Geeky Comforts for Sick Days

It’s November, the holidays are coming, and the cold, rainy weather is finally here (here in San Francisco, at least!). I love fall and winter, but their arrival also means that flu season is officially upon us. Nobody likes to be sick, but there are a few things that can keep us going when we have to take a day off to recover — especially all of our geeky things like certain video games, TV shows, and movies. We love them at any time, but they’re an even bigger comfort when we’re not feeling ourselves.


Sometimes when you're sick you just need to kill some ogres.
Sometimes, when you’re sick… you just need to kill some ogres.

Video games are the greatest for getting through sick days. It’s so helpful to forget about whatever is ailing us and lose ourselves in a video game world for a few hours. And sometimes, by the end of the day when we finally turn off our console as roommates or family members come home from work, enough time has passed that we feel loads better.

My favorite games for sick days are Dragon Age: Origins and indie games like To the Moon that emphasize story over gameplay — nothing too fast-paced or strenuous when I’m sick, because too much action and high volume can make me feel worse. Dragon Age is a special favorite for me because I have a long history with that game and have played it many times. There’s something comforting about going through the motions of a game I already know by heart and enjoying it all over again.


young justice

When I’m too sick to game, TV show marathons are where it’s at. They take our minds off the way we’re feeling and help us zone out. If we’re lucky, we might even be able to snooze in front of the TV.

I usually start out my sick days browsing Netflix for a good show to marathon, and geek TV is always a top choice. Sometimes I’ll take the opportunity to catch up on a show like The Walking Dead or Continuum. Doctor Who is a favorite for its slightly cheesy humor that’s perfect when I’m not feeling well. Other times, a comedy will cheer me up.

But the best remedy seems to be cartoons. Two of my favorites are Archer for some humor or Young Justice because it is simply awesome. The cartoon format, even with a mature comedy like Archer or South Park, reminds me of what it was like to stay home from school as a kid watching TV and having my parents take care of me. Even if I’m on my own for the day having to take care of myself, it’s comforting to have something silly on in the background!



It seems like everyone I know has a “sick day movie.” Once we start associating a certain movie with being sick, it becomes a huge comfort whenever we watch it — but it’s a little different for everyone. I know a couple of people who always, without fail, watch The Princess Bride when they’re home sick. They grew up doing that, and they carry on the tradition as adults, too. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is another great pick (and very fitting), and I’ve heard people who watch all of the Lord of the Rings movies or lots of Star Wars to pass the day, too.

My comfort movie lately has been Serenity. I’ve watched it so many times that I have a lot of it memorized, which makes it the perfect movie for me when I need a little zone-out time. Even though I love the story and action, having Serenity just about memorized means that I’m now able to sink into the familiar setting and relax with it more than I can with any other movie. Plus, spending time with beloved characters is somehow soothing when I’m feeling my worst.


Bottom Line: It’s no fun being sick, but being a geek seems to help. Also, all of these things go well with soup and orange juice. =)

— Ashley