Sick Happens

I woke up this morning, knew that I was not well, but still went through the motions of brushing my teeth, washing my face and getting fully dressed.  When I was still not feeling any better after my morning regimen, I knew I had to bite the bullet and call it.  Every time I need to call in sick, I always have such guilt about it.  I am not sure about the psychology behind this, but it explains why you will often see me in the office dripping and coughing away while being all-inclusive with my germs.  Sorry…I’m one of those!

Below is what I do to battle a cold.  Hopefully these suggestions will help you face this flu season head-on with success.


The Note

In this day and age, it’s quite acceptable to email-in as opposed to call in.  I prefer emailing, especially if I have a sore throat or severe headache.  There’s a professional way to send a sick note via email to your boss.  Use this example:

“Hello [Boss],
I am unable to come into the office as I am not feeling well.  [Provide any details regarding coverage for outstanding issues requiring immediate attention].  If you need to reach me for anything, please feel free to call me at [phone number] or email me.  Thank you.”

Keep it short and simple.  We’re all big girls now, so there is no need to be apologetic about our condition or explain anything further.  You are a responsible and valuable contributor to your team, so don’t feel guilty about needing a day.

Now, that this uncomfortable part is out of the way, spend your free day to focus on truly getting better!  Here are some things you can try to boost your wellness.


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Drink some broth

Apparently, bone broth is really trendy right now.  Well, I’m certain it is not just a trend or fad but what I mean is awareness about the benefits of bone broth has skyrocketed.  I have come across so many articles touting bone broth as a miracle food or superfood.  The broth does wonders for strengthening the immune system, so get some of this into your body while you’re recovering.  I cannot even begin to explain any of the medical benefits to you, so for a great article on the real benefits of bone broth, check out this one by Dr. Mercola.  All I know is that it makes me feel better as I sip it throughout the day.

Making bone broth is really easy.  All you need to do is add some bones (I suggest using a leftover roasted whole chicken carcass after you’ve eaten all the yummy meat), chopped vegetables (celery, carrots, onions) and 2 bay leaves to a crockpot.  Pour water over the ingredients in the pot to cover and add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.  Cook for 24 hours.  Strain the broth to rid any chunky things you don’t want to consume (keep the vegetables, though!) and drink away.

A photo by Dominik Martin.

Tea with honey, ginger and fresh lemon

My brother-in-law made this brew for me and I love it.  He used chamomile tea and added 1 teaspoon of organic honey, grated fresh ginger and a squeeze of lemon.  Drinking this tea makes me automatically feel good!  It’s probably all in the mind, but I find the ginger instantly perks me up while the honey and chamomile relax my body.  A beautiful balance.

Gargle a salt water concoction

During my entire childhood, this was the #1 go-to remedy whenever a scratchy throat was coming on.  Mix 1 glass of hot water (not boiling) with a heaping teaspoon of sea salt.  Gargle in your throat and spit out.  Repeat until entire glass is empty.  Rinse your mouth with fresh water.

Salt is a bacteria fighter, and it naturally soothes the throat.  Salt also sucks up moisture, so as it is swashing around in your throat, it is essentially drawing moisture out of your swollen tissues.


Flush it out

My vocal coach introduced me to nasal/sinus irrigation a few years ago.  She’s hardcore and does a flush every morning and every night.  I am not so good at sticking to this regimen, mainly because it is so uncomfortable and if there’s a lot up in there, it’s pretty disgusting!  So I only complete nasal flushes when I am feeling very stuffed up, or a day or two before a big concert or show.

I use the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit(affiliate link) to irrigate my sinuses.  Ooo that sounds so uppity and fancy.  Although it’s gross, it really works! It’s also great for when your sinuses are dry, as the saline solution will moisturize and soothe.

A photo by David Cohen.

Catch up on Zzzz’s

If you can’t muster the energy to do any of the above remedies, surely you can do this one!

In my opinion, sleep is the main thing your body needs.  I don’t exactly feel tired when I am sick, but I do find myself drifting off often.  I imagine it’s because my body is telling me it really needs to rest and recuperate. When this happens while the fireplace is on and I am snuggled under a fleece blanket, it is like heaven.


Good luck fighting the war against the cold virus this season!  I am sure that there are many more tips and suggestions.  I would love to hear your tips on how to fight this resilient virus!


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