What to do When You're Sick

young woman feel sick in the morning, headache or toxemia of pregnancy

So you've been hitting the gym multiple times per week, cooking healthy meals for your family and for the most part, managing to stay on top of things. But suddenly, you're hit with a bad cold — or worse, the flu. What's a busy mom to do? It's hard to take the time to recover when you're worrying about your little ones! We've laid out some tips to help you recover quickly so you can get back to taking care of your family.

Take some zinc. When you're beginning to see the warning symptoms of a cold, pop some losenges that contain zinc acetate or zinc gluconate and take them every couple of hours. It could shorten the length of your cold by two whole days! That's a long period of time when it comes to motherhood.

Get your vitamin C. Vitamin C likely won't prevent a cold, but it definitely can reduce your downtime. Health reports that it could reduce your cold by eight percent!

Sleep lots. Getting those Z's allows your immune system to release proteins called cytokines that combat infection. Plus, the more sleep you get, the less likely you are to catch a virus in the future.

Hydrate. Make sure you have plenty of water and sports drinks, especially those that contain electrolytes. That will provide you with enough energy to get through your sickly days, as well as help to heal your body. Don't drink those sports drinks for too long after you've recovered, though! Most are packed with sugars. Check out our favorite detox waters here.

>> Read more: Hate the 'Flavor' of Water? Try These 7 Things!

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Exercise. That is, if you're healthy enough. Exercise can do wonders to help you get rid of your cold, but in some instances, it isn't wise to exercise. For instance, if you have a fever, raising your internal body temperature via exercise can make you even more sick. But, exercising can boost your immune system to help you defeat a cold quickly. How can you tell whether or not you should exercise while you're sick? Try the neck check. If your illness is above your neck (sore throat, runny nose, etc), you're fine to work out. But if it's below your neck (coughing, chills, fever, etc), you definitely should not push your luck. You should also be careful when you're sick at the gym. First, if you have to pause for coughing fits and to blow your nose, you shouldn't be spreading your germs at the gym at all. Stay home! But if you are well enough to go to the gym, laying a towel beneath you on all surfaces you come into contact with is a good way to prevent the spreading of your germs. As always, be sure to wash your hands excessively. Sanitizing the equipment you use is also a good idea. (via WebMD)

>> Read more: 5 Germiest Places at the Gym

Stay home from work. Not only is staying home from work respectful to your coworkers, but it also helps you recover faster! No one wants to sit next to somebody who is coughing and sneezing all over the place, and recovering in the comfort of your own home will do wonders for your immune system. One person's cold or flu can run rampant throughout an office.

Relax. Once you're home from work, make sure to relax. Try doing some yoga or meditation. You might be wondering how on Earth it can be possible to relax when you have motherly duties to attend to. Read on to find out!

sick woman

Make it easy for kids to help themselves. That means placing single serving fruit snacks, juice boxes and plastic cups on surfaces they can access. Give them easy-to-make meal options. Set some ground rules so they're not eating Pop-Tarts for every meal!

Make the most of your trips out of bed. If you're really down and out and find it difficult to get out of bed, make the most of your ventures when you do get out of your bedroom. Ask your family if there is anything they need while you're up, and defer any requests after you slink under the covers to your next trip.

Be okay with your kids entertaining themselves. This might mean watching Spongebob on repeat or making a mess in the basement, but you have to be okay with them entertaining themselves. The more peace and quiet you have, the better you will feel and the sooner you'll be able to get back to your motherly duties. The most important thing is that your kids are safe inside your home.


Let everything go. Being a mother means constantly multi-tasking, but if you can't take any time for yourself when you're sick, when can you? Take care of all the kids' rides to and from school and practice so you don't have to worry about it. Stop worrying about what you're going to make for dinner. Just let everything go and take some time to recover.

How do you combat the cold and flu? Let us know in the comments below!