Before I started writing this post on guided meditations for illness, I poured myself yet another cup of tea, and I will keep the Kleenex box close. I have another cold that I can’t seem to shake. My immune system used to be great; I would get sick maybe once a year. Others around me would catch things and somehow I would stay healthy amidst all the germs. Then I had a baby and she grew into a toddler and she is sick. All. The. Time.
Is she in daycare?
Nope! That’s the question everybody asks when they hear she is sick again. I take care of her part-time during the week and I work part-time outside the home. My in-laws look after her while both my husband and I are at work. I know we are very lucky.
Though she is not in daycare, we are quite social. We have playdates, go to playgroups, parent and tot dance classes, and the library on the regular. She’s a curious little explorer who doesn’t stick close by when we’re out in public. Which is great and I love to see her move around in the world, but it does mean she picks up a ton of germs, even though she is not in school yet and has no older siblings.
How come I’m sick all the time too?
I expected her to get sick a lot, but thought that I would be able to stave off most of her little germs. This has not been the case so far. We all got sick in October. Then November. Then December. January 1st hit and she started coming down with something new. We didn’t even make it through the day before she was full-blown sick. I followed a few days after. My husband seems to get about half of all the illnesses, or sometimes a milder version of what we have.
I have challenges with anxiety at the best of times, and being sick or having my daughter sick is definitely not the best of times. It’s a huge trigger for me when she gets sick. I’m sure this cortisol flood of stress does not help my immune system at all. Even though I generally eat well and take care of myself, the extra anxiety combined with much less sleep has left me vulnerable to getting sick as often as her.
What can we do about this?
Other than the usual recommendations of eating well, regular exercise and time outside, and good sleep (ha!), I would like to reduce my anxiety about illness or while ill. For this I turn to meditation. I have tried lots of different types of meditation, from walking, to guided, to mantra, to just sitting. When feeling under the weather my mind tends to be extra active because of the anxiety about sickness. For this reason, I really appreciate a good guided meditation. Following the guidance of the voice gives me a strong anchor that I find works really well when sick. If you are feeling rough too, you might like to try one of the guided meditations below.
10 free guided meditations for when you are sick
This 18 minute meditation is slow and well-paced with a lot of space between words. I found the guide’s voice incredibly soothing. There is a big focus on acceptance, which is something I struggle with when I get sick.
This is a quick 5 minute guided meditation by a chiropractic doctor. It’s a great one when you don’t feel like you have the energy to meditate for more than a few minutes.
This is another short meditation, this time lead by a naturopathic doctor.
This meditation was created by a medical doctor. I loved the incorporation of simple details about the immune system. It really helped me visualize the whole puzzle in my body and focus on creating health at the tiniest level.
While the sound quality on this video is not great, I included it because the quality of her words is high. It is nice and slow, and specific to relieving congestion in the body and creating overall wellness.
In this selection, there are a few minutes of explanation by the meditation guide (a clinical psychologist who works with cancer patients) before the meditation starts. If you would like to skip right to the guided meditation, it starts just after 4:45 and is about 12 minutes. The first time through it might be useful to listen to the whole thing.
This high quality guided meditation is 15 minutes long. There are over a million views for this video, which I think is pretty great for a meditation video!
I’ll admit, I was initially interested in this meditation because it was by someone who called himself “The Anxiety Guy”. I hadn’t heard of him before, but then read about his inspiring story of recovering from debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. This is an effective and encouraging 12 minute meditation.
This 23 minute meditation also has over a million views. It is meant for anyone suffering with chronic pain, disease, illness or to rejuvenate the body. The guide starts with a good reminder to turn off your cell phone before you begin the meditation. It would definitely defeat some of the purpose of doing one of these meditations if your phone rings in the middle of it!
If you are looking for a longer relaxation, try this excellent 45 minute meditation. I almost fell asleep while listening to it and that says something as I’m not at all an easy-to-sleep kind of person.
Choose the guided meditation that feels right for you
There are many different styles and voices in these 10 guided meditations for illness. Some may completely resonate with you, and others might not feel like a good fit at all. Listen to your gut and don’t force things. When you’re sick, you want to be extra gentle with yourself.
For myself, I would like to incorporate some of these meditations when I’m feeling healthy again (which is soon, I hope!). The next time I feel something germ-like coming on, or the next time my daughter is sick, I plan on referring to this list. I’d like to see if I can help boost my immune system before something full-blown takes over. Here’s to a healthier year!