60 Things to Do When You’re Sick (So You Don’t Go Crazy!)

When you’re sick, all you want to do is rest and get better. But sometimes, resting can be really boring. And if you have kids, it can be hard to keep them entertained while you’re trying to get better.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 60 things for you to do when you’re sick! From watching TV shows to coloring in a coloring book, we have something for everyone on this list. So take a look and find something that will help keep you entertained while you’re resting up!

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60 Things to Do When Sick

Being sick is never fun, but it can also be super boring. While resting in bed can be nice for a little while, when you’re stuck in bed all day, it can be hard to stay occupied.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 60 things you can do on sick days. We broke it down into smaller categories, so hopefully, you can find something intriguing in this list that can keep you occupied the next time you have a sore throat, common cold, runny nose – you name it!

sick day activities for adults

Embracing Your Favorite Form of Media

These tips are the most obvious, but for good reason! When you’re healthy, sometimes you don’t have time to sit back and relax. When you’re sick, you’re kind of forced to slow down. Take advantage of that by bingeing that show you’ve been wanting to watch, catching up on your reading, or playing a new video game! Here are some ways you can let media fill your time while you’re sick:

  1. Watch a movie or TV show.
  2. Listen to music.
  3. Read a book.
  4. Listen to an audiobook (this is one of my faves!)
  5. Listen to your favorite podcast.
  6. Play video games.
  7. Play some online Solitaire
  8. Shop online (but this can be a bit dangerous for your wallet, so maybe online window shopping would be better).
  9. Work on a jigsaw puzzle.
  10. Do a sudoku or crossword puzzle (there are lots of apps with puzzles like this as well).
  11. Catch up on the news with online newspapers.
  12. If you are a fan of true crime, this True Crime Book could be fun!


Get Artistic

Another great way to fill your time when you’re sick is by getting in touch with your artistic side! If you’re an artist, use this time to work on your craft. If not, give it a try! You may discover a hidden talent or at least make some fun pieces that you can hang up in your home once you’re feeling better. Here are some creative outlets to explore while you’re sick:

  1. Color in a coloring book.
  2. Edit some of your favorite photos.
  3. Sketch a picture (you could try painting, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re in bed).
  4. Write a story or poem.
  5. Create a mood board on Pinterest.
  6. Watch makeup tutorials on Youtube and try some new looks (makeup is artistry too!).
  7. Look up inspiration for nail art and paint your nails.
  8. Find some old magazines and cut them up to make a fun collage.
  9. If you have beads, make a bracelet or necklace.
  10. Take artistic photos of things around your home.


Start a New Hobby

When you’re under the weather, you can also use that time as an opportunity to start a new hobby! The one caveat to this one is that you need to have the things at home for this new hobby – so you might have to plan ahead for these tips if you don’t have a friend or family member who can pick up a few things for you.

things to do when sick

But learning a new hobby while sick in bed can be a great way to pass the time! Here are a few ideas for new hobbies to try:

  1. Try knitting or crocheting (you’ll need to have the hooks on hand along with yarn)
  2. Learn origami (you only need paper for this one!)
  3. Take up scrapbooking (gather your favorite photos and knick-knacks). These look insanely fun!
  4. Learn to sew.
  5. Learn how to braid your hair in different ways.
  6. Try calligraphy.
  7. Learn about upcycling and spend some time upcycling things around your house.
  8. Any instruments around your house that someone else plays but you don’t? Learn how to play it! (But make sure you thoroughly disinfect it before anyone else uses it so they don’t catch whatever you have.)
  9. Learn how to cook – this is a great hobby for anyone!
  10. If you have twine or rope in your house, you can learn macrame.


Learn Something New

In addition to picking up a new hobby, you can also use your sick time to learn something new. If you’re someone who loves to learn or research, now is your time! You can look up fun facts, read something interesting, or take advantage of the many online classes available.

There are plenty of free resources online that offer free courses in a variety of topics. You can learn about coding, photography, and even business strategy – all from the comfort of your own bed. Here are some things you can do to learn something new:

  1. Use Google Maps to travel around the world and learn about a new country (you can even use street view to see neighborhoods in a different country).
  2. Download a language app and learn a new language (Duolingo is our favorite).
  3. Virtually visit museums. There are several museums around the world (including the Louvre) that have virtual tours available, and many of them are free!
  4. Read online articles about topics that interest you.
  5. Research gardening and start an indoor herb garden when you’re feeling a bit better.
  6. Look up fun animal facts!
  7. Take an online class.
  8. Learn about self-care so you can stay healthy mentally even if you have a hacking cough, high fever, sore throat, or other illness.
  9. Research about the human body. Sometimes when you’re sick, it can be interesting to find out exactly what is happening to your body and ways to improve your immune system in the future.
  10. You need to stay hydrated when you’re sick, so learn how to make tea or a drink to help treat your symptoms.

Focus on Health or Nature

If you’re someone who loves exercising or being out in nature, being sick can be hard since you can’t really do either of those things when you’re not feeling well. Here are some activities you can do that still honor your need for movement and/or nature:

  1. Go for a stroll around the block (do this only when you start feeling a little better and make sure you’re wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance from others).
  2. Do some yoga or stretching at home. There are lots of free videos on YouTube and a lot of them are relaxing and calm enough for you to do when sick.
  3. Put up a bird feeder outside your window so you can watch wildlife from your bed.
  4. If you can get outside for a bit, pick some flowers and then learn how to press them. That can help bring nature inside for you. (Or you can just put them in a vase.)


Other Ideas

  1. Call a friend or family member to chat.
  2. Organize and declutter your living space (e.g., clear out the closet, reorganize your drawers). But make sure you’re feeling up to it!
  3. Clean up your social media profiles, such as updating photos and bio information.
  4. Watch some old family videos or home movies.
  5. Take a hot bath or shower especially if you have nasal congestion.
  6. Daydream. As adults, we don’t get tons of time to just let our thoughts wander but it can be really fun!

Entertaining Sick Children

What’s worse than being sick? Having a sick kid. Some kids struggle to find ways to entertain themselves when they’re stuck in bed, so they may need some ideas from you to keep them occupied.

things to do when sick for kids

You can use a lot of the ideas above (like reading, drawing, learning a new hobby, etc.) but here are some other ideas to help you keep sick kids occupied:

  1. Play board games online with friends or family.
  2. Make a movie using Playdough and a smartphone.
  3. Have a movie marathon. This is especially good if they have flu symptoms or high fever and can’t really do much!
  4. Have an indoor scavenger hunt by hiding items around the house for your kid to find.
  5. Create stories together using Mad Libs and have a little comedy show.
  6. Build a fort – this is fun for children and adults of any age.
  7. Make paper dolls.
  8. Snuggle! This is especially important if they are feeling really sick and need a lot of extra sleep.
  9. Make easy crafts.
  10. Play doctor (I mean, they are already sick, so they could make the perfect patient).


Final Reminders

Being home sick for hours can be a nice break from the world, but if you’re not used to having free time in your house, you might not know how to spend your time. Staying entertained when you have to stay home can be boring, and sometimes you can’t sleep.

Remember, listen to your body, and don’t push your body too far. Getting extra sleep is one of the main things you should do to help you feel better. Engage in self-care rituals like taking a hot shower, staying hydrated, and getting to bed early. Get extra sleep, take preventive medicine, drink warm water with honey and lemon if you have a sore throat, and make sure you’re resting as much as you can. Don’t do anything that will make you feel worse.


Things to Do on a Sick Day

When you first get sick, you’ll probably feel worse than ever. You may be vomiting, have a fever, or trying to fight a hacking cough. During this time, all you may be able to do is rest, sleep, and take a hot bath.

As you start feeling better, you can start to do activities that take a little more energy. But make sure you don’t push yourself too far before you’re in good health. Some of these activities might not be feasible at the beginning of your illness. That’s okay, just listen to your body and use this list when you start feeling up to it. I hope you feel better soon!

What do you like to do on sick days? Let me know in the comments!

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