I don’t “get” man flu as in I “understand” man flu. I actually, literary get it. At the first scratch in my throat, the first sniff in my nose I am in bed surrounded by vitamin Cs, tea (no milk), tissues, good books and movies. It can be a cold or terrible attack of influenza and I will still be the same… in bed and happy.
It was not always like this. I used to battle valiantly through colds and flu. Keeping up my normal socializing and work until I was so sick and so tired that eventually moving was impossible and I’d have to call in sick. Why did it all change? I realised some important things:
– No one appreciates sick people coming into an office/classroom spreading their disease. You may think of yourself as some sort of anti-cold and flu warrior, not bowing to the disease but in reality you are just spreading your germs around and in a week everyone else will be sick too.
– Cold medicines only alliviate the symptoms. The cold is still there in your body, it’s just the cold medicine switches off the warning signs. So, if you prop yourself full of cold medicines and carry on before, your body gets tired out trying to fight the sickness and maintain your normal life. This means the cold will take longer to resolve and you will be drained energy wise for a while after the cold.
– Man flu is actually an awesome time to relax.
And, so, I embraced “man flu” whole heartedly probably for the same reason many men embrace it too…
It is finally a moment when you can be weak. When people bring you food. When non-essential tasks can wait. When you can break from everyday routine. When you feel its OK to stay in bed all day and watch movies. When social and work expectations are lifted off from you. When other people sort themselves out . When you can sit down long enough to learn how to cable knit a beanie with some great midnight blue wool you bought on sale the other day (OK, that last one was just for me).
And while feeling sick is not nice (can someone please take out this set of blunt daggers that seem to have got themselves lodged in my throat) instead of fighting it, I’m embracing this moment… giving my body time to rest and heal and chillax a bit. And you know what else is great about man flu? The more rest you get, the quicker you get better and the less you tired you feel after the sickness.
“Oh!,” you might be saying, “that’s great for you but I have an important job/babies/commitments (or all of the above). I can’t just check out for four days.” OK. True, but maybe think of ways that you can rest, corners you can cut, people you can ask help from. My own thoughts wander along the lines of “Why do I even feel like a need man flu days? Why do I struggle to be honest and open about my weaknesses? Why do I need a reason to do nothing? Why must I always be on the go? Why do I struggle to let others care for me?”
Well, those are all valid questions but for today, I will not think on them. Today, I’m just going to stay in bed, eat sweeties, drink vitamin C and lots of water and enjoy my man flu weekend.