When you’re holed up at home sick in bed with a flare-up of un-fun IBD symptoms things can feel pretty bleak. It ain’t fun. It ain’t pretty. It’s usually darn right painful and icky. But there’s no need to fall into a pit of despair. Make the best of a bad situation by doing something at least half way pleasant while you’re feeling far from it.

1. Read that book everyone’s been raving about

Never a better time to catch up on your reading than when you’re bedridden. Pick up a paperback or load up your eReader and get lost between the pages for a while.

2. Get hooked on a blog

Sick people: the blogosphere is your friend. Hours upon billions of hours of time to be whiled away online with everything from interior design inspiration, to musings on nihilism, art and Game of Thrones fan fiction. Blog posts are usually lightweight, on the short side and there’s always plenty more where they came from, making them a perfect sick day diversion. Try a Google search for your area of interest + “best blogs” and you’ll have loads of options to get you started.

3. Get lost in a YouTube wormhole

Speaking of the internet, now’s the time to catch up your annual quota of viral videos – you know the ones, cats doing weird things, cats being mean to dogs, the latest Beyoncé film clip. Y’know, required viewing these days.

4. In fact, watch all the movies!

Work your way through the last ten years’ worth of Oscar winning films, or Margaret & David’s top rated flicks. See what’s available to download or stream from sites like iTunes or Netflix so you don’t have to haul your sorry sick self to the local Blockbuster.

5. Feeling really sick? Audiobooks can be a welcome distraction

They require very little brainpower (no reading involved!) – you just sit back, close your eyes and breathe deeply while you have a story read to you. For an even better experience why not look up audiobooks read by famous actors – being read a bedtime story by the likes of Patrick Stewart or Vanessa Redgrave is a great way to get your mind off your symptoms, and you might even catch some sleep.

6. Catch up on emails

Maybe you’re not super duper sick… you know that level of unwell where you can’t really go out but you’re not comatose either? Or maybe you have bouts of symptoms coming in fits and starts and you’re sort of ok between mercy dashes to the loo. If you still want to be vaguely productive during those in-between times then catching up on email is great option. You can interrupt yourself if you need to attend to something, you don’t have to be present or talk to anybody and you can still tick things off on your to-do list.

7. Do your Christmas shopping. Early! From bed!

This may seem totally random but Christmas shopping is a kind-of semi-productive way to waste time on the internet. Maybe you could take advantage of a mid-year sale or buy in bulk and save on postage. Best thing is you can do it all from the comfort of your bed, in your pyjamas while sipping a brew of mint tea to soothe your belly. Not a shopping centre in sight. And you get to be that smug person that avoids the dreaded present-buying-induced stress come December.

Whatever you do to fill up your hours at home on a sick day, remember that your health should be your number one priority. Above all rest, relax and take care of yourself – doctor’s orders!