One of the toughest things to do when you’re finally feeling better after days of being bed-ridden from illness is to continue to rest. However, this could possibly be the most important thing you can do in order to fully recover.
As adults, we tend to push ourselves too hard. When we get sick, we avoid ceasing activity and staying in bed until the signals from our body get so severe we have to listen: high fever, extreme exhaustion, raging headache, nausea, vomiting, etc.
This is never a good idea, and a worse idea is to suppress your symptoms by taking OTC cold medicines in order to keep pushing and moving forward. Ideally, at the FIRST signs of illness you would get in bed and stay there, allowing the fever run its course and supporting your body in its efforts to heal.
The Road to Recovery
Once you’re feeling well again, the rule of thumb is to continue to stay in bed the same number of days you were sick. If you started out healthy and began resting from the first sign of illness, you supported yourself throughout by drinking coconut water/herbal tea, doing herbal steams, allowing your fever to work, supporting your immune system by taking extra vitamin c and zinc, and drinking plenty of water, then your illness usually won’t last more than a few days. This makes it very doable to stay in bed an additional few days.
The hard part comes when you deny that you’re getting that sick, continue working, take a pill to decrease your headache and low-grade fever; maybe you rest a little extra, but you don’t just stop and get in bed. That can cause the illness to go deeper into the body and to last a lot longer. If this is your situation and you’re now attempting to recover from a 10-14 day illness, staying in bed another 10-14 days seems impossible. Bare minimum, I would encourage you to stay in bed after you begin to feel better for at least another 3-4 days.
During this time, you need to focus on rebuilding your body
- Eat nourishing foods such as oatmeal, hearty soups and stews with herbs, spices and whole grains.
- Make bone broth and add astragalus and medicinal mushrooms, along with plenty of garlic, ginger and pepper.
- Chai tea is extremely warming and stimulating while also containing spices known to have antiviral/antibacterial properties. (this is great to drink during a feverish flu as well)
- Warm (not hot), herbal baths can also help
- If there is lingering chest congestion, consider using chest packs and doing herbal steams – thyme is so soothing.
Those are just a few things you can do to help recover from any illness. Remember, your body is not working against you when you get all those symptoms, it is working FOR you, doing everything in its playbook to get rid of the intruder and return to balance.
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