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For the past several days I’ve had a bit of a tickle in my throat, and by 7 pm I’ve been completely exhausted. Today, I decided to do what all those online productivity sites say and take a day to rest BEFORE I get so sick that I can’t function. (The general idea is that a day of rest early on will help your immune system tackle the bug better so you don’t get as ill.) So my official goal today was to do nothing. It was a lot harder than I thought.

As soon as I got the kids off to camp, I headed straight for my bed and decided to watch an episode of Law & Order on Netflix. It was a good episode, but I just kept fidgeting, picking up my phone to check e-mail, and feeling restless. Finally, I was able to get comfortable, and I actually managed a nice nap before the phone woke me up. After an easy lunch, I spent the rest of the afternoon doing little more than flipping through a book and messing around online.

In addition to feeling rested, I was able to clear my head and get a better perspective on my upcoming goals for the week. After my day of mostly nothing, I wrote out a list of everything I want (or need) to accomplish this week and started thinking about when I would do these things. I’ve got a nice little plan of action now, and I actually feel well enough to tackle it.

I would have to say that my general piece of advice for anything feeling ill or overwhelmed is to take a day (or half-day) off. Not only will it help you physically feel better, but it will give you the presence of mind to handle what lays ahead.

What do you do when you start to feel ill or overwhelmed?