• Hannah Ost

How to Survive Bed Rest

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

This post is aimed at anyone currently, or expecting to be, on bed rest. This could be due to pregnancy, hospitalisation or other reasons.

My (Short) Story

I had being feeling rough for months, but in true perfectionist fashion I just ploughed on and ignored it. Until one day, it all came crashing down. I collapsed during a show and couldn't stay conscious, so was taken to hospital, diagnosed with anaemia and prescribed a cocktail of tablets and bed rest. One month later, no real progress has been made and I'm still spending 90% of my time in my bed.

The Truth

The majority of people I have spoken to perceive bed rest as a luxury. I mean, it certainly sounds like it at surface level. Time off school/work, spending all day lying in bed, binging on Netflix and snack foods. But the reality of it is sheer boredom. You're alone, and while the rest of the world is moving forward with their lives, you feel like you're stuck. The days are long and meaningless. If I didn't have to eat regularly and take pills 3 times a day, I'd probably sleep my way through the hours.

So how do you combat the endless boredom that comes with bed rest?

1. Netflix (or other streaming service)

It's an obvious one but still one that needs mentioning. Discover a great new series, or film. Ask friends for recommendations and talk about your favourite shows, to stay connected to other people. See what's trending online and explore the seemingly endless collection that these streaming platforms offer.

2. Stretching

Spending most of your time in bed for a lengthy period of time means the muscles lose their strength. If you are able to, try a gentle five minute stretch to keep them active and alive. HOWEVER! Take it from the person who decided bed rest is a great opportunity to crack out the dumbells (spoilers it was not): Don't push yourself past your limits.

3. Creativity

Doing something productive at least once a day helps me to stay sane. Whether that's making myself a yummy meal, creating a photo collage or writing a blog post, setting my brain to work on a task separates the days and makes me feel like more of a human being!

4. Reading

Magazines, books, blogs - reading is a great way to keep yourself entertained for a while! I'm trying to commit to reading one book per month, which I'm sure 12-year old bookworm Hannah would scoff at. Current read: Why We Sleep - Matthew Walker.

5. Online Shopping

Don't go mad. All I'm saying is that now might be a great time to get that 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime. I've spent countless hours adding items to my shopping cart, with the justification that usually I would be spending this money on eating out or public transport anyway. I've also saved a little bit of money too - be responsible!

6. Declutter

It's nice to go through everything and get rid of the things that don't make us happy! Use this time to start a fresh, so when you get back up and running you can do it with a clear head. All of us are at different stages, so if your body isn't up to having a huge closet clearout, don't fret! There are still things to be decluttered that don't involve a huge amount of movement. Declutter your inbox, your calendar, even your bedside table. Small steps towards a tidy life will increase your sense of productivity and clear the mind at the same time!

Good luck to anyone out there who is, or is about to be, on bed rest. Comment below, or contact me on social media, and we can have a good ol' natter about what we do to stay sane!


©2020 Hannah Ost

Student Journalist