The Ten Best Things About Being Sick

1.  Time stops.  For two, three days, nothing matters but getting better.  You call in sick to work—someone else makes the lattes today—ignore your phone calls, and excuse yourself from the gym.  You pull on fleece socks and a favorite hoodie and burrow deep into the bed, just the top of your head peeping out of the covers.  Warm, delightful nothingness.

2.  Being taken care of.  Come on, admit it…everyone throws themselves a little pity party when they’re sick.  Friends, family, roommates, boyfriend, whoever it is—they don’t get annoyed when you pout; they actually feel even worse for you.  Truth is, you’ve earned those few days of self-pity.  Your head feels like someone threw bricks at it all night long, snot is running out of your nose and down you throat like a water fountain, and your tonsils are so swollen they’re practically closing up your trachea.  No, you don’t want food.  But yes, you want someone to bring you chicken noodle soup in bed.  When they bring it, you eat a few bites, put the bowl aside, roll over and fall back asleep.  And how do they respond to this ingratitude? They stroke your hair and pull the covers up over your shoulders.  Yeah, that’s a good day right there.

3.  Movies.  Whether its Disney or Die Hard, nothing beats a good movie when you’re sick, nor the feeling of waking up realizing you’ve missed most of it.  Oops! Great nap though…

4.  Reality TV.  It has a way of making you feel better about yourself while you’re wallowing on the couch.  Whatever issues you’ve got—head cold, sinus infection, flu—it will never be half as bad as the lives of reality TV stars.

5.  Being responsible for no one but yourself.  In a typical day, most people expend at least 50% of their time and effort on other people, probably closer to 95% if you have a family to care for.  When you’re sick, those people learn to do without you for a couple of days.  Someone else takes the reigns while you administer to your needs.  100% Me Time.

6.  Emergen-C.  That stuff is DELICIOUS.  It sizzles happily down your aching throat, with just enough berry flavor to taste like soda—except it’s 25 calories instead of 250.  You can almost feel the Vitamin C percolating through your system, killing one malicious germ at a time.  No cure for the common cold?  I beg to differ.

7.  Catching up on reading.  At 807 pages, A Game of Thrones is no small undertaking.  Did you really think you were going to finish it with a full-time job and five million other commitments?  No.  But on a sick day you have full permission to reenter the world of the Starks and the evil Lannisters (except Tyrion, of course, who’s always cool).  You can even pause to fantasize about owning your very own direwolf.  What color coat would it have? Eyes? What would you call it? If you’re head hurts too bad to read, not to worry.  Just put that book down and play the series on HBO on Demand. Either way, it’s a win.

8.  NyQuil.  Maybe you feel too ashamed to take NyQuil in a normal week of sleeplessness, or maybe it makes you tired the entire next day.  Whatever your reasons for abstinence, now is the time to treat yourself to the hardest sleep of your life.

9.  Walking to Walgreen’s feels like a grand adventure.  You can’t believe you’ve managed to get up, shower, put on jeans (the slippers STAY), and walk your sickly self to the Walgreen’s across the street.  Or drive, if that’s your mode of transportation.  Either way, you’ve done something courageous today.  Don’t you wish it were always that easy to feel productive?

10.  Getting unsick: the first day when you can breathe deep again, walk, run, bike, socialize.  Oh man.  You may not have been a bubbly person before getting sick, but that first day back you’re just full of giggles.  You make a pledge to stay healthy by getting enough sleep, eating right, and avoiding stress.  And for that entire first day, you even believe you’ll stick to it.  Unshakable positivity.

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