Sick Day Hacks: 7 Restorative, At-Home Activities To Make You Feel Better!

Not feeling well, but unsure of what to do on your sick day? No worries. Keep reading. We got you!

Greetings, New York City. Close your eyes and kindly allow me to set a scene for you. A Scene all of us city dwellers, regardless of our gender, age or profession, know far too well. 

It’s Monday morning. You wake up to the dramatic screech of your alarm clock. As you stretch your arms toward the ceiling, you quickly realize that your limbs are positively teeming with aches and pains. A dire headache begins to creep its way across your forehead. A cold sweat dances down your sore spine. You’re shivering. That’s when it hits you: You’re sick. Not hangover sick. Not fatigue sick. Not “I detest my job” sick. You’re sick, sick. As in you need a sick day. 

Just to be certain, because you’re a New Yorker and we like to be certain about things, you stumble out of bed and dust off your old thermometer. You stick it beneath your tongue. BEEP. You check the number. 101.

For a moment you feel smug because you were right. New Yorkers love to be both certain and right. Sadly your feeling of victory is fleeting. It’s replaced by the defeating sensation of utter ickiness. You feel both hot and cold at once (so unpleasant!). You’re exhausted. It’s the type of exhaustion that lives deep inside your bones. 

As you make your way into bed, you’re suddenly hit with a pang of fear. You know that you must, you absolutely MUST take a sick day, but what the hell are you going to do with yourself? You’re used to being too busy to breathe, let alone relax! 

I guess I’ll just work through my fever, you think to yourself as you grab your laptop and pull it into bed with you. 

Not so fast, sickie. 

I’m here to stop you. Who am I? I’m the sick police. And it’s against the rules to work during your sick day. For you’ll never heal if you’re stressing yourself out by answering URGENT emails and chasing impossible deadlines. 

“But what I am going to DO?” You wail at me. 

I’m glad ~you~ asked. Because I’m going to provide you with seven restorative activities to do during your sick day. Activities so relaxing, you just might enjoy your sick day. 


1. Set up an automatic out-of-office message on your email. 

You’re going to be incessantly panicked and freaked-out if you keep hearing the “ding” of your email notifications, OK? Trust me. 

And if you just neglect your email, you’re going to fear that all of the business contacts you’ve cultivated over the years are going to think you’re blowing them off. (The New York neurosis is real). 

So the first thing you must do is set up an automatic message on your email. You don’t have to say your sick, if you don’t want to. A classic: “I’m currently out of the office but will be back tomorrow” type of note is perfectly fine! Everyone respects a vague out of office note. It adds a little mystery, which will only work in your favor in the business world. 

Most importantly, the “out of office” note will put your ill, flu-ridden mind at ease. And you and I both know: An “at ease” mind is essential to getting better. 

2. Turn off your phone. 

Do you know what’s a great way to get yourself unnecessarily riled up when you’re unwell? Oh, taking a stressful little scroll through social media, of course. 

You’ll feel wildly jealous of all the healthy people jogging in Central Park and you’ll start to get upset that you’re missing out on life. Dramatic I know, but a mild fever can make you very dramatic.

Don’t do anything to exacerbate dramatic feelings. So stay off your phone. Phone = Drama. 

3. Read a fabulous fiction novel.

If you’re over-achiever like I suspect you are, I’d bet almost anything that most of your reading consists of self-help books. Books that dutifully instruct you on how to improve your career. Books that teach you how to eat, how to love. 

That’s great. I’m proud of you. But for the love of Lady Liberty please, please, release yourself from the overwhelming pressures of “bettering yourself,” for just today. Today is a day to indulge! To restore! Grab a fiction novel and deep dive into fantasy land, darling. It’s like sprinkling magic on your brain. And there is nothing more restorative than sprinkling magic on your brain. 

Current favorite sick day reads: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert and My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh.

4. Meditate. 

When you’re feeling feverish your brain isn’t speeding off into its usual rapid-fire pace. It’s slightly slowed down, which is actually a nice change.

Take advantage of your foggy brain by meditating. I know I might sound a little bohemian and “woo-woo” but meditation puts you into such a beautiful state of authentic peace and relaxation, which is what you need right now! If you’re new to meditating try a guided meditation on YouTube. 

This is my favorite meditation to destress and decompress when I’m feeling like the fiery pits of hell.

5. Watch a marathon of your favorite 90s sitcom. 

Who doesn’t love the ‘90s? We all love the ‘90s — especially ‘90s pop-culture. If we’re going to get specific let’s focus on ‘90s sitcoms. Friends. Seinfeld. Frasier. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. 

The genius of the ‘90s sitcom was that they were all so easy to comprehend. They were a simple laugh. Every problem, every hardship was wrapped up in the end with a beautiful, neat bow. (If only life worked that way. Sigh).

When you’re sick, I don’t recommend watching a war documentary or anything else that’s going to invoke too much sorrow or rage or require brain-power for that matter. 

Binge an entire ‘90s sitcom and zone out! Zoning out is one of the most restorative activities you can do during a sick day. Plus, it will keep you on the couch. You won’t be tempted to start cleaning, or something else equally destructive. 

6. Wash your face and put on clean pajamas. 

I get it. You don’t feel good. You don’t want to wash your face or change out of your sweat-laden nightwear, because you’re tired.

I know it sounds tedious to embark on self-care when you’re sick, but stewing in that sweat-laden nightwear with a dirty face and a mouthful of unbrushed teeth will make you feel shame. And shame is not a restorative feeling. 

Gently wash your face and change into clean PJs. It will give you a new lease on life. Or at least your sick day. 

7. Order chicken noodle soup from the local deli and consume it whilst wrapped in blankets on the couch. 

Nothing will make you feel cozier than curling up with some soothing chicken noodle soup. And luckily New York City has an unlimited amount of incredible homemade chicken noodle soups. And even better, everywhere in this glorious city delivers. 

Wrap yourself in your favorite blanket, google “best chicken noodle soup near me,” complete your order and devour the entire bowl whilst cuddling with your pets on the couch. If you don’t have pets, cuddle a pillow! At least a pillow doesn’t bark, you know? 

And let’s be real if you’re really not feeling well, reach out to us!  Book your in-home medical care now and you’ll be feeling better before you know it. Call (212) SICKDAY, or book online right here.