Heaps of simple tips for helping you keep on top of the housework when you are feeling sick, tired, and in need of bed rest.
When I feel unwell I get mopey and I start to slow down. I find it difficult to follow through with routine house habits I have in place, like folding the washing or doing the dishes. Instead I take this extra time to rest and relax to regain my energy. I believe when you’re unwell your body is telling you to slow down, and it’s important to look after yourself when needed. Below I’ve shared some of my tips on how to keep the house tidy and under control when you get sick.
If the dirty washing or dishes were left until you were well again, you’d have a huge job waiting for you. Just the thought of trying to get everything back into order would be enough to make me run back to bed!
Let’s hope you have a wonderful partner or kids that are willing to do these jobs, but for now let’s presume you don’t have this support (hubby at work or the kids are too young) – how do you keep the house tidy whilst still taking time out?
Medicines – Stock up your medicine cabinet when you’re well so that you don’t have to make any unexpected trips to the chemists when you fall ill. Here’s an all-natural DIY Cold and Flu Chest Rub Recipe that I make for when my family get sick. You can see a list of what else I like to stock up on for the cold and flu season here.
Tissues – It’s a good idea to have too many tissues and toilet paper stocked away than not enough.
Lunches – Have some items in your pantry or freezer that the kids can easily grab and put in their lunch boxes for school, like these super easy 2 Ingredient Lunchbox Scrolls. This will save you time when preparing school lunches, which is great for when you’re sick or on those extremely busy mornings when you don’t have time to make lunch.
Kids snacks – Make it easy for the kids to reach water bottles, fruit in the fridge and snacks from the pantry.
Meals – One night of takeout while you’re sick is fine, but then again you may not feel like driving. Always keep something in your pantry or freezer as an easy go-to meal that can be quickly defrosted or heated-up. Meals such as soup, casserole, or vegetable packed bolognese are great for this. There’s heaps of freezer-friendly meal ideas in my Hearty Dinners Recipe Cookbook that are ideal for stock-piling in the freezer, and I love my slow cooker (which includes the cookbook for FREE!) for when I’m not feeling well.
These reusable silicone food pouches are great for storing your extra dinners in the freezer. I freeze my meals flat, and then store them vertically so they take up less space.
Frozen meals in these silicone food bags can be quickly heated up by microwaving them or by simply popping them in pot of boiling water (they can withstand temperatures up to 120 degrees celsius).
Rest and Relax
As a mum, it’s rare to find time to rest and relax. However this is absolutely needed when you’re unwell, to help regain your energy. I suggest waking up in the mornings, having a shower, and then getting into some comfy clothes or clean PJ’s. When you’re on the road to recovery, dress in your usual clothes as this will help boost your mood.
Keep On Top Of The Dirty Washing Pile
Use that 15 minutes where you’re feeling refreshed after a shower to put on a load of washing. Try to delegate hanging the washing out to your partner or the kids though. If you have younger children (who can’t reach the clothes line) get them to hang the washing out on a clothes horse. If this isn’t an option, treat yourself to a clothes dryer day and then hopefully you’ll have enough energy to put the items that can’t go in the dryer on the line. I like to use these Wool Dryer Balls because they reduce the drying time and also the wrinkles in my clothes!
I don’t say this often, but when you’re sick just let that clean washing pile up for when you are feeling better. At least you have washed the clothes, so you are a few steps ahead and won’t have mountains of dirty washing to catch up on when you’re better.
Change Pillow Cases
It’s unlikely that you’ll feel in the spirit to change your whole bedding, however, putting some fresh clean pillowcases on can make a big difference and will hopefully help you have a good night’s sleep.
This is another area that if left for a few days will definitely get out of hand. To avoid a kitchen full of dirty dishes, ask other members of the household to do the washing up – even the toddlers can give it a go! If you can’t delegate, then try to find at least 10 minutes to wash the dishes, let them air dry and then put them away whilst you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. No extra kitchen cleaning needs to be done during this time – the stove top doesn’t need to be scrubbed and the papers cluttering the bench top can be left. Just do the dishes and then go back and rest.
If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher. obviously you can use this to clean all your dishes – and the kids can certainly help pack and unpack the dishwasher!
We can’t always be super mum and do everything. If you try while you’re sick, you’ll more than likely take even longer to recover. If you have other members in your household make sure you ask for their help. Sometimes our partners think we’re capable or don’t even realise that something needs to be done. You just need to say “Honey I’ve washed the clothes, do you mind hanging them on the line?”. Be kind to yourself and delegate.
Remember that every family is different, so make sure you adapt these ideas to suit your family.