How to Be Sick and Happy
How to Be Sick and Happy

It’s that time of year. Flu season. Cold season. Cuffing season. The season of giving is not just about gifts, it’s also about cooties. This is when germs (of all kinds) are just out there floating around all willy nilly. There are some things we can do to protect ourselves – wash hands often, don’t touch shit just because it’s there (railings, door handles, etc.), take vitamin c, use condoms (I’m just sayin) – but sometimes those pesky and persistent cooties sneak in any way. Of course, adulting means that life doesn’t stop just because you’re a little sick. Here are a few tips to help you find an upside when you’re down.

Get Your Inner Child On

When you have a cold or the flu, the key to getting better is hydration. I don’t know about you but when I’m sick, water doesn’t always hit the spot and those electrolyte drinks can get old. And if a sore throat is involved, forget about it. That’s when we can turn to some of our favorite childhood treats.


Grab those popsicle molds (or an ice cube tray, saran wrap and toothpicks) and get busy. An easy way to work it out – brew 24 oz of decaf tea (like chamomile or mint); then add about ½ cup of honey, a piece of ginger (about the size of your pinky tip – ouch) and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add about 3 tbsp of lemon juice. Remove the ginger and pour into your popsicle molds. There are a ton of recipes on Pinterest (search: Flu Popsicles, Sore Throat Popsicles, etc.)

HACK: Zoku Quick Pop Maker will have your pops ready in less than 10 minutes. Love it!


Cough lollipops are also tasty and effective. You can grab some over the counter or make your own (1/3 cup honey, 2 tbsp lemon juice, pinch of ginger powder; heat to 300 degrees F – on candy thermometer; line lollipop sticks onto parchment paper; carefully drop teaspoonfuls onto sticks making little circles; allow to cool; dust with a little powdered sugar or ground cinnamon so they don’t stick together and you’re done. You’re ready to store and use when needed) My kids are fans.

Get Your Spa On

Years ago during a girls’ spa outing, I happened upon a diffuser and fell in love. I promptly purchased a bamboo option along various essential oils. I use it often just to center myself and infuse my home with that wonderful eucalyptus scent that caresses you as soon as you step inside a spa. But when my kids or I are under the weather, I turn it on and use whatever oil matches what ails us. There are a lot of options but start your collection with these:

  • Eucalyptus – Helps with congestion and pain
  • Lavender – Helps get rid of congestion
  • Lemon – Antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory; helps with coughs and congestion
  • Oregano – Great for dry, irritated throats
  • Peppermint – Helps with sinus headaches, congestion, and coughs
  • Tea Tree – Antiseptic and antifungal; helps with multiple cold and flu symptoms

Be sure your essential oil is pure and only use a few drops in your diffuser – it’s pretty powerful.

I also love lavender-scented neck wraps and eye pillows that can be heated or chilled. These make us feel so good when we’re achy and icky. You can usually find these all over the place during the holidays but I’ve bought a few over the years from TJ Maxx.

Get Your Cozy On

Stop playing and get yourself some super deluxe fuzzy socks – bonus if they are knee-high! (My current faves are at Costco.) While you’re at it, get a fur blanket and curl yourself up in front of the fire with some warm herbal tea and honey. You’ll be nice and toasty and will feel very Dynasty-esque. (BONUS: Watch Sex and the City reruns!)

Get Your Chick-fil-A On

Chick-fil-A has the most bomb chicken noodle soup – hands down (next to my mama’s). Get a trough of it and eat lots then bathe in the rest. Ok, ok…you don’t have to buy Chick Fil A soup (but seriously, why wouldn’t you), but studies have shown that chicken noodle soup does have medicinal qualities – hydration, electrolytes, protein, a warm hug in a bowl. Even a canned version would serve you well.

Get Your Juice On

Before you roll your eyes, just know that juice in its pure, unsugared form has the right stuff (baby). I love Arden’s Garden’s grand slam shots (lemon juice, wheatgrass, cranberry juice, and ginger) and their pure cranberry juice. Find a juice store in your hood and buy fresh options or press your own. Smoothies do the trick, too. I often make my son a Get Well Smoothie when he’s under the weather and he loves it:

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 vitamin C tablet
  • 1 Culturelle probiotic tablet (opened and sprinkled)

It gets him hydrated, jumpstarts his path to feeling better and makes him smile, which makes me super happy.

What are some of your go-to options when you’re under the weather?