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How to Feel Better When You’re Not Really Sick

How to Feel Better When You’re Not Really Sick
Carly Jacobs

You know when you feel sick but you’re not quite sick enough to say you’re sick? You want to feel better but cold and flu tablets seem a bit intense and you don’t want to go to the doctor because you’re not THAT sick… you just feel a bit off.

A few weeks ago, I felt just like that. I wasn’t sick… but I wasn’t well either. I felt tired, weak and a little shaky. I wasn’t sick enough to drown myself in Sudafed and cuddle under a blanket but it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed and tap out a few half-hearted articles, unpack the dishwasher and sigh a lot. I just wasn’t well. It seems that plenty of people are feeling this way at the moment so I thought I’d put together some tips for feeling better when you’re not really sick.

feel better

How to feel better when you’re not really sick…


Whenever you need to. After work, after dinner, at lunchtime. The only time your body can recover from illness is during rest. If you don’t stop moving you will drastically increase the time that you feel unwell. Take yourself off to bed as soon as humanly possible tonight. If you struggle with sleeping, an eye mask and a wake-up light will change your life. You can read more about those here. 


I’m what you would loosely call a health nut. Not a fifth strain vegetarian who eats nothing that casts a shadow but a dairy/gluten/sugar/carb/salt avoider. When I’m not feeling well, I eat anything that will make me feel better. Which often means salty crackers, miso soup, lemon gelato, bowls of rice or oven fries with tomato sauce. Ignore the fact that you usually don’t eat starches after 5pm and down that bowl of creamy pumpkin soup. Fruit juice is also amazing when you’re unwell so get the calories and start drinkin’! Give yourself a few days to eat whatever is nourishing you. Your body is pretty smart and knows what it wants so listen to it when you want to feel better than you’re feeling.


The world will not implode if you don’t pay your phone bill on the day it arrives or if you start your assignment a little later than you planned. If you have a willing mother/father/boyfriend/girlfriend/housemate then let them take care of you. Be a little sooky. If you live alone, tuck yourself up on the couch with snacks, drinks and the remote. Stay there. For a really long time. Then go straight to bed. Say no to all social occasions and just hibernate for a while.


As many vitamins as you can. Eat a spinach omelette, make beetroot and carrot juice, have some steamed broccoli and eat a fruit salad. I can also highly recommend probiotics and armaforce as excellent supplements when you’re feeling a bit off.

Take a day off

You don’t have to be on your death-bed to use your sick leave, just don’t make a habit of it. When I was in high school my mother would let me take the occasional ‘mental health day’ where I wasn’t actually sick, I just needed some time off. These days are important, so take the occasional not-entirely-sick sick day. Even if you just go home early so you can spend the afternoon drinking tea and watching Netflix. Preventative time off is really important so if you feel yourself sliding into a full-on episode of sickness, take a day off. It may well mean you end up taking less time off when you’re actually sick.

Skip the gym

Body Combat and Spin will be your worst enemies if you’re low on energy and feeling flat. Try yoga, walking or a gentle bike ride. Intense physical exertion will only make you feel worse. You’ll be back at the punching bag in no time if you rest properly. I REALLY struggle with this because I like to work out hard but it’s really the only way to get your body to rest properly. I do F45 classes and if I’ve been sick, I tend to go to classes and just do the strength parts of the class. So instead of jump squats, I’ll just do gentle squats. It’s all about easing yourself back into the swing of things.


It’s easy to get into a permanent state of blah when you’re feeling ordinary. Hang out with a fun friend, watch a movie that guarantees giggles or call someone who always makes you feel good. If your brain is feeling fab, your body will soon follow.

Extra reading for the keen beans out there…

How To Feel Better When You’ve Had A Bad Day 

How To Feel Better When You’re Feeling A Bit Shit

How To Not Feel Like Crap At The End Of Your Work Day

9 Ways To Get Yourself Out Of A Funk

What To Do When Everything Falls Apart

What are your tips for feeling better when you’re not really sick?

P.S Also you should totally sign up for my newsletter. It’s full of cool stuff.
P.P.S Don’t forget Crochet Coach has a free trial offer period at the moment so make sure you sign up!


  1. ScribblesNZ 13 years ago

    You have totally just described the way I have felt for about the last week and a half – not sick but not well either. I’ve been letting myself off a little bit with regards to exercise and diet but it’s hard. The rest part is the hardest – always so much to do!

    • Author
      Smaggle 13 years ago

      I know! I SUCK at resting. When I really, really need to my body makes me. 

  2. Nessbow 13 years ago

    I love to make myself a massive batch of vegetable soup.  It instantly makes you feel better, and is packed with vitamins to support your immune system.  Plenty of sleep is also a good cure when you’re feeling run-down.

    If I’m having a ‘blah’ day, I tuck myself on the couch with a stack of my favorite movies.  I like feel-good flicks with very little plot, so if you doze off, you haven’t missed too much.  The Court Jester, Legally Blonde and Mallrats are my favorite sick-day movies.

    • Author
      Smaggle 13 years ago

      I’ve been meaning to do that for ages! Next on the list! 

  3. Kristie 13 years ago

    Hmmm. Sometimes you just need a facial. They can be pricey, but they are oh so worth it. When I lived with my parents my aesthetician mom would always give me facials when I was feeling stressed. To this day, almost nothing feels better than clear, blackhead free skin and a steam cleaned face. Trust me, it works. If I don’t have enough money to go get one, I try steaming my face over hot water for 10 minutes, then putting on my own store bought mask. A little pampering goes a long way. Add painting your nails for the whole shebang. 

    • Author
      Smaggle 13 years ago

      Just did an at home facial and my skin is feeling fine! Thanks for the tip!

  4. tamera ferro 13 years ago

    Yessss. This has been the last few days of my life, though I was HORRIBLY sick and now it’s just a dragging cough and the inability to sleep. Can’t wait to get home, have a hot bath & a little nap! 

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • Author
      Smaggle 13 years ago

      Thanks love, I’d KILL for a bath but I have to save that up for when I visit my parents. 

  5. Megan 13 years ago

    I needed this article today. I am on my second day off work due to the flu and feel so guiltily despite the only movement I am capable of is moving from lounge to bed and back again.

    • Author
      Smaggle 13 years ago

      Suck it up woman! You have a day off, enjoy and don’t you dare feel guilty. 

  6. Amy 13 years ago

    I know our seasons are reversed, but I totally felt this way for all of January and part of February this year.  We had a most terrible winter in the chilly Northeast US.  It was vile.  I have one of those awful bosses that yell at you for sick time, death bed or no, so taking time off actually stressed me out (boo) – so I hear ya, Megan.  

    I agree with all your points times ten!  Feel better soon, Miss Smaggle! 

  7. Bambamcomet 13 years ago

    thats good advice… feel better

  8. Anne T 11 years ago

    I should have taken this advice last week but instead pushed myself to keep going and now have a full blown cold with cough and all sorts of yucky sinus stuff happening! I’ve had one day off and am currently in bed contemplating whether to get up to do some work because I feel bad about another day off…..

  9. Hope Franks 10 years ago

    I feel this way now. I just woke up feeling like this. Thanks for the advice

  10. Michele 9 years ago

    I can’t stop sleeping and I’m 100.7 LBs. I just can’t gsin weight! Plus I feel weak, shakey and just down right gross. Can anyone give me advise? I beg you all.

    • Berta 8 years ago

      Did you ever go to the doctor? I would be concerned about being anemic, and if what could be causing that….

  11. Lomarwil 7 years ago

    First go to your general Doctor for a complete check up. If u need something do what ur Md says to do. If u don’t, focus on your nutrition. If u r a woman and menstruate make sure u r not iron deficient. Eat spinach at that time of the month or take iron tabs. Drink water 8 glasses daily. Add exercise at least weekly.

  12. Kylie 7 years ago

    Hi, I wasn’t feeling to good today because I ate to much candy and I didn’t feel well, so here is some advice to feel better when your not sick just don’t feel good, I suggest you go lay on the couch with a blanket to keep warm stay in one spot and don’t move for like 45 mins to one hour maybe playing a fun game, reading fun articles, watching funny movies to keep your mind off of not feeling good it helped me and hopefully it will help you

  13. Sam 6 years ago

    Love these tips! Especially the eat what your body craves! I always want mashed potato when I’m feeling off

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      When I’m feeling sick, I just go with what feels good. Only when I’m sick though! It can be a disaster if you let that go on too long. 🙂

  14. Michaela 6 years ago

    Whenever I start feeling this way – it’s a toss up as to whether it’s my mental health taking another dip or an actual bodily illness on the way. In either case, these are great tips!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      That’s so true – it really could be either physical issues or mental ones. In my case, it’s usually stress. 🙂

  15. Maadz 6 years ago

    Great post, Carly! All things I know but forget (or ignore!) when I’m starting to feel sick. Saving this one for future use! Thanks Maadz

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Oh awesome – so glad it helped. Just a weird question – how do you save posts for future use? Do you use a blog reader? Or just put it in your book marks?

      • Maadz 6 years ago

        Good question! I’ll usually save it in Bloglovin’ – which I’ll do right now as I will forget otherwise 🙂

        • Author
          Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

          Thanks for that! THat’s super useful, I like knowing how people save things!

  16. Kate 5 years ago

    Thank you. I’ve been this way for weeks. Just had to call in sick (again) about 10 minutes ago… I’ve grown resigned to crashing on the weekends. Can’t see my GP till tomorrow. Made the appointment a week ago.

  17. Amy Brandenburger 5 years ago

    Every time I come home from school I just feel like digging a hole and lying in it but I never have the time to just take a break unless I tell myself I have a fever what should I do?


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