recovery after illness

A Healthy Recovery After Illness: Tips For Rebuilding Your Body

No one likes being sick, which makes taking your time with recovery even harder. Whether you are sick for a week or several months, it’s easy to want to jump back into the regular swing of things. But that’s not usually the best course. If you want to make a healthy recovery after illness, you need to take it easy and take your time. 

Your body should have gotten rest and lots of healthy input like a good diet and lots of liquids while you were sick. So now that you’re on the road to recovery after illness, business is as usual, right? To help your body bounce back all the way, you have to keep doing those things, even when you think you’re done being ill. It can be difficult to track the exact end of an illness, so once you start feeling better, don’t try and run a marathon and go to several parties or throw yourself back into all the work you missed. 

In order to return to 100%, you need to let your body rebuild. Give yourself time to rest and recuperate. That way, you won’t get sick again, and your body will be able to fight off any potential new illness. If you dive into normal activities, your immune system and body may not be able to handle it, and you could end up right back in the sick bed. Follow these tips to help your body get back up and running without the risk of falling back down. 

Begin With Rest

Don’t overdo anything. Keep your scheduled light and ease back in. You may feel a strong urge to compensate for lost time, but going slow is the best way to ensure you don’t need even more time recovering. 

Sometimes an illness leaves the body much weaker than beforehand. And in those cases, you want to give yourself the right amount of time to heal fully. Even if you aren’t suffering from an onslaught of symptoms, your body may still be weak and prone to more sickness if you don’t allow for a full recovery. The process to total health may be slower depending on what you just went through. Don’t give up or feel hopeless if you aren’t moving as quickly as you want to.

All healing takes time, and this is especially true for the body. Illness can do more damage than it lets on, so if your slow moving at first, that’s alright. Begin your recovery journey by reminding yourself to take it slow, give yourself breaks, and not be too hard on yourself physically or mentally.

Add In Activity Gradually

Adding more movement to your daily regimen is a great way to help improve your health and let your body return to where it was before the illness. But you don’t want to push too hard, too fast. It’s important to give yourself the right amount of time to heal and rest before taking on more strenuous activities. Depending on the illness you went through, it may take you longer to recuperate. Try and start small and work your way up. Begin with slower movements and easier activities like stretching and walking. 

There are a lot of low-stress workouts you can add to your routine that you can build on. Try doing a little yoga each morning and working up to more challenging moves. Or go for gradually longer walks each day until you can add in a jog a few times a week. If you didn’t previously exercise much, see if you can make that an everyday occurrence, even for 15 to 30 minutes a day. Movement is a key part of recovering and helping your body regain health.

One of the best things you can do to recover is to start adding more movement to your day-to-day. And one of the worst is to overdo it. Be sure you are giving yourself time to rest and that you are only doing harder exercises when you can handle them. 

Don’t Underestimate Hydration

Stay hydrated. Drink water when you’re sick, when you’re well, and especially when you’re recovering. Illness often drains the body of essential fluids. You are likely dehydrated if you’ve had a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, night sweats, or other symptoms. Helping the body rehydrate will get you back on track to be well and perform at your best. It is also a valuable habit to maintain even after you are better.

We often only drink water when consciously reminded. But the body may tell you you’re thirsty more than you listen. Notice when you need a glass and go for a healthy, sugar-free drink to give your body the fluids it needs. And if you have been dealing with an illness that leaves you weak and dehydrated, grab a drink with some electrolytes in it to help get your energy back. 

If you are worried about suffering from too much dehydration while sick, you may also consider IV therapy. This can help you rehydrate quickly and give your body crucial nutrients it may have lost during the illness.

Eat Well And Regularly

You may notice a loss in appetite after being sick. This can happen on many occasions. You might be tempted to take the dulled appetite as a sign not to eat and listen to your body, but you need food to help your body heal and regain energy. Try making a schedule, or at least eat the three main meals daily, even if they’re smaller. Add in some healthy snacks, but make sure you aren’t skipping meals. 

Food, like water, is necessary for basic survival. And it dictates how we feel more than we may think. Everything you eat can impact how your body feels, so be conscious of what you consume while recovering. Be sure to eat balanced meals with lots of whole foods. Get plenty of fruits and vegetables to help your body absorb crucial vitamins and minerals, and get protein and carbs. 

If you weren’t eating a very balanced diet before, do some research or consult a nutritionist about how to remedy that situation. Eating well can help your body and immune system. And your recovery after illness depends on both of those things. Don’t underestimate how much this affects how you feel and how your body recovers. It may be tempting to lounge around and eat easy snacks or barely eat at all, but you need food to help you feel better.

The Power Of Sleep

Sleeping is essential for recovery after illness. This doesn’t mean laying in bed watching TV. Sleeping and going through REM cycles gives your body the time it needs to heal and work on helping your body without any interruptions. Every night the body works on healing certain areas and recuperating from the day. 

If you are just getting past an illness, your body may need even more sleep than usual. Don’t try and schedule a bunch of late nights or early work-filled mornings. Give yourself at least eight hours of sleep a night. Even if you spent most of your illness in bed, you may still be sleep deprived. You may have been kept up coughing or sweating from a fever. The rest you get while sick is often not really rest. And now that you are on the road to recovery after illness, you can catch up on that much-needed rest.

Try to be serious about a regular bedtime and turn off screens and other devices before getting into bed to allow for an uninterrupted period of sleep.

Keep Looking Up

Looking at the brighter side of things does have an impact on your health. Staying optimistic about your recovery after illness and giving yourself time and space will help you rebuild your body faster. We often don’t realize the toll a negative perspective can take on the body or our mental health. Recognizing you’re not fully healed and not being hard on yourself for still recuperating is a great way to help your body get there. 

Trying to do more physically demanding things too soon can cause a lot of stress on your body. And if you cannot do them due to a previous illness, you may become more stressed and depressed. Higher stress can hinder your immune system making it harder for you to heal and more susceptible to falling ill again. 

Try to monitor your progress and celebrate every small win as it comes your way. Healing isn’t linear. There may be some ups and downs, but if you give yourself time, you can get your body back to where it was. 

Reach Out

Recovery after illness is hard. Even when coming out of the flu or a cold, we sometimes need others to help with the tasks that have piled up. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others when you need help. Sometimes even simple tasks like cooking or cleaning can be difficult. Rely on your support system, and don’t be afraid to ask around when you need assistance. Many people are happy to help but might not realize you need it.

Often people assume they need to be completely independent and function on their own, even in recovery. This isn’t true. Just because you’re over the biggest hurdle doesn’t mean you’re completely healed. Certain things may still be difficult for you, and you can’t force yourself to be well. Ask when you need something. You may be surprised by how many people want to help and see you fully recuperate. 

Time To Heal

The most important thing to remember when recovering from an illness is to give yourself time. You cannot rebuild your body overnight, even though sleep is an integral part of the process. Give yourself as long as your body needs, and don’t try to push too hard right away. Avoid measuring your progress on others and go at your own pace. 
If you follow these tips and don’t rush, you should feel better much sooner. And if you want to pursue treatments to help your body recover efficiently, CORR can help. Contact us today to consult with a specialist about how you can help your body heal.