How I Stay Productive Even When I'm Sick

This past weekend was a bit of a bummer for me. I started losing my voice in the middle of the week, and woke up on Saturday with a full-blown cold. Turns out I’m not the only one: when Michelle, Kimberly, and I got together via Skype to record this month’s episode of our podcast, we realized that all three of us were under the weather! It’s just that time of year.

Being sick meant I had to cancel most of my weekend plans, which included providing music activities at Breakfast with Santa, recording some new songs for my students, singing in the choir at church, and making a “Sunday Singalong” video (thank goodness for my special guest this week!).

But even though I was stuck at home with no voice, I still managed to make the most of my weekend while getting the rest I needed to start feeling better. Here are the ways in which I stayed productive…and none of them involved leaving my couch!

  • Learn new music. I’ve got some holiday gigs coming up, so I spent some time going through my Christmas songbooks and working on a few tunes. By working, I mean listening to recordings of them, and then playing them either on the guitar or piano (okay, so this does involve leaving the couch). It was hard to resist singing along, but the sound of my voice was so pitiful that even I couldn’t stand to hear it, let alone my husband in the next room :)
  • Make lead sheets. I fell a little behind on making lead sheets both for performances and music therapy work, so I took this down time as an opportunity to catch up. Michelle Erfurt recently shared some excellent tips for making lead sheets here.
  • Go shopping. And by this, I mean online shopping! I was able to buy almost all of my holiday gifts for friends, family and students over the weekend without stepping foot outside of my home. No traffic, no lines, no sales tax, and (in most cases) free shipping? It doesn’t get much better than that.
  • Clean out the ol’ email inbox. All those unanswered emails that piled up throughout the week have now been replied to, and that’s a great feeling. I may have been a little cross-eyed last night from all those hours staring at the computer screen, but they were worth it.
  • Tackle boring administrative tasks. There are many such items to do both on my computer and in my office that don’t require much thinking at all. I was suffering a bit from “sick brain” this weekend, so even when my head wasn’t so clear, I was able to cross a lot of these items off my list.
  • Above all else, REST! None of the things I did over the weekend were overexerting, but I made sure not to go overboard. I took plenty of naps, drank hot tea with honey and lemon, and used my voice as little as possible. Now here I am on Monday morning, feeling one hundred times better and ready to take on a brand new week.

Do you try to stay productive when you’re sick, or do you prefer to hibernate both physically and mentally? (There are most definitely times that I have done the latter.) Let’s raise our cups of tea and toast to a (hopefully) healthy holiday season!