Beat Home-Sick Blahs

November 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Child Development

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There’s nothing funny about having to go through a week of dealing with nature’s most common wrath…(the common cold). Especially when you don’t feel sick enough to sleep in 24/7, but not well enough to go to work or run errands.

But how do you combat the boredom of being at home? Actually, there is a lot you can do. It just takes a little creativity to figure it out.

“Think about doing stuff you usually don’t have the time to do during the work week,” said Dr. Vicki Panaccione, a Melbourne licensed psychologist. “Maybe it’s going through some old photo albums. That’s especially helpful for parents stuck at home with a parents Kids love to go through old photos. And you might as well make the time productive for the both of you. The idea is to change the mind-set.

“It’s better to make the best of the situation rather than being miserable.”

Parents who have to stay at home with sick children especially are at risk of getting sick—or sicker—trying to keep children busy.

“I suggest that when a sick child is sleeping that parents take time for themselves,” Panaccione said. “Either relax and read or do something they consider a hobby.” And when you’re sick, hobbies don’t include cleaning house or other household chores that might lead to more stress, she said. “If you feel run down, use paper plates during that time so you don’t have to worry about the dishes,” she said. “Go ahead and let the laundry pile up—or let one of the elder children do it. Delegate. If you feel guilty about stuff not getting done, (the stress can make it) even longer to recover.”

Sidebar: Make the best of your downtime.

Whether you’re sick or you’re cooped up with a sick child, here are a few ways to cope.

Do fun things with your sick child, suggests Melbourne psychologist Dr. Vicki Panaccione. Play board games, take turns drawing a picture, play dress up. “Use it as an opportunity to spend time with the child. It will make it more bearable for the both of you,” she said.

If you’re sick, don’t feel guilty for not keeping up with household chores. Relax and delve into some fun, low-energy hobbies, Panaccione said.

As published in Florida Today, September 13, 2005.
Florida Today

© MMVI Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D.

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