The Very Best Ways to Spend a Sick Day

I caught some kind of bug last week that left me feeling like I was hungover for several days in a row: Throbbing headaches, persistent flat-spins, cold sweats. The weird part was, those were basically the only symptoms. I had plenty of energy, I was still pretty sharp, and as long I stayed absolutely still and didn't try to read anything, I felt okay. In other words, I felt fine as long as I didn't do anything at all. Which is where things get tricky.

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Comfort gaming was made for sick days IMO. I’ll pop into matches of Titanfall or Halo, though I’ll avoid the likes of Overwatch as I hate being a team anchor. If PVP is too stressful I might slip into Forza or MLB: The Show. But if I know that sick day is gonna turn into sick days, then I fall into a deep, dark Civ V hole. I shudder to think about the hideous cave troll I become the second I roll a new map.


When I’m truly sick and am bogged down by fatigue, I always find myself watching the kind of television that is exclusively marketed to octogenarians. Game shows, niche whodunits, etc. etc. Even in the year 2018 where I can put a good Youtube channel on and spend time with personalities that I actually like, I tend to just watch The Price is Right and nap.

Only slightly related, but when I was in 8th grade (2008), I had to get surgery on my face and spent my entire recovery playing Super Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime. For some reason, I just thought the GCN would be a good companion for someone who had gauze taped onto their face for a weekend. And honestly? I was right.

Probably the best sick day I can remember was when I was in high school home with a cold and figured out that I could stream the entirety of the '50s Twilight Zone on Netflix. Each episode is so memorable and gripping, it’s fascinating television even to the teenager of the early 2010s that I was

I Love Lucy is my go to when it’s a sick day in bed. Never gets old.

Putting on hour long critiques of games I’ve already watched and falling asleep is my way to survive sick days.

I’ve never gotten super sick as a kid and the few times I did it was bad enough to be incapacitated and asleep for hours. As a “new” adult I’ve only ever gotten sick around midterms and finals season so powering through and studying was my only course of action.

When I was a kid and I got sick I would change beds. My room doubled as the guest bedroom as it was big enough for both my bunk bed and a second 3/4 size bed. I figured the sheets had to be infected given how much time I was in them and how much mucus had been wiped away. I didn’t have a video game system until grade 9, and we only had 2 TV channels so those were not a big part of it.

As an adult I will take a bath when I’m sick, particularly if it’s a stomach related illness. During the 24 Hours of LeMans last month I was in agonizing back pain and was pretty bloated and gassy. I was trying to sleep on the floor for more back support while listening to the race, but eventually at 3 in the morning I had to run a bath. The hot water surrounding my back lead to instant relief.