Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

January 6, 2023

Game Shows & Soup in a Mug: An Ideal Sick Day

An Ideal Sick Day: Soup in a Mug

Words: Christen Hammons
Photo credit: Melanie DeFazio

When I was growing up, staying home from school for a sick day often felt like a little treat. I was lucky enough to have a mom who stayed at home and doted on me, making me a special bed on the couch where I could enjoy comforting food and drinks while watching those fun game shows that were only on TV during the day. As I’ve grown older, sick days can feel like less of a treat because there is always so much to get done.

When I finally do admit defeat and decide to stay home from work, I still often find myself checking emails and feeling guilty for all the time I’m “wasting.” How can I justify just doing nothing? It’s never really come as a surprise that it takes a long time for whatever bug I’m fighting to finally leave my system. If only I could just rest, perhaps I’d feel better sooner. And when I found myself under the weather a couple weeks ago, I did just that.

And it worked.

I didn’t just rest, however. I decided to make the most of my time at home and re-created those sick days from my childhood. I made up a little bed on our couch in front of our TV and happily gave my husband my list of things to get me from the store.

  • Chicken noodle soup. Not the canned kind, but the soup that comes in boxes and can be drank from an oversized mug.
  • Apple juice. I never drink it except when I’m sick, and I’m not sure I even like it that much, but taking a sip of it reminds me of my mom pouring a glass of it for me whenever I wasn’t feeling well.
  • Luden’s cough drops. I’m still not sure if they actually work, but I always feel like I was getting away with eating candy whenever I have them.
  • A word puzzle book. Crosswords and puzzles have always been a source of comfort for me. Whenever I don’t feel well or life feels uncertain, I pick one up. (You should see how many I amassed during 2020.)

Photo by Cris Romagosa

I changed into my coziest pair of pajamas, settled under my favorite blanket, and perused the digital guide to find something to watch. Of course, I quickly landed on The Game Show Network and was transported back to my childhood. Between naps, I played along with the contestants on the screen, sipping my soup from a mug and enjoying that cold apple juice. My only responsibility for that day was to rest so I could feel better, and since I allowed myself to do so, I was back on my feet in no time at all.

When we aren’t feeling well, I think it’s important to slow down and treat ourselves with kindness and love, and perhaps indulge our inner child a little.

How would you spend your ideal sick day at home?




Christen Hammons is the editor-in-chief of Bella Grace magazine. She lives in Orange County with her husband and their two rescue dogs.

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Comments ( 4 )

  1. Kaitlin Morris

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    My ideal sick day would consist of being snuggled up in bed with quilts and a hot water bottle, lots of reading material, and a hot drink.

  2. Lisa Davis

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I would spend my ideal sick day in my pajama curled up under the warm covers watching television. My cat Sophie would be near by and purring as if that would make me feel better. A cup of tea with honey and lemon would sit on my nightstand waiting for me to take a sip.

  3. Aimee

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    I loved reading this; such a sweet story! My sick day comfort food is elbow macaroni with butter – that’s what my mom used to serve us kids when we were getting over illnesses. We always had to stay in bed when we were ill, which meant no lounging on a couch to watch tv game shows!

    I rarely get sick, but the last time I did, I binged on You Tube music videos.

  4. Moe Phillips

    April 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    Having just recovered from a week in bed, I have a new found appreciation for being vertical. A splash of fresh squeezed orange juice in a glass of fizzy water was a magic elixir. Waking up groggy and fevered- a cooling sip was a reminder of better days and sunshine ahead. Back to sleep I would go, under a faux fur pink blanket with Smudge the black cat as a purring hot water bottle, tucked in beside me.

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