How To Stay Positive When You’re Sick

The past couple of days have been rough – a fever, chills, sweats, it hasn’t been fun. While it might just be flu symptoms for some, I also have an autoimmune disease, where symptoms like this can lead to greater issues for me and exacerbate inflammation in my body. I definitely know what it is like to not have the physical strength to leave the house. Even deeper than that, I used to be so depressed from being sick all the time, I would hide in my home all day with the windows drawn, which in essence, made me even worse. One thing I’ve tried to remind myself over the years, is that whether I am battling the sniffles or something larger – sickness is that of the body but it doesn’t have to control my mind. While I let my body heal, there are some small steps I have taken to keep a positive mindset that can hopefully help ease your mind, on your own personal road to recovery.

Visualize the bad floating away from your body. When I was really sick and hospitalized for nearly a month (story time on another day), I spoke to a hospital psychologist and she helped me understand the importance of positive thinking and visualization. She told me to close my eyes, visualize all of the “bad” cells/bacteria floating away from my body in big, colorful balloons. One by one, any toxin in my body was slowly drifting away and what was left was just what my body needed. While that may or may not have happened in reality at that very moment, it certainly helped my anxiety and normalized my thoughts so I was envisioning a “lighter” and healthier me.

Find peace in cleanliness. It sounds so minor but when you have a mess surrounding you, from tissues, unfolded clothes, or dirty dishes, it can affect your psyche. A messy home = messy mind. You may be feeling physically weak but putting away your clothes or taking small steps to tidying your area, can lead to large gains in peace of mind.

Eat nutritious foods. When I’m sick, I do one of either extremes: 1) Don’t eat anything or 2) Eat crap. A happy balance I’ve found for me is eating cooked vegetables, soups, smoothies, and food in its most simple and basic form. A favorite soup of mine that has been on repeat has been this Splendid Spoon carrot turmeric soup I eat for either breakfast or dinner. Additives and artificial sweeteners have always exacerbated sick feelings and symptoms for me. While it might be satisfying during that moment, just thinking of the after effects makes it not worth it.

Take a shower. Ok this might sound gross but when I’m sick I don’t bathe as frequently. It’s crazy how drawing a bath or washing your hair can make such a huge difference on your mood. Epsom salt and lavender baths are a personal favorite of mine since it soothes and relaxes body aches. So get in that tub, light some candles, and put on some relaxing music!

These tips might sound so basic but honestly it’s the small steps in my every day that have helped keep negative, “poor me” thoughts away.

If you’ve got any simple tips on what keeps you in a more positive mindset when you aren’t physically feeling the greatest, please share in the comments below!

Wishing you all so, so much good health!

xo

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. I totally needed this. I suffer from a lot of chronic illness and so many of these things are so easy to forget. It’s so easy to forget to take care of yourself. Thank you so much for writing this <3 definitely an inspiration for me right now

    Posted 3.17.17 Reply
  2. Molika wrote:

    ThAnk you for thi sleep post, I totally need to stay positive.

    Posted 3.17.17 Reply
  3. Awesome tips! I will keep these in mind.

    Posted 3.17.17 Reply
  4. Emmy wrote:

    Lately I’ve so been loving the lavendar scented epsom salts from Dr. Teals. I think I got sent them in a PR box, but with how stressful and crazy things have been at work, it’s nice to take a few moments to myself and just relax in the tub. 🙂

    Posted 3.17.17 Reply
  5. Abby wrote:

    It’s amazing what a difference healthy foods can do to your body! As I’ve gotten older I’ve def noticed my body responding in a negative way when I put junk food in it. Glad you’re feeling better sweet thing <3
    xoxo,
    Abby @clothesandpizza

    Posted 3.18.17 Reply
  6. Kay Woods wrote:

    I read this from my bath ❤️🙋🏽

    Posted 5.31.17 Reply
    • Rachel wrote:

      YAS girl <3 Love it! And if you are sick, I hope you're feeling better!!

      Posted 6.4.17 Reply
  7. The Bu wrote:

    I needed something to lift me up.Am sick but Dr’s don’t see what’s wrong with me.most of thr test they took they come bck normal.Am weak can’t stand fot long.I collapse 3 to 4 time’s a day.Am trying to stay positive That i will be well.Am also trying real hard to fight whatever is wrong with me.

    Posted 6.2.19 Reply

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  • Taking the steps to heal is exhausting. Honestly, it’s not been an enjoyable path to go on. While not enjoyable, it’s certainly been necessary for my mental, emotional, and physical well being.

It takes a lot of energy and effort to try and pick your life up after you have experienced a trauma or loss of any kind. And we all do experience it. It can happen in different forms - loss of a loved one, a romantic relationship, a friendship, a job, health, or a myriad of other hardships.

I wanted to share what I’ve been doing over the past few weeks in hopes that it could maybe be applied to your unique path to healing and growth. #linkinbio Remember that these are my personal ways I’ve made steps toward more healing in my life. It may not work for you and that’s ok. Your path could look entirely different. Do what feels right for you, in your own time. ❤️ #emotionalwellness #healingjourney #mentalhealth
  • This weekend I gave my baby Tiger Lily a memorial service. I wanted to make it special for her so I surrounded her with her favorite toys and treats. I tried to remember her by sharing funny little things she did; all her quirkiness. She will always be the very best girl. Night night Tiger, I will see you in the morning. 🌈 I love you forever and ever and ever. ❤️
  • This weekend @blogher I spoke about the importance of owning your health and being your best health self-advocate.

It takes time to find the right medical professional for you but it’s time well spent because the doctor-patient relationship is one of the most intimate you can have.

Assess what your priorities are when finding a doctor, conduct interviews, don’t be afraid to seek a second/third opinion, do your own research, and have open communication. You know your body and your needs better than anyone.

The more you use your voice at the doctor’s office (or in any situation), the more powerful your voice becomes. ✨ #blogher20 #womenshealth
  • Still in pain. Still grieving. Still feel empty. I’m not sure when these feelings will lessen but this week I told myself that every day I would try to work on myself a little bit. So I’ve meditated two days. I remembered to take my medication. I scheduled a time to see a bereavement counselor. I tried to refocus energy on work.

The rest of the time I cry. I sleep. I put on the TV to shut out the thoughts inside my head. I found myself Googling “How to heal from loss” and the first point I read was “Do what feels right for you” so I’ve been trying. Constantly checking in with myself to see what my needs are. Hoping these little daily steps will help me regain more purpose in my life.

If you’re trying to cope with grief or loss, sending you a hug. Take your time and “do what feels right for you” ❤️
  • My parents had a pre-planned trip to Atlanta this week and since I’ve been staying with them, they insisted I shouldn’t be alone right now. Maybe they’re right. So, I’m off to Atlanta for a couple days. I know you can’t necessarily escape your problems but maybe being in a new environment will help me breathe a little more, if even for a few minutes throughout the day. 
I went to @sprouts before heading to the airport so that my family and I will have snacks for the flight and for our time there. Grabbed a bunch of fruit because it’s so easy and @hippeas_snacks since they are organic, vegan, and gluten-free. They’re on sale now @sprouts #ImAHippea #HippeasPartner
  • Tiger came into my life one month before I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to rest so much in the early days when I had her. I would get tired and have to sleep or lay down for most of the day leading up to my surgery.

On surgery day, I was terrified. I thought I wouldn’t wake up. So on the surgery room table, before I could feel the anesthesia, I told the surgery team my “final” words, ‘Tell my mom and Tiger Lily I love them’. She was always my priority. Always my family.

When I eventually woke up the first thing I asked my mom is ‘Where is Tiger Lily? How is she?’ I was even trying to get my mom to sneak her into my hospital room but security stopped her. I couldn’t wait to have her in my lap.

I eventually got discharged from the hospital and I had to spend weeks on the sofa downstairs because I couldn’t make it to the bed on the second floor. So on a narrow sofa, Tiger and I slept together, all day. I felt so bad for her since she seemed so bored and she was only sleeping next to me because her mama was recovering.

I made little promises to her though, I would make it to the patio and sit down there for a few minutes so I could throw her toy with her (she would only play fetch with me). Then eventually I was able to take slow walks with her and sit down on a park bench while she played.

She helped me focus my energy on getting better for her. No one else could take care of her, like I could. I got stronger for her. Tiger Lily gave me purpose each day. Baby Tiger helped me heal.

Maybe this is part of why the pain is unbearable. We’ve been through so much, even in our short time together. The pain today feels just as excruciating and suffocating like it did a week ago. Praying tomorrow will be better. 💔
  • The story of how my baby Tiger Lily came into my life

March 2018 my family and I lost our family Pomchi, Puffy. She had been with us for 13 years. She was my parents baby and I was the fun sister that got to come hang with her.

When we lost her I felt an emptiness and wanted some doggy energy around. I thought fostering seemed interesting. It’s temporary. I’ll foster a dog for a couple days and then that’s it.

One day I scrolled and found Dogs Without Borders. I came across a little Tiger Lily. What a funny name, I thought. There was something about her that I was drawn to. I think it was the ears.

I was still nervous about it and didn’t know if I could handle it but one day I went out to dinner with friends and we were talking about it. There just happened to be Tiger hot sauce on the table and it said TRY ME. We laughed, I had never seen that type of sauce before! It was definitely a sign.

So I fostered her and I remember I kept her blocked off in an area of my house. There’s no way I was just letting her run free where ever she wanted to go.

Then I started seeing how scared she was. She would regularly shake; so confused as to where she was. ‘I’m a good girl why is my life like this’ she probably thought.  So I became more lenient so she could feel more at ease. I guess fine she could be on the sofa once in a while when I was around but only on her pillow. I guess fine she could be on my bed but only if she stayed on her side. Boundaries only really lasted a couple days. I’m weak.

Then after just less than a week, her former foster family wanted to adopt her. I had been thinking of adopting her but then thought it was better for her to go with them. They were a couple with other animals in the house so it felt like a fun, full home for Tiger to be in.

After just two days, the couple told me they changed their mind. If I didn’t want her then they’d end up returning her back to DWB. I was livid. Once you commit to adopting a baby, there is a no refund policy. Baby adoptions are not merchandise to exchange for another fit. I missed her and didn’t want Tiger to go through another transfer so I decided to adopt her myself. (contd in comments)
  • Rest in peace my love. My little baby Tiger Lily. I don’t know what happened. It was so sudden. You were fine on Friday! Maybe a little stomach upset on Saturday and then Sunday you could barely wag your tail when you saw me. I wish I noticed more signs so I could know how sick you were. Were you telling me something sooner and I didn’t know? You left me and my heart is not broken in half. My heart is completely shattered. I am so sorry for letting you down. I was trying to save you like you saved me. I tried to be the very best mama to you. I barely left you alone. I never wanted you to feel abandoned and lonely because that’s what you grew up knowing. (Don’t worry I won’t tell anyone I would sneak you into places you weren’t supposed to be in.) I always played with you (Stay. Stay. Find it!) I always bought you the best food - nothing but organic, all natural, and premium quality for my baby! I remember I would be so tired sometimes but I’d go out to Whole Foods to buy you steak just as a treat for being you. I wanted you to know how loved and OBSESSED I was all the time. I know you were obsessed with me too. Your grandparents would always call you “piece of gum on mom’s shoe” because you were just stuck to me like glue! You always had to be touching me, no matter what. If you didn’t see me in eyesight you would panic!

When I first got you I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would you like me? Would you be a lot of work? I could not have asked for a more perfect baby. You always listened to your mama, except for when it was bed time and you insisted on taking my side of the bed. I always pretended to be annoyed but what did I tell you every night? I said ‘Little baby Tiger Lily I love you, you’re the very best girl. I’m going to see you tomorrow and I hope you dream about all the yummy treats we’re going to eat’. Sweet baby, you were so strong. You struggled all day yesterday and when the doctor said there’s not much hope I took you home so you could be comfortable. You were so brave to be strong enough to be in the car in my arms and to make it all the way home. I didn’t let you go and you took your last breath in my arms. Snuggled with all your blankies. (contd)
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Facts: Swollen gallbladder, low body temp, stomach is fluid filled, slight water in lungs, now in an oxygen cage... - doctor says her stomach and gastrointestinal system is not working. I don’t know what to do. Maybe another opinion or doctor would know. I have a copy of blood results to help.

Please forward to anyone who might have another opinion. My heart hurts I can’t breathe and I need to save her like she saved me. 💔🙏
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Pancreatitis is what my 13 year old family dog, Puffy, passed away from back in 2018. So to hear that Tiger Lily may have this... 💔 Pray for Tiger please. Anyone that knows me even a little knows exactly how much she means to me and I just can’t have her be sick because I need her. ❤️
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  • What is your approach to food? I try to eat mostly plant-based but I allow myself the freedom to eat what my body craves that day. All foods fit over here!

Today on the blog I’m breaking down an easy approach to changing mindset around food choices. 🥑 #intuitiveeating #eatingwell #allfoodsfit #healthyliving

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