Emotional hygiene of sick days

Emotional hygiene of sick days

We can physically sense heat waves of anger or the exhaustive impact of prolonged stress on our bodies. Strong and persistent destructive emotions impact our vitals, may undermine our immune system and eventually contribute to health issues. Emotional hygiene offers the means to reduce the impact or even make it positive, — facilitate recovery, mitigate symptoms, prevent relapses, etc.

Ailments as “safety valves”

Our casual moderate ailments may sometimes act as “safety valves”: if we do not stop escalating stress voluntarily, our emotionally suppressed immune system does it for us. 🙂 Sickness withdraws us from the triggering context, limits our ability to control things. The mind loosens its emotional grip, allowing us to recharge. A conducive time to fix mental issues that might have led to stress in the first place. So it does not relapse as soon as we get back to work or other provoking context again.

A “mind-first” perspective

Such “forced vacation” offers both time and additional “highlighting” for taking care of our emotional issues. The ones we can no longer ignore because of their impact on our daily ability to function. Even if the emotions are unrelated, we can still use the opportunity to work on these reactions. Make sure our future interactions with similar situations are ecological and stress-free.

Facilitating recovery

A balanced state of mind helps. However, to get there we now have to tackle two things:

  1. afflictions that preceded the illness,
  2. additional agitations caused by the illness itself, limitations, discomforts, etc.

The latter, our frustrations, annoyance with illness are caused by our usual internal issues. Exaggerated priorities, dependencies, etc. react to the:

  • unexpected obstacle to normal functioning, fulfilling wishes, work, planned activities
  • unpleasant physical issues, pains, discomforts, etc.

NB: external treatment

Taking care of destructive emotions may improve our response to traditional treatment, but does not exclude it (diagnostics, visiting qualified doctors, taking medicine, etc.).

Prevention is the best medicine

Stress, destructive emotions, restless thoughts, etc. are early “warning signs”. Preventing the unhealthy impact is usually more effective than subduing it after things have escalated. One more item on the list of benefits of ongoing awareness, emotional hygiene and addressing agitations.


Sick days offer a unique opportunity to address both agitations that preceded the ailment and the ones it provoked.