What to do when you’re home alone and sick

One challenge of living alone is looking after yourself when you get sick. Just when you’re feeling at your lowest ebb you need the most from yourself. 

First off, be gentle on yourself. Do the absolute minimum to keep going, whatever “keep going” means for you. Drop all extraneous activity (which for me means any form of cleaning). Go to bed and stay there for as long as it takes. Get up only to feed and water yourself. 

Get a good tray. I have a bamboo one my father gave me for Christmas one year. It has deep sides and easy to grasp handles. This makes carrying food and drinks to bed so much easier. 

Call on friends if necessary. I’ve had friends drop off medications and food and they have been happy to do it. So don’t be afraid to ask. They know you live alone and don’t have an obliging spouse to do it for you. 

Stock up. Obviously this needs to be done in advance. I am an advocate of the Boy Scout motto. You’re going to get sick at some point, so lay in supplies. For me, this means soup. When I’m unwell I usually just want soup, so I keep on hand cans of soup and even better, frozen pouches of soup. These latter are delicious, chock full of veg, and very tasty. Microwaved in 5 minutes or so, they are perfect for days when even standing at the stove requires more energy than I have. 

Getting sick is no one’s idea of a good time, but a little preparation for the inevitable goes a long way towards making it bearable. Figure out what makes you feel better when you’re unwell, and make sure you have whatever you need before the bugs strike. 

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