Over the years I’ve had plenty of colds.
I seem to be particularly vulnerable to those that come with the changing of the seasons. When Summer turns to Autumn almost overnight, or when suddenly the sun starts shining out of nowhere in March.
Anyone else get those?
If you’re a regular reader, you probably know (mainly cos I haven’t shut up about it), that I went down about 10 days ago with a horrific cold. Feverish, snotty, sneezy, the works. It’s not been pretty. And it’s only just cleared.
So today I’m naming myself an expert and sharing my tips and tricks on how to cure a cold*, so you can be up and at ’em again in no time.
(There is no actual cure for a cold. But hopefully this list will help steer you in the direction of a faster recovery!)
If you’re feeling the onset of a cold, make sure you give yourself an extra couple of hours sleep at night. The extra hours of zzzz will help rest your body and keep it strong to fight back the infection.
So if you’re already ill and your body wants a nap mid-afternoon, don’t fight it. Give yourself an hour or so, and it might make your cold disappear that much quicker. (I was passed out by 9:30pm on Monday night!)
Call in Sick
“But how am I gonna nap if I’m at work!” – I hear you cry.
Well the answer is: you don’t. You call in sick.
There seems to be a bit of a stigma these days about calling in sick to work. People seem to divide in to two camps: those that call in sick for EVERYTHING (including self-inflicted “illnesses”…) and those that don’t want to look like the first group and refuse to call in sick at all.
But think about it, if you’re snotty and genuinely ill, can you focus on your work? No. Can you be productive with a pounding headache? Of course you can’t. All you’ll be doing is infecting everyone else in your office. And trust me, they won’t thank you for that!
So take a day or two, stay at home, look after yourself, and come back to work with a bang. You’ll feel much better for it, I promise.
Drink water. Lots and lots of water. This helps flush the yucky stuff out of your system (as well as keeping you hydrated obvs).
I usually drink about 2.5 litres on a regular day, but this weekend I’ve probably been averaging closer to 3.5l! This might seem a lot, but I’m used to drinking a lot of water. Judge for yourself how much you need, but try and keep it above 2 litres.
And remember: if you’re thirsy, that means you’re already dehydrated! Pre-hydrate, don’t re-hydrate. As my friend Chris likes to say.
The hot water helps thin the mucus, and it also makes you feel all warm and snuggly, which is what everyone wants when you’re feeling rotten!
Green tea is meant to be especially good, but any tea will do, really. I personally like peppermint or green tea with orange and lotus flower.
If you like your tea sweet, try adding honey. Manuka honey is particularly awesome for fighting colds, but all types of honey will help soothe your sore throat and make your teas sweeter and easier to drink.
Dairy is something I used to avoid a lot when I was getting ready for shows, as it tends to block your throat and “feed” the mucus. So try and limit how much you have when you’ve got a cold.
I cut out coffee and hot chocolates when I’ve got a cold for this very reason. My one exception is…
I’m a HUGE protein advocate.
Apart from helping build strong muscles, protein is an essential nutrient for our immune system. If you’re low on protein, you might find yourself feeling far more tired, lethargic and prone to sniffles than you usually would be.
Chicken, lean meat, fish and eggs are all great sources or protein but, for a fast fix, I like whey protein shakes (ie: dairy).
PROTEIN, PEOPLE. It’s important :)
Lemsip powders are my favourite cold cure. Sometimes I’ll take the Cold and Flu tablets, but I feel like the hot water mixture is a much better way to get all that cure-blasting goodness in me!
Vicks Vaporub is good for rubbing on your chest to help clear your nose. I also sometimes put a lump of it in a bowl, cover it in hot water from the kettle and then breathe in the steam with a tea towel over my head.
Good for my skin too!
Treat Yo’ Self
Have a lovely hot bath and use your extra-special bath smellies. (I crumbled some of Lush’s Brightside bath bar into mine and the orangey smells were a fab way to unwind.)
Then curl up on the sofa in your comfiest PJs and wrap yourself in a fluffy blanket with a box of tissues close to hand. Indulge in a bowl of hot chicken or vegetable soup, plenty of warm buttered toast, and a stack of your favourite DVDs. (Check out My Top 5 Films to Watch When Your Sick and My Top 5 Rainy Day Chick Flicks posts for inspiration!)
Don’t stress about getting a blog post up, your viewers really won’t mind. Leave that pile of washing and ironing you were meant to do until tomorrow. Going to the gym can wait.