• Nicole Salter

How to turn a (legitimate) sick day into a spa day


The season of colds, coughs and sore throats is definitely here. Fickle weather, filthy subway poles and spending your weekends cooped up in indoor play-places with approximately 142 screaming toddlers doesn't help, either. And while there are lots of ways to try and stave off the dreaded bugs (like regular hand-washing and hand sanitizing) we will ultimately all fall prey to some kind of virus at some point.

As much as you might want to just push past it and continue working at 100%, that will only prolong the agony; it's important to recognize that you really do need some extra self-care when you're sick, even (and especially) if the symptoms strike at the worst possible time. Go ahead, call in sick to work and...now what? Spend the day on the couch with a box of tissues and a Netflix subscription? Not bad, but not exactly self-care, is it? Here are some tips on how to make the most of that (real) sick day such that you will actually feel better tomorrow.

How to take care of yourself when you are sick

Some say no one can do it like mom...but maybe mom just dosed you with Tylenol and sent you to school because she had to work, or maybe you spent the day in your room alone in the eerie blue light of your Nintendo. If you didn't learn self care at home, take a look at these tips and see which ones you could incorporate into your routine when colds and flus strike.

1. Make a list of everything you will do...tomorrow. This works well for people who feel serious guilt at the prospect of not getting through their to-do lists and who might panic about 'things piling up' - put today's must-do list on paper, in black and white, so it doesn't rent space in your head, and then date it for tomorrow.

2. Deal with the essentials. Do you have enough groceries, fresh ginger for that tea you want to make, chicken or vegetables for a soup that will nourish your body while it fights off the invaders? If not, order the essentials online so you can just relax.

3. Get clean. One of the big reasons you've powered through sickness before is because you got ready for work just like always; a big part of that is the shower, where cleaning your dirty hair and greasy face make you feel more like yourself again. Don't forgo this joy just because you're sick! Use an herbal shower steamer to help clear your sinuses and get your head on straight; then go ahead and put those PJs right back on if you wish!

4. Take a bath...with treatments. Never have time for a long soak? Well, today you do. Soaking in Epsom salts relieves congestion and inflammation throughout the body. It's also hella-relaxing and leaves you smelling and feeling wonderful so, why not?!

5. Breathe in some aromatherapy. If snot is proving especially problematic, breathe in some natural vapour rub - the soothing yet stimulating aroma of eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary essential oils will definitely clear your sinuses. Then, rub some on your chest and cover with a hot towel to help open up your lungs.

Now you are totally ready for TV time...or do a guided meditation with soft music to achieve a state of nirvana.

Top 5 bestselling spa products for when you are sick

Feeling sick enough to call in, but not quite sick enough to head to the walk-in and find out what the heck is going on? SaltZ&Co has spa treatments to help you feel better when you are sick.

1. Mama, I'm Sick. The quintessential eucalyptus/peppermint aroma in a soothing bath salt that will help soak away your congestion, body aches and fatigue.

2. No Scrubs Who says you can't polish the germs away? Toxins can accumulate in our skin, but a stimulating, exfoliating salt scrub plus the rubbing action helps draw them out to the surface. You'll emerge from the shower feeling smooth, soft, polished and lightly scented with vanilla and grapefruit.

3. Don't Stand So Close to Me. Natural vapour rub stick as mentioned above works just like Vicks, without the petroleum and chemicals.

4. Sweet Caroline. Massage muscle pain away and pamper yourself big-time with this sweet, lush massage bar made of cocoa butter, shea butter and beeswax.

5. Margaritaville Citrus Soap. Sometimes you'd rather wake up and feel more human than stay in the "I'm so sick" cocoon; this refreshing, citrusy-sweet loofah soap is for you.

What are your personal favourite ways to feel better inside and out when sick?

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