Nobody likes being ill; that grotty feeling where your body has a mind of its own, pain is abundant and you cannot function properly. We have all felt the vulnerability that being ill has brought into our lives, you are just not the same person.
As the weather starts to plummet, the ugly cold germs rear their grim heads, taking hold of people quicker than a Kardashian can drop a selfie on Instagram. Getting the common cold can be a miserable affair; but like many other women, I cannot lock myself away for a week, it’s just not a luxury I can have due to work and being a mum.
So how do you survive the dreaded cold when you have no choice but to fight it, self-care and indulging yourself is the key; here is my guide to coping when my body is full of grotty germs.
This seems obvious, but are you really taking everything you can to relieve the symptoms and help you function better? I do not just mean traditional medication, are there other, natural remedies that can help you with your symptoms? I traditional reach for the cold and flu tablets first; the paracetamol based ones that have a decongestant and caffeine in, this is because I cannot rest, I need to kill the pain, reduce the snot and perk myself up. I also take ibuprofen to relieve the inflammation that is associated with cold/flu-like symptoms, it works especially if you are having aching limbs.
I also find using an antiseptic throat spray can help, especially when I get sore around the tonsil area, or sweets that are designed to help the throat, although they can become quite addictive as they are so nice. Natural remedies can also help, I like having honey, lemon and boiling water mixed together to drink, the lemon acting as an antiseptic and the honey soothes the soreness.
This may sound a bit of a daft one but I do believe drinking lots of water really helps, both with and without a cold. Water helps get rid of toxins and flushes out the system, enabling the release of all the yucky germs that are there.
By the term hydrate, I also mean hydrating your skin as well, you might not feel like putting on that moisturiser day and night but your skin will be grateful. My skin gets unbelievably dry when I have a cold, especially around the nose and cheeks. A good, hydrating moisturiser will help the skin repair and you won’t get any nasty surprises because you have ditched your skincare routine for a week.
You can also be kind to your nose and invest in some tissues that have moisturizing agents within them; your nose will be eternally grateful to you if you ditch the sandpaper-like kitchen roll and blow your nose on nice, soft, moisturizing tissues.
It is no time to diet when you have a cold, you are feeling bad enough without having to go without nice food. Whether it is mum’s chicken soup, ice cream or chocolate, I always find that eating comforting food helps lift my mood and helps me cope better with the fact I am ill.
My personal favourite is to have toast with peanut butter and banana on top, I do not know why but it really does make me feel better; maybe it is all the sugar from the banana. I also like bananas on toast with chocolate spread as well, I have not experimented with jam and bananas yet, maybe one day I will. What are your comfort foods?
Indulge in Films/TV
Do you have a show that’s your guilty pleasure? For me it’s anything from the Real Housewives franchise, I always watch it when I need some form of ‘escape.’ When you are not feeling your best you don’t want to be watching TV shows where you have to think, but shows that cheer you up or entertain you. I have often indulged in one of my favourite TV sitcoms, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ at times of illness, it cheers me up and helps me to forget how bad I feel.
The same can be done with films or music, put something you know will help lighten your mood on.
When you are feeling under the weather, it is not a time to try and be productive, so leave that book you were going to finish to another day and indulge yourself in something that takes very little effort, your favourite TV or films. I do not really watch that much TV, (unless you count the stuff my children watch like My Little Pony and PJ Masks) and so when I am full up with a cold and the thought of doing something productive is making me feel worse I just become a couch potato and make sure I watch the type of programs that I like.
When I watch TV I do not really want to have to think a lot and I want to laugh so I either watch something like ‘Real Housewives’ or sitcoms like ‘Friends’ or ‘How I Met Your Mother’. For me, TV and films help me escape the stresses of everyday life so I like programs that are a bit more light-hearted and not too serious.
I actually took my own advice and watched ‘Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey’ with my son when I was suffering from a cold and just the fact that I had some time enjoying myself and remembering how good the film is made me feel so much better.
Have a nice bath or shower
Whenever you are feeling less than your best, I believe that a nice bath or shower is a fantastic remedy. Have you ever woken up feeling absolutely rubbish and just not wanted to face the day, but once you have got a shower and cleaned yourself up you have felt so much better? This also helps with feelings of depression; the simple act of having a bath or a shower and taking care of yourself can help lift your mood.
If it’s a bath you like then you can lie back and relax as the warm water soothes those aching muscles, you can treat yourself to a good, long soak and let the steam from the bath help ease the cold. If you are a shower person, it will invigorate you and refresh you as well as letting the steam clear out all that nasty mucus. I might also stretch to saying that you could go the whole nine yards and put some makeup on if it makes you feel better, however, I very rarely do this as my eyes are usually that sensitive when I have a cold that I tend to try and steer clear of makeup for a few days because I do not want to be faffing with it.
So there you have it, Mrs T’s guide to surviving a cold, I hope you found this useful; if there is anything that you do to keep yourself functioning while you are full of cold germs then let me know in the comments. I would love to know what you all do to keep yourself ticking over.
Ciao for now beauties xx