5 Ways To Work When You’re Feeling Sick

Being sick sucks. No one wants to spend the day on the couch chugging cold medicine and clutching a box of tissues. But going to work sick is a whole other level of torture that isn’t always avoidable. Wither you can’t find coverage, don’t have the sick leave to spare, or are simply needing the hours, sometimes you just have to buck up and go to work regardless of how you feel. And when that happens you need any help you can get to get through the day. So, the next time you have to trade the couch for the office chair, and the tissues for paperwork, keep these tips in mind.

Know Your Medicine- I cannot stress this enough, if you are going to take medicine at work, know how it affects you. Our bodies all process medicine differently, what makes me drowsy and loopy may work wonders for you. I do recommend having a cold medicine or sinus clearing spray if you are working through a cold, but make sure it’s one you have used multiple times before and know its effect on your body. Don’t be the person who accidently takes nighttime Nyquil at 11 am and passes out at their desk before lunch.

Stay Hydrated- They say that water is life, and that is especially true when you are sick. The more hydrated the better, so drink up. Your body is working overtime to fight off whatever is going on in there, and stay focused on work at the same time, so you need to help it out and keep the water coming. Also, switching from cold to hot drinks, such as water and tea, helps you stay awake and on your toes.

Food Fuel- I know that it is super tempting to eat comfort foods when you are feeling under the weather… that’s why they are called comfort foods, but just don’t. Eating that donut on your way into work is going to do nothing for your body and you will regret it when the sugar wears off in an hour or so. Do your future self (think mid-day you) a favor and eat foods that will actually help your body gain the energy it needs to get through the work day. This goes for lunch as well… don’t starve because your throat feels like sandpaper, but don’t take it as an excuse to have milkshakes at lunch.

Dress- This is the day to pull out your comfiest work clothes… you know, the ones you never wear because they are kind of sloppy and defiantly not your power suit. Well, you aren’t dressing to impress anyone today, so as long as it meets your work’s standards, wear it. My go-to office outfit use to be a loose dress, black leggings, and a thick sweater… no shame. In those brief moments when you aren’t helping customers or turning in reports, you don’t want to be struggling to adjust those skin-tight high-waisted slacks.

Don’t Dwell- I heard someone say once that every time a person retells a story, the mind relives it. So if you tell 10 people about how you broke your brand new phone yesterday, your brain feels like you have broken 10 brand new phones… let that sink in. When you have to go to work sick, don’t sit there for 8 hours telling every co-worker and customer how sick and miserable you are, that will literally just remind your brain and body that you are miserable all day long. My advice is to say it once to the people you work closest with, so that they know you night be a bit behind the ball and to keep their distance, but then you should move on. Try and focus on anything else, this will make the day go by quicker and keep you from wanting to pound your head into the desk.

Make sure your work desk is stocked with tissues.
Make sure your work desk is stocked with tissues.
Wear work attire that won't make being sick at work even more unbearable.
Wear work attire that won’t make being sick at work even more unbearable.
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Nancy Strahan

Hi, I am Nancy Strahan. I recently graduated with my BA in English Literature and am working to gain experience in the writing/content creation business. I was born and raised in Alaska and I love it here. I am pretty much an outdoor and adrenaline junkie, so if it is crazy or in nature, I'm there. So, naturally all things camping, backpacking, and adventure related are my favorite topics to write about.