Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. You can read my full disclosure here.
Being put on bed rest is no fun. In fact it’s pretty difficult. Sometimes, when it’s super important for you to stay in bed or you need to be close to medical care, your doctor will put you on hospital bed rest instead. That feels even worse. Especially if you have a family waiting for you at home. One of the biggest problems with hospital bed rest, is that life just keeps going on outside without you. That means that your family can’t spend all of their days with you. Honestly, it’s too small in that room for themto be there all of the time anyway. Especially if you have an active toddler like I did when I was put in bed rest.
The benefit to being in the hospital is that there’s no chance for you to “just this once” get your child that snack they are begging for, or “this last time” refill their drink. You also won’t be tempted to “real quick” do the laundry because it’s piling up and “why do I have to be stuck in this bed anyway? I feel fine.”
So, since your family is not going to be there all day, and you have no laundry to go do, what can you do to keep yourself sane? Well, here are 5 tips for surviving hospital bed rest….
1. Make friends with the nurses
Nurses, nurse’s aides, housekeeping staff, really everyone. Seriously! They are there for 12 hour shifts, and are there to help you! You are going to see a whole lot of them anyway, so why not get to know them a bit and spend some time chatting? Not only does the regular interaction keep you social, which is good for your mood, it makes the day go quicker! And you may have a lot of days that you want to go quickly. Also, being nice and social with them, makes their day better too. This is my first tip, because I really feel it’s the most important. Of course, not every nurse is going to be your favorite person or your new best friend, but most of them will be great and some may even become long-term friends, so approach each person as if they will!
Books, coloring stuff, music, movies, books on tape, crosswords, logic puzzles. Anything to keep your MIND busy. Things that your mind can’t wander during, or that you can zone out on so much that you stop thinking. Change out books and activities as they stop working.
What you are trying to do, is keep yourself from thinking about what is going on outside. ” What is my family doing right now” “I feel so guilty that my husband has to take care of XY&Z since I’m not there” “I wish I could……(any activity outside of the hospital)”
These thoughts will happen. It’s to be expected, and it’s not wrong to feel sad about where you are. Or mad. Or frustrated. Your feelings are totally valid. However, if you let yourself fall into them and stay there, you may start to feel depressed and that is not helpful to your health. So, activities to keep your mind busy are a must.
3. Keep a routine
Something that my nurses always commented on was that I kept a normal routine. I still woke up early (although, not as early as outside of the hospital), had my coffee, opened my window and started my day. I still went to bed at a reasonable hour.
They commented on this because so many people start to sleep through the morning and stay up super late at night. Not only is it more uplifting to be up when the sun is up, changing your schedule so drastically can physiologically change your mood. They said that the people who kept schedules similar to their life outside stayed happier.
Of course, you are laying in a bed all day, so feel free to nap more than you would have. Remember, it’s bed rest.
4. Don’t turn away visitors
I know this might sound ridiculous at the beginning, but it very well could be something you feel as time goes on. I did. I wanted to not talk to anyone about what was going on most of the time (because I was trying not to think about it at all, so I could make it through), so I didn’t want people coming by at all.
I still said yes. Almost every time. (I wasn’t always available which I will explain in point 5) and I was always happily surprised. Yes, occasionally I had to deal with discussing the circumstances I was in, which was not my favorite. However, most of the time I didn’t. The majority of the time, even if I was in a “blah, leave me alone I hate people” mood when people arrived, I felt at least 75% better by the end of our visit.
5. Start or continue a long-term project
I kept working while on bed rest. The majority of my sales are online, and with my husband’s help I was able to stay in business while laid up. I worked on personal development and business development. I focused on customer satisfaction and relationships. I cleaned up the backend of my business by getting my inventory, bookkeeping, marketing and anything else I could think of, up to date. I did it all from my bed. I was lucky to have my direct sales business to keep me busy. LuLaRoe became even more of a blessing while I was working on staying sane in the hospital.
Any long term project that will have you focused and uses creativity, thought processes, and brain power in general will do the same thing. Do you have a project you’ve been wanting to do or finish? A subject you’ve been wanting to study? Have you always thought about starting a blog or writing a book? These are the long term projects that will really make the time go faster, and will help you feel productive while you are stuck in the hospital.
The main goal of hospital bed rest is to rest
however being stuck inside can be emotionally detrimental if you let it and it’s been proven that your thoughts and mindset can effect your health. In order to give yourself the best rest, make sure you are finding ways to stay positive!