So, while one of us is off boating around the country (not literally), the other one has been taken gravely ill with a cold. It seems as if that one of us cannot physically cope, function and stay healthy when the other is not around. Aw, sweet. However, I have chosen the best time to be ill as it means that when I don’t go out because I’m hovelled under a blanket on my settee feeling sorry for myself, I don’t miss any time seeing Scarlett. Awh, how cute.
So, anyway, the point of this post! My five ways to survive a cold. No everyone will always tell you to:
1. Drink plenty of fluids
2. Get plenty of sleep
3. Make sure you maintain a healthy diet
4. Get some fresh air every now and again.
5. Take the appropriate medicine when required and make sure that you always get everything out of your system by blowing your nose etc.
This is a good response as to how to beat a cold, but it’s also rather typical and broad, and little things that can actually help you big time, or what I believe, help you beat a cold even faster are not really thought of to include in this little mainstream list.
So here are mine:
1. HAVE A LEMSIP
This is my number one, most important, best way to get better quickly. They literally are a miracle where colds and fevers and any other associated illnesses are concerned. They’re fab. Anyone who is ever ill in my friendship group or family, and I have people to vouch for me, I tell them to drink a lemsip. I swear by them.
So what are they? They’re a mixture of ingredients, mainly paracetamol, that are in powder form and are concealed within a packet. You empty the contents into your favourite mug (I have a particular mug I use for lemsips) and then you fill the rest of the mug with boiling water. Stir, wait to appropriate temperature to drink, and the drink it. They unblock you and put you at ease for the next few hours before you can then have another one. Make sure you check the exact time on the packets.
My favourite are the ‘Beechems Cold&Flu Hot Blackcurrant’. You can either get 5 sachet packets or 10 sachet packets. However there’s other flavours such as a ‘Breathe Easy: Lemon’ or ‘All In One: Wild Berry and Hot Orange’. I have these two in my cupboards.
2. Have a really hot bath
If there is a time you are feeling particularly rough, then the answer is in the evening, have a really hot bath, just at the point where it may start to burn. There is one problem with this. The heat may make you feel light-headed, panicky, irritated, uneasy and short of breath. This is all part of it. However much added roughness it makes you feel, it’s worth it, as the result the next morning makes up for it. Just try and remain calm, relax, make sure a window is open, and take regular breaks, where you get out of the bath, and sit it a cool place for a couple of minutes before getting back in. Having a hot bath will help you sweat out all the ‘bad stuff’ and help clear your systems in you nose and head. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll feel a lot clearer and a lot better.
3. Have extra pillows at night
Now this totally contradicts what I have just said about the ‘have plenty of rest’. I absolutely hate sleeping when I have a cold. Lying down, and having my head not upright makes me, personally, feel even worse and I panic when I find I can’t breathe as easy. I become even more uneasy about sleeping because I find it difficult to go to sleep being so uncomfortably ill, and constantly wake up in the night struggling to breath, feeling clogged up, headaches, and the need to get up and blow my nose. (TIP: keep a bag and a box of tissues/loo roll next to your bed so you don’t have to keep getting up in the night). I then always feel horrible the next morning when I wake up. The mornings are often when I feel my roughest. To get past this, I recommend having at least three pillows, or using something that can prop you up and help you get to sleep. V-pillows are best (exactly how they find). You may wake up uncomfortable, but doing this is a god send with helping to fall asleep, as it keeps you head slightly upright, which keeps me from panicking as you feel as if you are upright.
4. Do not put anything on your face
People would often take this as do not put makeup on your face when you are ill and say that this is a typical way of dealing with a cold too. However, what I mean is anything. Do not put anything on your face. This includes make up, but it also means other things such as face cream, face masks, oil, whatever creams or lotions you may rub on your face. I usually use a moisturiser on my face, but tend to avoid using it when I’m ill as it makes me feel clogged up and this makes me feel irritated and panicky. Make up is also a no go, because that can make you feel stressed, as when you have a cold, your nose will run, you will constantly have to blow it, your eyes will water, your mouth will be dry, and you’ll feel as if you cannot do anything because you can’t touch your face in fear of messing up your makeup. It’s uncomfortable so I just wouldn’t bother. Putting Vaseline on the top and around the bottom of your nose to clear it is also something that is said you should do to unblock your nose, but this is also something I hate. You’re practically blocking it up even more!
5. Keep busy
I always find I can distract myself when I’m ill by keeping busy and not avoiding the jobs I need to do by using the excuse that I’m ill. It means that you can get some exercise and that you body gets some air and some movement and is not kept cooped up, which slims the chance of a fast recovery. Breathing different air in different rooms is good.
Sometimes work can make you feel even worse, but then once the work is done, you can have a good rest which means you can calm the roughness. It all ends up well anyway, you work, and then rest of recover. And jobs can get done too!
I want to also put here that looking forlorn and getting sympathy and things done for you is good to. But you will not always have someone there to look forlorn too, and get sympathy from and to do things for you. When you live on your own, or are on your own, you’ll have to do it yourself. So man up, and don’t let an illness stop you from being as fabulously alive as you were before.
So, until the need to write about surviving another minor illness:
Stay Safe, Stay Warm, Stay Hydrated and Stay Fabulous! (these will all help you survive a cold too!) 😀
Written by: Laura