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February 26, 2019

The Teacher is Sick! Tricks and Tips for Getting Healthy

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

I'm actually writing this while I am home sick! Yuck! I hate being sick and even told myself that I am not sick that last 4 days. Now I have no voice and a bad cough. Surprisingly, I don't feel too bad though. This got me thinking about all the times I have been sick through the years and how I have gotten through them while teaching.

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The Dreaded Cold:

The red, drippy nose...piles of discarded tissue...watery eyes...not a good look! I highly recommend investing in high quality tissue. Personally, I like Puffs with Vicks. The smell of Vicks sometimes gets through, and it gives me hope that the cold is almost over. 

Here are some other must haves:
     * Humidifier - Make sure it's really clean before using it. Those suckers tend to get filthy. They are worth it. The warm air humidifiers are extra nice to stand over and try breathing as deeply as possible.

     * Triple Antibiotic - Rub on the sides of your nose. This helps when your nose has been rubbed raw from blowing.
     * Shower Tablets - Vicks used to sell these years ago! Unfortunately I haven't seen them in the longest time. Now I make my own and so can you.

Confessions of a Frazzled Teacher

Shower Soothers How-To:

1.  Mix one cup baking soda and 1/2 cup of cornstarch.
2.  Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water. Start with a small amount and add only what is needed to mix everything together.
3.  Fill cupcake liners with the mixture.
4.  Let mixture dry overnight or cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. I find cooking them keeps the shape better.
5.  Add 15 drops Eucalyptus and 15 drops Rosemary Essential Oils. (Add more or less depending on your needs/wants.)

6.  Remove a shower soother from the cupcake liner and place on the floor of the shower whenever you are sick. This will help your sinuses open up.

Sore Throat:

I can't stand not being able to swallow! Therefore, anytime I get a sore throat, I am a bit of a bear. Here are some of my favorite remedies.
     * Honey - It coats your throat. 
     * Gargle - Some people can gargle with salt water. I can't. Strangely enough, I can gargle with Hydrogren Peroxide water. I only put a tiny bit of Hydrogen Peroxide into a cup before filling it with water. Then I mix the two up and gargle.


The deep coughs are the worst. Definitely monitor the cough and see a doctor if it doesn't go away or continues to worsen. It can easily develop into bronchitis or pneumonia.
     * Vicks - Put Vicks on your feet. Not only will it give your feet a nice warm feeling, but it will actually help ease your cough. This may be a crazy Old Wives' Tale, but it is one that works.
     * Vitamin C - Take plenty of Vitamin C in the form of oranges/orange juice. I am picky about this, so I take my Vitamin C through Orange Julius. Here's my recipe.

Orange Julius

Ingredients: 1 small can frozen orange juice, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of milk, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 10-12 ice cubes

Directions: Put all ingredients in a blender and mix for about one minute. Serve immediately.

Back Problems:

As a person with a bad back, I have tons of home remedies. My favorites are...
     * Tens Machine - This is the exact machine I have. You put the pads on the parts of your back (or any body part) aching and slowly increase the impulses. I am a bit of a wuss so I usually stay around levels 2 or 3. The instant relief is mind-blowing. Now, I usually use mine every Sunday as a stress relief tool.

     * Heating Pad - I have two heating pads, one for home and one for school. I think my at school heating pad is used much more because I share it around with those in need. My current favorite is the one below, because it fits around the shoulders and has a vibrating setting. I only have this one at home but may need to upgrade the one at school.

     * Exercises - Exercising is the last thing you want to do when your back hurts! I find that forcing myself to move slowly on the elliptical helps stretch out my back. Also, I lay on the floor and gently rock my knees side to side. A former doctor showed me this technique. While it's difficult to get on the floor with a bad back, the benefits are worth it. (Try it on your bed if you really can't get on the floor.)

General Teacher Survival Tips:

If at all possible, take the day off of school and get a substitute! I know that's not always possible. Here are some School Survival Tips when you aren't feeling well and have to be there.
    * Teacher Survival Kit - Create your own personal survival kit. For example, I keep my own box of tissue, giant bottle of Excedrin, heating pad, butterscotch (I suck on them during coughing fits and a sore throat), mini cans of pop (caffeine for headaches works well), and lots of chocolate as it cures everything!
    * Silent Work Time - This is my go to when I have a headache or lose my voice. We are ALL silent (even me). This becomes like a game to the students. I give them tasks to accomplish. If they have any questions, they must write them down. I write my answers back to them. When getting everyone's attention, I usually ring a bell. Then I write directions out on the board and mime other instructions. It's fun for the students, quiet for you, and effective in working on students' writing skills.
    * When it doubt, show a movie! Sometimes, you just need a break! It's okay! You deserve a break. Plus, it will help you feel better!

Let me help you with giving some FREE work for a substitute to complete with students. Sign up for my mailing list, and get 20 Differentiated Math Pages. You will be one step closer to being able to take a Sick Day!

What tricks and tips do you have for getting healthy?

1 comment:

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