My original plan was to start my Healthy Freelancing blog on 4th January 2018. But that has totally backfired as I’ve had a visit from the flu bug fairy.
It’s currently nearly 1 am and my temperature is so high that I can’t sleep. I have a terrible headache too.
So what am I doing?
Blogging of course. Though I won’t publish this until tomorrow when I’m hopefully more coherent and I can check that this blog post makes sense.
My plan for the first week of 2018 had been to eat healthily, take daily exercise and improve my posture when I work. Bit of a problem as I’ve barely eaten anything, haven’t left the house and have had to abandon work for the last two days.
Friends who have recently had flu (and there are so many of them – this appears to be a particularly virulent strain) tell me that it takes at least 10 days to get through this. Well I’m on day 2 or 3 – can’t even remember which – and I’m trying not to panic about my workload.
So instead of a Healthy Freelancing blog post, here’s a ‘Fight the Flu’ one, with some top tips for freelancers.
1. Stay in bed. You’re more likely to sleep/rest if you do. Plus there’s nothing better than a day in bed in your PJs! Keep a bottle of cold water and any medicines by your bed – and a flask containing a hot drink – so you don’t need to get up too often.
2. Get plenty of sleep. (‘If you can’, I sigh jealously, as I’m more likely not to sleep when I’m ill.) Seriously, sleep when you can – day or night. Not always easy when you’re sweating like a pig or your head is throbbing. But always try.
2. Take paracetamol to lower a fever. If you can eat something first, try ibuprofen if paracetamol isn’t working. Don’t overdose on them. Write down when you’ve had your doses to keep track and check how often you should take them.
3. Get plenty of daytime rest, even if you’re not sleeping. Read a book, newspaper or magazine or watch mindless TV when you’re awake. If you love reading but can’t concentrate enough to read, try an audiobook. Preferably one you’ve read or listened to before in case you drift off.
4. Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water based. If you have diarrhoea, try Lucozade (recommended to me by a doctor). If you’re vomiting, try watered down orange juice or apple juice as it’s often easier to keep these down than plain water. Warm or hot drinks may help too.
5. Don’t look in a mirror. Most freelancers who work from home dress in slouch-around clothing anyway so PJs won’t be that different. But if you’re ill, you’re likely not to bathe or shower either. My hair currently looks like a bird’s nest. I hid from the window cleaner this morning as I didn’t want him to fall off his ladder in shock. I’ve also smothered myself in deodorant and body spray until I feel well enough for a shower!
6. Don’t work! It’s so hard not to work when you freelance from home. But don’t! My temperature keeps rising when I try to do anything constructive like check emails or look at social media. Or write blog posts! Oops! If you can avoid it for a few days, do so. Email your clients to tell them you need to extend a deadline, if necessary. Better to recovery fully and then do the job well than battle through a haze of flu and do half a job – or no job at all.
7. Only eat if you feel like it. Though if you’re taking ibuprofen, you’ll need something to eat. Have simple snacks like crackers or a banana. Or some soup (chicken soup – ‘Jewish penicillin’, for example). If you have a dodgy tummy, try some plain rice.
8. If you’re congested, try an inhalant like Vicks. Yes it stinks, but I find that it often does the job. Some people say it also works if you smear Vicks on the soles of your feet when you go to bed. Anyone tried it? I haven’t yet. You can buy decongestant nose sprays from a pharmacy though they’re not suitable for everyone. Don’t use these for longer than one week or you’ll get ‘rebound’ congestion after you stop using them. You can buy decongestant tablets or capsules too but if you have any medical conditions check with a pharmacist first.
9. All-in-one medicines are a great way to dose yourself up in one go. But remember to check the ingredients so you don’t overdose on anything, especially paracetamol or ibuprofen. I like the hot drink versions. You could also try a hot toddy – for medicinal reasons of course…
10. Don’t ask your GP for antibiotics. Assuming you have flu, antibiotics won’t work for a viral infection. BUT if your symptoms keep getting worse, you’re wheezing or struggling to breathe, you have bad chest pain or your fever is very high and won’t go down with paracetamol or ibuprofen, call your doctor’s surgery for advice.
So those are my 10 top tips on fighting flu. I’m sure there are more but my brain is a bit fuzzy at present. Apologies this isn’t a post about my journey to healthy freelancing, as promised. Although I guess flu or even a bad cold can strike any of us at any time and the aim of this blog is to write a genuine account of my journey. If you have any more tips on fighting flu, please let me know on here or on Twitter.
Hoping to get into a healthy freelancing routine next week. Watch this space. I’ll be back!