Love & Comfort Your Self on Sick Days

There’s something about getting sick on a day off that allows me to feel sorry for myself free of all guilt. I take pity on myself; I baby myself; I pamper myself. Nothing prevents me from going “easy” on myself and refraining from pushing to get something done.

At one time, getting sick on a Saturday or on a holiday would usually anger me. I’d have all these plans and lists of things to do. I couldn’t accomplish any of them during the work week having to focus on someone else’s business and not my own. I always looked forward to the weekends to go on a date, to party, to let my hair down and either relax or go a little crazy. As I got older, the party animal in me grew tamer, but the drive to “do something” on my “down” time continued to beckon to me.

I’m not talking about climbing Mt. Everest or deep-sea diving for sunken treasure.  I became a family man with family responsibilities, many of which could not be dealt with Monday through Friday. Come Saturday, I could fix the car, clean up the den or other parts of the house, and do the dishes piling up because the clean ones in the dishwasher had yet to be removed.

So, when I get sick now, I disregard all of those mundane tasks. I put them off so that I can gain the strength to battle the invisible invader, be it a severe cold, an aching fever, or some unknown ailment that disables me. Had the illness attacked during the week, I’d fight it while going to work, making myself miserable throughout the long days and possibly spreading some germs to co-workers, customers and/or clients at the workplace.

Thank God for getting sick on my day off. I can say “to hell” with work. The world will not come to an end if household chores don’t get done. I have enough clean clothes to wear and food to eat to put off washing and grocery shopping. Let me rest.

Let me be.

Let me be as gentle as a mother soothing her small child who comes to her when the little one doesn’t “feel good.” Like mom, let me take “my child”  into my arms and rock back and forth, assuring all will be okay and that I would gladly take all the pain and suffering onto to myself if I could.

“Love yourself, for if you don’t, how can you expect anybody else to love you?” — Thich Nhat Hahn

Stay in bed, I say to myself when I feel lousy and the clock warns me it’s that time of the morning to get up. Pull the covers over your head. Disregard the pet dog and/or cat that are nudging you, gently whining, and urging you to pay them attention and feed them.

It’s your time, my ailing friend. Your time to care more for yourself than the ninety-nine percent of the time you’re taking care of others. It won’t hurt anyone or anything if there’s a delay in the routine. You’ll clean the litter box; let the dog go outside, and eventually fill their water and food bowls.

Go ahead and eat an easy-to-prepare breakfast. Pour your childhood favorite Cheerios and Rice Krispies into the same bowl. Load it with sugar and add the milk and pretend you’re a kid again, munching away the blues. Eat your comfort food of chicken and rice soup for lunch, and a slice of pizza and a Philadelphia soft pretzel for dinner You’ve earned it! You’re important. You’re loved. You’re the best thing that ever happened to yourself and you got to get well so that you can share the rest of your life helping others feel as good as you on good days and on bad.

12 comments on “Love & Comfort Your Self on Sick Days

  1. Oooh, the highest form of flattery is to be quoted! Thank you Michael J.!


    • contoveros says:

      I like how the Spirited Soul says “Oooh.”

      I like it better when she puts more into it by saying “Ooooh.”

      Funny thing is, I understand her no matter how many “o“s (pronounced ooze as in “Ouzo.”) she may use.


      • Ha! Michael, somehow I posted that Oooohh LaLa twice! (And I wasn’t even nipping at the Ouzo! In fact I never have, nipped that is.) I guess for extra emphasis? With just a hint of variety to add a little more zest.

        La-dee-da La-dee-da…


  2. Ooooh, the highest form of flattery is being quoted! 🙂


  3. souldipper says:

    I’d say I’m good about nurturing myself when needed.

    I had a pajama party all by myself one day last week. Got caught by a neighbour who always phones first. Not that day! 😀 I invited her in and we had a great gab after I told her I was having a day off and decided to stay in my jammies.

    To be honest, I suspect it gave her the freedom to give it a try. Maybe I’ll pop in and catch her…

    I’m seldom sick and when I am, someone usually has to tell me. I think I’m wussing out. Or getting crotchety. So when I learn I have some bug, I’m already half through it.



    • contoveros says:

      A solitary pajama party! What a great idea to give to your self, sick or not sick.

      Sounds just like the “mental health” day I’d take when I could force my self to go to work, but stayed at home because the work that day just wasn’t all that important.


  4. Michael J,

    I’m glad to hear you loving yourself and taking care. In the course of my healing, I often visualize myself as my own infant, nurturing myself as I know I want and need. Once in a while, I still feel anxiety build when I’m ‘out of commission’, as I see my list of things to do staring back at me, but I don’t have guilt any more for taking down time (I think that might be a natural consequence of aging?). You can’t have up time, without down time! One has to renew and recharge, and we don’t have to wait till we’re sick to do it! Once we’re sick, our body is screaming at us to slow down and listen, because in all the rush, the giving, the doing, we’ve become out of balance. I hate being sick and I’ve spent many years being so. But it did serve a purpose, almost the only excuse the Western mind (and work, family, etc.) will take for slowing down…and even then, we have just learned to pop a pill or two and press on. So here’s to letting go and giving in…to ourselves!

    Nurture thyself. 🙂


    • contoveros says:

      “. . . letting go and giving in…to ourselves . . .”

      That’s great medicine for whatever might ail someone.

      Thanks oh nurturing one.


      • I’m not sure why it’s such a hard task, seemingly so natural, but has to be (re)learned?! I do know that it’s our primary purpose here…To realize our own Greatness, and Oneness, with Love, Compassion, Humility and Gratitude.

        Blessings to you, 1 to infinity!


        • contoveros says:

          “. . .To realize our own Greatness and Oneness with Love, Compassion, Humility and Gratitude . . .”

          Mind if I quote you on that?

          Too late. I just did. Quote you.

          And Bless you, too.


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