Things to Do During Bed Rest & Recuperation

Bed Rest Activities for RecuperationBed rest and recuperation is boring

So what are you going to do about it?

Seen every television show and movie you ever wanted to see? You have read everything you wanted to read, at least for now?Sick of all things passive? Thought that story would be uplifting, but then it took a sharp right turn and now you’re depressed? Been there, and it stinks.

Staying busy on bed rest is harder than we think. We often wish for an excuse to take a few days off, to rest, sleep, read and binge watch Game of Thrones, or Buffy for old times sake. But if we have to do it for more than a day or two? Borderline torture.

I’m here to tell you, from personal experience, there are a lot of things you can do from your bed, or your couch. So get busy!

Activity 1: Get Organized

We all have things buried in our brains that niggles at us like a terrible itch. Being stuck in bed can force you to not just scratch them, but get rid of it all together. I have never been so at peace than when I get rid of a dozen items that I’ve meant to do. It can save you money and stress in the long run too.

  1. Life is busy and messy. When you are up to your armpits in alligators every day, the details fall by the wayside. As a result, you probably have outdated digital accounts, points cards, credit cards, address books and the like hanging around.
  2. Now is the time to streamline. Go through your wallet, your email, your address book, your file cabinet and find all the items and accounts you no longer use. Think financial, digital, work, personal and social.
  3. Make a list and start canceling, un-subscribing, and consolidating. Order reports, where you can; for example, a credit report will tell you about old information against your name that you may want to fix. This is something you should do annually anyway, but if you are like everyone else I know, you don’t.
  4. The next step is to inventory your remaining information.  Make a list of your remaining accounts and all relevant contact information. You can even consider secure repositories for this information for when you need it. Do you have all of your credit card numbers recorded in case of theft?  Do you know your Facebook account and password if your phone suddenly dies?
  5. Now your calendar and address book. Time to make sure you have current contact information for all of your favorite people, and get rid of all the outdated information to make sure you do not get lost in the clutter. Then update your calendar. Add birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.
  6. And now things should be simplified. Whether you can keep it that way is questionable, but it is a great feeling while it lasts.

Activity 2: Make Plans

Today may not be a good day, but tomorrow might be, and eventually they mostly will be. Start making plans; this will serve two purposes: the first will be something positive to do now and the second will be to give you something to look forward to.

  1. Find a recuperation group in your area that you can join when you are mobile again. There are groups that meet for coffee and a chat and others that meet to exercise together and keep each other on track. You can find these groups online or through your community center, church or hospital. Surf the web and see what’s available. If that doesn’t work, ask your medical providers, friends, etc… Otherwise you are going to be kicking yourself when someone tells you about this great group when you don’t need them anymore.
  2. Find an online support group. There is a group for everything. If you try, you can find a group of people going through exactly what you are. If they haven’t created a forum for themselves, start one. Create a Facebook page or group and then invite everyone you can find to join. Keep it positive though. Everyone needs to let off a little steam now and then, but when people are vulnerable, the last thing they need is a downer who is constantly complaining.
  3. Plan a visit with a friend. One of the things we find hard about visiting with people who are not well, is not knowing what to say or do. I know when I am not well I hate trying to make conversation, it is too hard, and I feel boring. If you are well enough to be bored, then you are likely well enough to create a plan. Invite a friend to come over and watch a funny movie. Or pretend to spend a million dollars, keep track with a calculator or pencil, it’s more fun. Plan a weekend away when you are better. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s fun and makes you feel good. Just make sure when you invite them, you invite them and suggest your plan; be upbeat and happy. Don’t pretend; if thinking about doing it doesn’t make you feel great then wait until it does.
  4. Use this opportunity to become your own social director. Set up dates for when you are feeling better. If you are going to be able to go out in two weeks, book lunch with a friend in four. Lunch out with a colleague, gym nights with a friend, play dates for your children, anything that brings you joy and goes on your calendar to look forward to is good.
  5. Plan a trip. Do the research. Fly or drive? What hotels would you stay in?
  6. Plan a special day for the future. Make a list of things that would be fun to do once you are better.  Plan the perfect rainy day or family outing.  Then once you are all better, you can pull the itinerary out of the drawer and do it.

Activity 3: Keep In Touch

I want to start this with a question for you. Are you up to this? If you feel really terrible, this one may not be a good one. This one works best when you are feeling good and looking forward to things and can be very uplifting under the right circumstances. If you feel terrible and sick, you may want to wait, as contact with the outside world can be stressful for some, while it is energizing for others.

  1. You finally have time to catch up with friends, family and colleagues. Get out your laptop, phone or pen. It is time to reach out to those you have neglected.
  2. Go through old address books, emails, calendars and networking sites. Make a list of the people with whom you wish you hadn’t lost touch. Do not reach out randomly; these should be relationships you are willing to keep up.
  3. If you have their address, try an old-fashioned card, or postcard. Remember how much fun it used to be to get mail? If it is digital, be equally thoughtful. Make this first contact meaningful; that said, keep it brief. Remember that you have a lot of time on your hands, they do not.
  4. Keep it happy and upbeat, but honest. You may not be at your best, but you will be again soon. Mention that you have a few days off, and are taking advantage of the opportunity to renew your relationship. Let them know why they matter to you, and ask about their lives. Try to smile while you write; picture them and what you like so much about them, it will come across in your writing.
  5. Lastly, come up with a plan to keep in touch with all of these renewed friendships.  Make sure it fits in a small window. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t hear back from all of them. They may be too busy. We all know that there are points in our life where we can’t find time to think, so be understanding.

Pace Yourself During Your Bed Rest

  • Whatever project you choose to take on be sure it is physically manageable in your condition, but also, make sure it is something that makes you feel good.  Get well projects need to be uplifting and positive.  You are living with enough frustration and struggle with your health and spirit that you should avoid adding more challenges to it.
  • Do it in small doses. Try to divide it into manageable portions. Don’t start something that will hang over you like a cloud until it is finished. You may wake up tomorrow without the energy to work on it, and that’s needs to be okay. Keep your project in a box or bag that you can put out of sight and mind when necessary.
  • The projects you undertake should add to your life.  There is nothing more gratifying when you are recuperated and return to your life than having your life simplified, or added to in some positive way.
  • Whatever you decide to take on, do it with the right attitude.  The key to help you recuperate is staying positive and happy. This is much easier said than done. Whatever you choose to do put on some happy music, an uplifting movie, or invite a friend to help.  Put yourself in the best possible frame of mind during your recuperation. Next, keep your focus on the outcome.  Think of the result of your labor, reminisce of the good times, and smile as much as you can. Mind over matter dictates that if you force yourself to be in a good mood, eventually you will be in a good mood.

More To Come

This post is the first in what will be a series. I am planning to add more good bed rest activities to keep you busy as well as some links to some great hobbies that you might want to try. Over the years I have found some interesting and fun activity sets that people have assembled. Some I’ve tried, others I would like to. So stay tuned for more entries and suggestions coming soon.