3 Ways to Stay Healthy When Your Spouse Is Sick

There’s a reason this video, called “The Man Cold vs The Mom Cold” has been viewed over 1.8 million times on YouTube. But because we know leaving someone to drown in their own sweaty bedsheets does not make for a refreshed marriage, we have caregiving tips—plus advice on how to keep yourself well while simultaneously swimming in germs. Above all, remember: Just a spoonful of sugar helps you stay married to someone...who complains more about chills than you did when you were in labor.

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1. Eat Immune-boosting Foods

Leave the Seagram’s and saltines to your S.O. Non-starchy vegetables, green tea, ginger, lean protein, wild-caught seafood, garlic and organic eggs—while avoiding processed foods—can all help boost your immune system. Plus, increasing your intake of probiotics may help control bad bacteria so they don’t build up and wreak havoc on your health, while also keeping your stomach and digestive tract in working order. And don't forget to load up on citrus: Studies show vitamin C can help boost your immune system.

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2. Create A Sick Room

We’ve all been quarantining together for the past 12 months (woah) but convince the patient your partner that your en suite guest room (or, if need be, your bedroom, which you should abandon without looking back) is their own personal space. That way, they get a made-up bed and two nightstands on which to stash water, soup and saline spray. You get isolation from wadded-up tissues, drinking glasses, toothbrush, hand towels (and soft moaning too quiet to be heard from the next room)—and, per the CDC, that could save you from coming down with something yourself. Open a window to keep air circulating. Check on them often. Keep the kids away. And help lessen the intensity of the impulse to cough by adding Mucinex DM to the nightstand, which can keep coughing under control for 12 hours at a time so they can get some much-needed rest.

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3. Go Into Self-care Defcon 1

If you stand a chance of protecting yourself, you’re going to need ample hydration, sleep, healthy nutrition, meditation, panda journaling, the works. When you wash your hands, sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Nap often. It may seem like you’re only taking care of one person here, but it’s actually two. When you practice self-care you’re in a better position to help and be there for those around you. For more ideas on how to practice self-care for your health, watch our virtual roundtable.