So, you’re over your illness, but you’re still feeling “blah”. Just as an illness might last a week or several weeks, so too might it take a few weeks to feel like your old vibrant self again. It takes time to get over feeling wobbly and tired, and back to eating normally with your usual energy levels.
There’s no magic trick that can bring you back to instant health, but there are some tried and true ways to get your energy levels back after being sick. The most important thing is to listen to your body and ease back into your usual routine. It may be frustrating, but it's your best chance at a speedy recovery.
Take your time
Listen to your body and try not to push yourself too hard too fast. It might feel as though you don’t have the time to ease back into things, but you owe it to yourself to make the time, as tired and stressed-out bodies are more likely to get sick all over again.
Keeping yourself hydrated during illness is very important. Hydration is also crucial in recovering from illness. Dehydration can cause light-headedness, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. Water helps flush out any nasty toxins which could prevent our body from focusing its energy on recovery. It also keeps our lymph nodes functioning correctly which helps to fight off any last traces of illness. If plain water isn’t to your taste, then add some fresh fruit or herbs such as mint or cinnamon for a bit of natural flavour or try herbal tea. We would recommend steering clear of sugary drinks and coffee.
Hydration is about more than just drinking water though. It’s about replenishing your electrolyte stores. Eating fruit and veggies will help with this, but if you think you need a boost with this then consider drinking an electrolyte solution without sugar, which you can buy from your local chemist.
East restorative foods
If you’ve been sick it can be very tempting to eat comfort foods. But the best way to recover quickly is to be clever about what you eat. Choosing foods that give you the right nutrients and building blocks for healing is essential for getting back to good health. If you’re in the early stages of recovery from a stomach or intestinal illness, choose foods that are easy to digest, such as brown rice, dry toast, apples or bananas, as you could have residual inflammation in the gut. When your body is ready to eat normally, then choose whole foods so that your body doesn’t have to deal with added chemicals or processed ingredients. Whole foods include fruits and veggies, meat, legumes, and whole grains. Read more about whole foods here.
Antioxidants are also crucial with helping cells function fully. If you’re on the road to recovery, then eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is the best way to get those powerful antioxidants.
The best energy foods after illness include superfoods which are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Try our Double Shot, which contains 8 superfood ingredients known to improve health and boost energy.
“I ordered it after covid too as I felt fatigued even walking to the kitchen to make a cup of tea a week after my day 7 test 😩. its day 4 of shots today and I’m already feeling a lot more energetic, I hope you feel better soon too (P.S. Covid made all my joints ache, including arthritic hands, I had some relief finally yesterday).” Sarah Williams
Probiotics for good bacteria
If your doctor prescribed antibiotics to beat a nasty bacterial infection, you might experience some after-effects such as diarrhoea and/or bloating or other issues. This occurs because antibiotics can also destroy the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut which aid digestion and help prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. It’s important to replenish ‘good’ gut bacteria as much of our immunity is centered in our gut. You can do this easily by eating foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, unpasturased Kombucha, sauerkraut or kimchi, dark chocolate, organic green olives or miso soup.
Make a green smoothie
If you’re just starting to get your appetite back, or your throat has just stopped hurting, a green smoothie is a great way to get those much-needed nutrients into your body to help rev it up. This apple and avocado smoothie is creamy and sweet and doesn’t contain any diary! It’s also includes manuka honey which is known to have many healing and immunity properties. You could also try our Green Goodness smoothie, which is full of spinach, pineapple, ginger, manuka honey and a scoop of Double Shot.
When you’re ill your body needs sleep to help it heal. Sleep remains an important component in helping you get back to your vibrant self even after your illness has passed. Try to manage your sleep schedule as proactively as you can; try get more sleep than usual and make sure it’s restful. That means focusing on sleep hygiene, such as creating a bedtime routine and sleep-inducing environment, and limiting screen time. Read our article on how to help you get good zzz’s.
Respond to people, but keep it brief
Whether you’re replying to texts, email, or phone calls, keep it short and remember - everything is not as urgent as you think it is. Let people know you’re ill and that you’ll respond to them as soon as you can. It eases the stress you might be feeling and buys you a little more time to respond well. Everyone has been sick at some point their lives, so they will understand.
Turn off those screens
Phones, TVs, and tablets all emit blue light which causes strain on your eyes. Blue light is also linked to physical and mental fatigue - energy you should be reserving for healing. You might think this is the perfect time to binge watch Friends or scroll through social media, but it only distracts you from self-care and the rest you really need. Make sure you turn all devices off at least 1 hour prior to sleep time, so that your brain has enough time to ‘switch off’.
Stretch and ease back into workout routines
Exercise creates a demand for energy which the body produces naturally in response to the need. But don’t push yourself too hard at first, especially if you’ve spent a lot of time in bed recently. Start slow and work yourself back up to your pre-illness levels. You might also find that your muscles and joints may have become a little stiff and achy, so try stretching to warm up your muscles again. The main thing is not to overtax your body.
Ask for help
Taking on too much too soon can put you right back into that sick bed. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help temporarily, whether that’s with chores around the house or taking the kids to their afternoon activities. Asking for help from a spouse, friend, or family member can mean the difference between a slow and fast recovery.
When recovering from an illness its best to ease your way back in by taking baby steps when returning to work, life, and fitness routines. You'll bounce back in no time!
And as always, consult your doctor, dietitian, nutritionist, or health professional for expert advice if you have any concerns.