Getting sick can really throw you for a loop. Your routine and schedule get sent off course, your energy and appetite are altered, and all the responsibilities that you face on a daily basis start to pile up and contribute to stress. No matter how minor the illness, the physical and emotional impact can be intense.
There’s a lot of information about how to prevent illness and what to do while you’re actively sick, but recovery is important too. So, what can you do to focus on getting back on track after being sick?
These 7 tips will help you replenish nutrients and restore balance to your body so you can reboot your health and build yourself back up.
We typically come out of illness dehydrated, so focusing on hydration is key to getting back on track after being sick. Plain purified water is always a great option, but other choices like unsweetened herbal tea, coconut water or other natural electrolyte drinks, and nourishing broths can also be beneficial. And while it might be tempting to boost energy with a cup of coffee, remember that caffeine in excess can be dehydrating, so take it easy on the buzzy beverages or at least balance out your cup with an equal amount of water.
Your body needs fuel to recover, so once you can stomach it, fill your body with fresh, whole, nutrient-dense foods. And while it may be tempting to turn to refined carbohydrates and sugar for an easy energy boost, remember that these foods can cause inflammation in the body and will generally just cause an energy crash as intense as the spike. Instead, focus on fiber-filled carbs like fresh fruits and veggies, and pair them with some protein and fat to keep your blood sugar and energy balanced.
Whether driven by a pile of unfinished work, incomplete chores, or fellow family members who caught your bug and require care, illness results in both physical stress on the body and emotional stress from dealing with uprooted routine. Help manage the stress and reboot your health by incorporating a mindfulness practice. If activities like meditation or yoga are unavailable to you as you feel unwell, a gentle practice of contemplation or positive affirmations may help you incorporate more tranquility into your lifestyle.
Get Back to Your Supplement Routine
Ideally you can keep up your supplement routine when sick, but if that isn’t possible be sure to start back up while you recover to replenish key nutrients and help your body finish fighting off illness while also protecting you from anything else that comes your way. A multivitamin and superfood powder will support your foundational wellness, while vitamin C and immune support will give you an extra boost.
Nurture Your Gut
We can’t talk about illness without talking about the gut. So much of our immune system relies on a healthy gut, and that can be easily compromised by illness. Whether your illness required antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, or even just involved a lack of nourishing food, your gut could use some love as your body is getting back on track after being sick. Incorporate fermented foods or a good probiotic supplement and focus on fiber-rich whole foods which serve as prebiotics (food for the friendly flora).
It’s wise from a hygiene perspective but can also be emotionally cleansing to get a fresh start with a whole-house clean. Give your sheets, towels, and clothes a hot wash, and scrub all high touch surfaces.
Listen to Your Body
It can be tempting to want to jump back into your routine—especially if certain responsibilities fell behind while you were down—but don’t rush back into your normal routine by skimping on sleep or jumping too quickly back into exercise. Reintroduce activities slowly and listen to your body’s response so that you don’t overdo it.
A Healthy Reset
Illness is tough on the mind and body, but being intentional about continuing to care for yourself even as you start to feel better will help in getting back on track after being sick, so you can come out of it even stronger than before.