microwave and voila ….. homemade soup!!! I want my soup when I’m sick, but not feeling well enough to make it. Great and easy. My husband got sick while I was out of town and he loved this too. Enjoy!!

  9. I am chiming in late here, sorry. For chicken soup (which we just had yesterday) I make stock in the slow cooker with the meaty carcass of a roasted chicken (a la the Kitchn, freeze it until needed, and then finish in the smitten kitchen way: I don’t usually poach the chicken in the broth but use whatever leftover chicken we happen to have. Works great for turkey stock and soup too.

  10. Anonymous :

    When I have the cold or the flu, I get in bed and I stay in bed all day long. Most of the time I just sleep. If I am feeling up to it, I will watch tv or read but I try not to leave the bed. I also try to sip green tea during the day and eat what I can. Since I live alone, I always keep cans of chicken noodle soup and electrolyte water stocked in my apartment so I have something to eat and drink if I suddenly get sick.

    Frankly, I have found that just staying in bed and sleeping all day, which allows my body to fight the virus, makes me get over the cold or flu A LOT faster.

    It is a huge pet peeve of mine when people come to work sick. It is so inconsiderate. If the world is going to come to an end if you don’t work, then work from home at least.

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