Thoughts On Sick Days and Lifestyle

Thoughts On Sick Days and Lifestyle

I originally wrote this post in early 2015. I’ve come across a lot of old writing recently in some digital clean-ups, and I wanted to share this.

Thoughts On Sick Days and Lifestyle


Thoughts On Sick Days and Lifestyle


Recently I spent a day at work feeling completely nauseated. It’s something I’ve basically never felt in my life. I managed to get a doctors appointment that night & was told I was probably run down (I’d had a chest infection a few weeks before), had something viral and that my tonsils were getting red (ever since having glandular fever, I’m incredibly prone to tonsillitis).


The doctor told me to take the next day off work and to come back if my throat got worse. Done.


Here’s where I don’t think people like sick days.


There’s a mental image that all sick days look like a cold and flu advertisement. You’re under layers of blankets, snivelling a lot and eating soup.


You know what a sick day looks like at the beach?


Much bloody nicer than a sick day nearly anywhere else.


I’ve had sick days where I felt the cabin fever, so I went and sat down at the ocean, or beside the giant free lagoon in my area. Most people have to travel to the tropics to get what I have down the road. And it relaxed AND refreshed me to be out and in nature. I was careful – I parked nearby, I only sat there, I didn’t dehydrate – but I did get out and it made me feel the world of better.


But it probably didn’t look like a sick day.


That’s why people choose a lifestyle that allows them to be at the beach. In fact, one of the first things I do when I’m sick is go sit in a quiet part of the beach and breathe the sea air with my feet dug into the sand – because it calms me, it’s good for me and if I’m happy and relaxed, then I’m way more likely to rest and let my body fight a bug.


Life isn’t a competition to “soldier on” (I hate those ads with a wild fucking passion. Frankly, I think the soldier on attitude has a lot to answer for. Most particularly spreading viruses through offices!


Do you think your lifestyle is incompatible with what a sick day “should” look like? 



20 Replies to “Thoughts On Sick Days and Lifestyle”

  1. I definitely agree with this. When I have a sick day I usually go and sit outside somewhere. My mum believed in the healing power of fresh air when I was a kid and I always feel better sitting in a park than sitting in my bedroom.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      There is something about fresh air that really helps.

  2. I agree we shouldn’t soldier on we just feel worse and run ourself down more. Glad you had a refreshing day at the beach and feeling better.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Running yourself down serves no one!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I remember that!

  3. I completely agree. Sometimes a visit to my ‘replenish and revive’ place can ward off the real nasties. The sea is one of those places for me. We are lucky to be living so close to great recovery places. The sea water was glorious on Saturday, when I drove down the highway for a head clearing dip.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I love living by the beach; it’s relaxing.

  4. I don’t actually mind your traditional sick day. Curling up under a doona and not leaving bed unless you need to. I have two out of three of my daughters home sick today, doing just that.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I’d like those more if it was cold enough here to enjoy it!

  5. I needed to hear this Ness – life isn’t a competition to soldier on. I don’t compete with anyone but myself and if my body is telling me to slow down, then I need to slow down.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It really doesn’t serve anyone to soldier on.

  6. I’d love a sick day at the Beach – I cannot stay in bed , rarely when I’m sick do I .
    WE are too far from a real beach *sob*.
    I agree there is no need to compete or either milk it because you are sick or soldier on.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I don’t think I could leave the beach now that I live by it! I think I would really struggle.

  7. Paul is ridiculous with taking sick days. He has feel like he is on the verge of death before even considering a day off, and even then he won’t always take the day off. His boss doesn’t make the situation better by acting like the world is ending if Paul takes the day off.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I used to be like that but only because I was casual so if I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid. It forces you to put money ahead of health, which sucks. I hate bosses like that though – I can’t stand bosses with anti sick day attitudes. It’s like sure, I’ll just cough over everyone and make them all sick too?

  8. I am a big believer of mental health sick days! If you know you are not right and that being at work is going to do more harm than good, then I don’t see any issues with having time out…. if there becomes more of these days than the other, then there may be a bigger problem and other action needs to be taken (and yes I am speaking from experience here…)

    Good on you for giving yourself the break you so obviously needed..

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Exactly – some times what might be a mental health sick day is actually you listening to your body asking for rest so you avoid a bug, too! It’s all a good reason to actually use your sick leave (if you’re lucky enough to have it).

  9. I like what you do on a sick day. My sick day looks pretty close to every other day – I still have to get the kids to school, I still need to wash and do things around the house and I still tend to write (as long as my head isn’t pounding). But I might try a trip to the beach the next time I feel under the weather – it might be just what I need!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It’s worth trying the beach – fresh air is so calming.

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