Earlier this week I woke up sick. My stomach was doing acrobatics while simultaneously in a knot. I had no appetite and even the idea of sipping tea made me gag. Luckily, I never did end up in the bathroom, but I did sleep for two days straight.
Fortunately, I have a husband who wasn’t working and so he took care of me. But what if you’re sick at home alone (either because you live alone or because everyone else is out of the house for whatever reason)?
I know what you should do: accept that you’re sick and you aren’t going to be able to maintain any level of organization at home. Use the energy you have to take care of yourself and let the tissues, the dishes, and the clothes collect. It’s okay to let it go for a short while.
An Apartment Therapy post back in 2012 puts it well:
No, I’m just sick, this is highly temporary, and it will all go back to normal in a couple of days. There’s no need to hold yourself to your normal housekeeping standards — be gentle on yourself.
That, for me, is the trick to getting better quickly. Forget all the responsibilities you can, delegate whenever possible to coworkers, family members and if possible friends, then turn inward and focus 100% on yourself.
Learn to let go: if you spend all your energy fighting how sick you are, you won’t have any energy left to get better. Accept it and relax. Learn to stare at the ceiling without any guilt.
See it as a chance to catch up on sleep: I don’t know about you, but with all the things I have to do and the thoughts running around in my head every day all day, I never seem to get enough sleep. In being sick, I found the silver lining and have caught up on all my missed sleep. And if you can’t sleep during the day because of light coming into the room, try a sleep mask, but get one that can be heated or cooled to refresh or relax you at the same time.
Don’t go back to your regular routine too soon: Unfortunately not everyone can take time off work when sick, but if you have a job that allows for decent recovery time, take it. How many times have you gone back to work too soon and ended up prolonging your illness? (Or gifting it to unappreciative coworkers?)
Being organized and living an organized life is not a 24/7 activity. We don’t have to be organized all the time. It’s okay to let it slide every once in a while.
Apart from being sick (or taking care of sick family members), when else do you think it’s okay to let the household organization slip?