Tips on how to have a « sick day » when you’ll be able to’t truly cancel work


Dr. Van Groningen says you can also alternate taking acetaminophen and ibuprofen to get better round-the-clock control of a fever or pain that doesn’t respond to just one. « I will often recommend that my patients stagger them about four hours apart. » If you don’t want to juggle an alternating schedule, you can also buy tablets that combine the two.

Whenever you take over-the-counter medication, be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the package and keep track of what you take and when you take it. Using a notes app on your phone, the Apple Health app, or a handwritten note can help you stay on top of things.

Of course, while options like these can help you manage symptoms long enough to get through a shift, they’re only one piece of the puzzle.

Rest as much as possible.

Dr. Van Groningen says that if there are ways to lighten up your working day a bit, now is the time to take those steps. If you normally go over the limit, do what you can to stay below and close to it to give your body as much time as possible to recover. If you can, take extra breaks, swap shifts to allow yourself more rest, and ask co-workers or a supportive manager to help you with more taxing tasks.

At the end of your shift, do your best to make it earlier in the evening. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to increase your risk of getting a respiratory infection, and sleep is when your body works the necessary adjustments to all of your systems, including your immune system. « The expert consensus is that too little sleep can prolong your illness, » says Dr. Varma. Feeling bad can sometimes make it harder to sleep, but you can try relaxing before bed (like a quick meditation or putting your phone away earlier than usual).

Drink plenty of fluids (soup counts!).

As SELF has previously reported, it’s important to control your fluid intake when you’re sick. Sick people lose fluids more easily due to excessive sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pair any of these symptoms with a job where you sweat from physical labor, or a work environment where you can’t eat or drink outside of designated hours, and you could find yourself dehydrated.

If your job offers few opportunities to repeatedly refill a water bottle or take hydration breaks, Dr. Van Groningen recommends drinking electrolyte-rich Pedialyte rather than water alone. She swears by an old standard: « Chicken noodle soup is the perfect blend of liquid and sodium, along with protein and carbs. » In the immortal words of Ina Garten, store-bought soup is good – and there are plenty of breakroom-friendly dishes. microwave options this will make it even easier to consume.

If you have symptoms that make it difficult to eat or keep food down, Dr. Varma says Gatorade, in addition to Pedialyte, can also be a good source of sugar- and electrolyte-assisted hydration. If it’s been 24 hours and you still can’t keep food or drink down, or if you’re suffering from continuous vomiting and diarrhea, he advises you to see a doctor to make sure you’re not dangerously dehydrated or ill. with something that will need more. treatment to improve.

Do your best to minimize the risk of making others sick.

Dr. Van Groningen, Dr. Blackstock and Dr. Varma all agree that the precautions we all became familiar with at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic are good ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in general. These include wearing a well-fitting, high-quality mask such as a KN95 or N95; stay up to date on your recommended vaccinations; frequent and thorough hand washing; social distancing; and good ventilation.

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