Looking after yourself when you are sick, let alone the rest of the family, is hard. Have you ever been so sick that you can’t get yourself to the kitchen to make a piece of toast, let alone cook a decent meal for the family? Have you had times when the whole family is out with the flu and the last thing you want to do is slave over the stove? Whether you are sick, tired or just rather be doing something else, I feel your pain. And I have some tips to get you through it.
The last week was rough for my husband and I on the health front. Whilst visiting my sister earlier this month, I fell down some stairs and sprained my ankle, tearing ligaments. That had me walking about on crutches for a week and hobbling thereafter. I also caught bronchitis, which was followed by a cold. My husband got the flu. This all meant we were both feeling sorry for ourselves on the couch. Neither of us felt up to cooking.
So, what did I do to make sure we kept eating decent meals while I had my leg up resting and my husband was snuffling in my ear that he felt like crap? Here’s what we did and what you can do too to look after yourself when you are sick.
1. Call on friends and family
The first thing I did was call on a close friend to do some groceries for us and pick up some quick meals such as premade lasagne and salads, fruit and some basics to get us through the first few nights. She was also a GOD who washed our dishes whilst she was here. I LOVE you Felicity, thank you!
Don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it. Call on a friend to shop for you or if you know someone who LOVES to cook, ask them if they could make something for you. I’m sure they’d love to be able to help you out and prepare a delicious meal for you.
2. Call on companies that sell prepared meals
Looking after yourself when you are sick can include paying for help. After we’d eaten our supplies, I called on a local company called Doorstep Dinners (sadly no longer in service) to help us out. This was one of many local Canberra companies that make meals and deliver them to your home. We ordered on Tuesday night to get enough meals to last us the week. Victoria delivered the meals the following day.
We had ordered enough for lunches and dinners for the week and I sneakily ordered some Chocolate Fudge Cake with Candied Beetroot for snacking!
What did we get?
It really made a difference to our week, allowing us to rest and focus on recovery. I wouldn’t hesitate to use a service like this again under similar circumstances. In fact, I’m very tempted to order meals each week instead of the cooking we do on a Sunday night. I’d love to spend my time elsewhere. The thing I liked most was, it was like indulging in a guilty pleasure without the guilt. It was like ordering a healthy takeaway, if that makes sense. They are premade meals but at a lower cost than takeaway. AND, they are a healthier option with the wholesome flavours that home-cooked meals should have. Plus, I get to support a local business. Perfect!
Since writing this article Doorstep Dinners no longer is in service, unfortunately. There are, however, many new places popping up locally and nationally. In Canberra, there is Dinner Rush and many more. There are also the likes of Hello Fresh and Marley Spoon who send you all ingredients and the recipe to make the meals yourself. This can take the pressure off having to decide on meals, do grocery shopping and the like. Once you start looking for short cuts in the kitchen, you’ll find heaps of options.
One last tip which I wish I’d engaged this time around…
3. Hire a cleaner
If you need to, hire a cleaner and accept help from others. You don’t need to be superwoman and do everything yourself (particularly when life gets hectic or you’re sick!).
Getting a cleaner in is sometimes necessary. I know plenty of people who have someone come and clean regularly and swear by it. Don’t be ashamed to reach out for help and ask someone to lend a hand, or pay for the service. I know if I ever hire a cleaner, I’m likely to never let them go!
The moral to my story is that when you’re down and out, don’t forget the resources around you. It’s ok to ask for help from friends, family or companies to get you back on top of things. And really, how smart are you if you organise that help, stay sane and well, instead of getting overwhelmed, exhausted and sicker? You’re pretty awesome! Looking after yourself when you are sick is priority number one!
Of course, if you find that you’re feeling overwhelmed in your home more generally, professional organisers like me are here to lend you a hand too.
Do you have more tips for looking after yourself when you are sick? I’d love for you to share them in our wonderful Facebook Group. Let’s give each other a helping hand.