In what seems to be an annual event for me lately, some sort of viral something or other snuck up on me post holiday madness.
I stumbled out of bed yesterday morning after being woken by a strange noise that I soon realized was myself; trying to breathe.
I went to the closet, pulled out some of my ‘sick day bath salts’ , threw them in the bottom of the tub and proceeded to take a hot steamy shower while the fumes from the essential oils wafted up from the tub floor. That was enough to clear my head long enough to bid farewell to my daughter and the grandbaby, who were heading back home after their holiday visit. But soon after they left, the familiar chills hit and I knew the rest of the day was going to be spent in bed. I got out the steamer, slathered myself with chest rub, burned some pine and juniper in my room and then put up a pot of elderflower-peppermint-hibiscus infusion.
Sometimes I feel a slight defeat when I come down with something. Like I shouldn’t get sick because I am an “herbalist”. Honestly, when I am on my game, I rarely “catch cold”. But in each illness there is a lesson to be learned. In my case, it is usually a lesson about taking care of yourself. In the holiday rush, I had neglected to make my bone broth, sleep enough hours in the night and take my daily Vitamin D. My diet wasn’t what it should be-too much sugar and not nearly enough greens. So I wasn’t too surprised , when my nose started running and my head began to ache.
It was actually a lovely, restful day. I made my bedside table up prettily, curled up under the blankets, read a little on my kindle and napped. My littlest guy lay in the bed next to me watching the Avengers cartoon on my computer because he didn’t want me to be lonely. I took a long soak in an Epsom salt bath before dinner. My husband made me Italian wedding soup and squash risotto. The fever took hold and I was pretty much out until the morning.
Succumbing to an illness is a message from your body to slow down, rest and maybe even pamper yourself, a bit. Our bodies have an amazing capacity to make us well, if we listen to them.
I woke up feeling better; glad that I had not tried to power through yesterday. I wish more people would do themselves this kindness when they are ill. It always makes me sad to see people dosing up with OTC meds; suppressing the symptoms of healthy immune function. It is my firm belief that we could cut secondary infections dramatically if people just let viral infections run their course.
Of course, my method of caring for illness isn’t one that always works in today’s fast-paced society. It certainly isn’t “take this little white pill every four hours and you should be able to stagger around in some sort of zombified productive state.” The more I look at today’s society, the more I see that the way people live is making them sick. Chronically sick-in ways that a nap and a good pot of soup are not going to help. I think that is something I am going to be talking about a lot in the coming year.