Nanalan’ Offers 3 Ways to Take Care of Yourself While Sick

Everyone’s favorite grandmotherly puppet dispenses wisdom to help you get well soon.

Image credit/ Nanalan'

Nobody likes feeling sick! That includes viral YouTube show Nanalan’s young heroine, Mona. In this episode, her Nana reads her the story Sammy Duck Feels Yuck, teaching that if we can be patient and kind to ourselves while we’re sick, it becomes just a little less yucky.

3 Ways to Be Kind to You When You’re Sick, According to Nanalan’

1. Give your body some rest! Too obvious? Maybe…but when it means missing work, school, or whatever else occupies our busy day, listening to our body and symptoms may be the last thing we want to do. In Mona’s storybook, Sammy Duck has this problem. “He wanted to play out in the neighborhood. But Mom said, ‘You can’t if you’re not feeling good,” reads Nana. We’re reminded that taking the time to stay home and recover when we’re sick is an act of kindness to ourselves, and to those around us, too.

While you’re getting some extra rest, try this 10-minute body scan practice to relax any aches or pains and tune in to your body. 

2. Nourish yourself inside and out. Sammy gives some classic examples: swallowing a spoonful of questionably flavored medicine, followed by a warm bowl of soup. Nourishing yourself may also include snuggling in bed with your pet (Russell is happy to oblige)! Or, if you need something, enlist a friend to do a supply dropoff—they’ll probably be happy you asked. Know that you deserve care and support, just as much as anyone else. What is most comforting and gentle for you when you feel unwell?

Soothe your nervous system and offer yourself thoughts of compassion with this 12-minute loving-kindness practice.

3. Accept the yuck—for now. Let’s face it, feeling sorry for yourself when you’re out of commission is a totally normal reaction. It can even be pretty satisfying to wallow for a bit. On the other hand, mindfulness teaches that if we keep on wallowing, we’re adding more emotional yuckiness on top of the already unpleasant condition of being sick. 

Instead, we can accept that sickness is what’s happening right now, and that it won’t be forever. Like Sammy, deciding that “I’m going to try!” allows us to kindly take care of ourselves with what we need today, staying hopeful that we’ll feel better (or at least different) by tomorrow.

This practice by Sharon Salzberg is only three minutes long, yet it will help you redirect energy resources toward loving yourself, as you let your body rest and heal.