5 Sick Bed Indulgences for When You’re Bored and Sick at Home

The sick bed. Not somewhere you choose to be, but an inevitable fact of life. So, what can make it a little more bearable?

A supporting family, for starters. Mine have been amazing over these couple of days. I won’t bore you with the details of my lurgy, but let’s just say that I am housebound and not going to win any beauty contests.

Sick bed

Nor any mother-of-the-year prizes. Due to my inability to don my culinary hat, I actually made banana sandwiches for the two youngest children today. (The classic staple sandwich of my childhood.)

As I am housebound, there was a lot of take-away ordered, but as we live in a small, rural village, this was limited to two venues. (There is no Deliveroo out past the bright lights of Dublin). Let’s just say that everyone is looking forward to returning to normality.


Secondly, you just have to think of little things to brighten up the days (but that are easily achievable and require as few footsteps as possible).

Here are the five small things that I have indulged in, from the confines of my bed and surrounding areas, that make being sick at home a little easier:

1. Audiobooks

Always my go-to method of reading, when I’m feeling under the weather. You can download a range of titles, for free, from the BorrowBox Library app.

This is linked to your library card and is quick and easy to use. Just choose a book, download to your phone, and you are good to go.

The sick bed. Not somewhere you choose to be, but an inevitable fact of life. So, what can make it a little more bearable?

I am currently listening to the amazing Academy Street by Mary Costello. Just close your eyes, and lose yourself in the written word, without any effort. (Warning: Do NOT strangle yourself with your earphone cable like I did, last night).

2. Scented Candles

Scented Candles

I know they won’t technically make you feel better, but they do have a calming effect and lift the spirits a teeny bit beyond the ‘Oh, God. I feel miserable and sorry for myself’ stage. Not everyone has the same taste in scent (I cannot stand vanilla – it makes me gag) so choose one that works for you.

I love the Paul Costello range from Dunnes Stores (€12-€15). Luxuriously packaged and the scent is strong enough to penetrate the room, without becoming too cloying. Not the same as going to the spa but as close as you’ll get, from the sick-bed.

3. Bubble-Baths

Time is rarely an issue, when you are feeling woeful and have had to take time off to recuperate, so why waste this time on a shower? Treat yourself to a long soak in a decadent bubble-bath, ignoring the calls of ‘Mom! I need to go to the loo!’ that will inevitably be heard the minute you dip your toe in the water.

We have other bathrooms in the house, but that doesn’t stop them ‘needing’ the one I am currently using. (Tip: Give advance notice to everyone in the house. That way they can empty their bladders before you lock the door).

We are lucky enough to have a beautiful, wrought-iron, slipper bath and it is one of the loves of my life.

My current bath product of choice is The Ritual of Ayurveda Bath Foam from Rituals (€13.50), available from Arnotts. It is 500ml, so lasts ages and looks amazing on bathroom shelves, too.

4. Netflix

As the day drags by, why not grab a chance to catch up on some screen time? Whether you are a series binge-watcher, a movie-buff or a dip-in-and-out kinda gal, there is plenty to see. I have viewed a mixture of gems, from under the duvet:


This Danish TV show is about a bad-ass school teacher who has a heart of gold. She takes no prisoners and her own parenting style is unique. Subtitled and not suitable if your kids are close-by.


A series of interlinked short stories that examine relationships, sex, loves and lives of a range of middle-class Americans. Quirky, fun and addictive. Again, not one for watching with young eyes and ears around. Think Raymond Carver vs. Friends.

Alias Grace

Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel of the same name, this is the story of a young Irish Immigrant accused of murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Set in Canada in the 1800s, it is perfect for fans of historical dramas and tense thrillers.

What Happened, Miss Simone?

This documentary shows us the real story behind the legend, Nina Simone. Her beginnings; her dreams; her success and her slide into obscurity. An eye-opening experience, with the distinctive voice and sound of this amazing talent hopping off the screen.

When Harry Met Sally

My favourite movie, of all time. What is not to love about this 1989 Romantic Comedy? It has it all. Two of the most memorable actors of the 80s and 90s (Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal); the fantastic soundtrack with classic oldies and Harry Connick Jnr crooning his velvety best; some of the most-remembered scenes in movie history (you know the one I mean) and the iconic New York locations. I challenge you not to love this, all over again.

5. Your Best PJs and Bedding

The long spells in bed mean it’s time to break out the big guns. The best nightwear should be utilised and the ‘good’ bedding needs to be appreciated. You may as well pretend that you are special, even if you look, and feel, the opposite.

I am a huge fan of Irish company PJ’s And Prose. They deliver straight to your front door and the pjs arrive, deliciously wrapped in chocolate-coloured tissue paper (and containing a bonus sachet of hot chocolate), in the most amazing Tiffany blue box. These will be your new ‘treat yourself’ pjs.

Bedding, like the scented candles, is a very personal choice. My bed-linen shop of choice is always TK Maxx. They have a large range of designer duvet sets, sheets and throws; all at hugely discounted prices.

The best nightwear should be utilised and the ‘good’ bedding needs to be appreciated. You may as well pretend that you are special, even if you look, and feel, the opposite.

Yes, you are depending on them having the right size and often you leave empty-handed (who am I kidding? I have NEVER left TK Maxx empty-handed), but you can find some seriously luxurious bedding that will make you want to retreat earlier than normal.

My favourite finds include Ralph Lauren, Elle, LuLu Guinness and Kylie (Minogue, not Jenner – Don’t scoff, they are really good quality).

So, there you have it. A few indulgences to help you get through the dreaded bed-ridden stage.

Have you any tips for making life a bit more bearable, when you are ill? (Non-medical, obviously). Let us know @IndulgeMe_ie.

Margaret Bonass Madden
 Margaret Bonass Madden is a book blogger/reviewer, features writer and mother of five.

She can be found with her nose in a book, surrounded by beauty products and subscription boxes, on Twitter and at bleachhouselibrary.ie.

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