We're in full swing with cold and flu season, and if you haven't battled the nastiness yet, you probably will soon. Case in point: This has turned into a very, very timely assignment for me as I tempted fate last week by saying I hadn't gotten sick in a long time, and promptly developed the sniffles (sigh).
Usually a cold means you're just sick enough to be miserable but not sick enough to stay home and wallow for more than a day, maybe. You've just got to dig deep, power through, and make yourself as comfortable as possible. These 10 tips ought to help you get through until you feel better.
1) Stay warm. A cold can actually make you feel cold, or at least make going out into the chilly fall air feel worse than normal. Wrap yourself in warm, fleecy blankets and fuzzy socks at home, and make sure you bundle up with a hat, mittens, and scarf when you go out. If there's ever an excuse for a Snuggie, this is it.
2. Trash TV. Who doesn't remember getting to watch talk shows with their mom when they were home sick as a kid? They are still oddly comforting today. And even if you are the poster child for No Screen Time for Children Ever Ever, when you're suffering and need to rest, give yourself a break and pop in a kid-friendly movie or put on PBS Kids. A little couch time snuggling will do both of you some good.
3. Take a shower or bath. You can even find bath products that are supposed to create sinus-clearing scents, and in any event, the warmth and steam will help your runny nose and be comforting.
4. Use a steamy washcloth. This is seriously the best thing ever. Wet a washcloth and put it in the microwave for a minute or so. As soon as it's cool enough to handle, spread it on your face and enjoy the steamy warmth.You're welcome.
5. Drink something warm. Tea is a classic, and adding a little honey can help soothe a cough and a sore throat. Some people like warm water with lemon, too, and the healing properties of a hot toddy are well-known (or else you just don't care that you're sick after downing one!). Stay away from hot cocoa, though ... milk can stimulate mucus production in some people. If warm drinks aren't your thing, it's still important to drink liquids to keep your mucus thin and flush out the virus ASAP.
6. Get some chicken soup. Or any soup, actually ... like with tea, it's the warmth and the liquid that soothes you, although some studies do suggest chicken soup has compounds in it that spur healing.
7. Guilty-pleasure reading. Maybe it's diving into the latest vampire novel, schmaltzy romance, or celebrity-gossip rag, but this is not the time for reading that makes you any smarter.
8. Green concealer and a good moisturizer. Colds do nothing for us in the looks department, that's for sure. Dab some moisturizer on your chapped nose and cover it with some green concealer before applying makeup (if you feel you must before leaving the house). Moisturizer soothes and reduces flakiness, and the green concealer color-corrects the redness to avoid that oh-so-lovely Rudolph look.
9. Learn to say no. Focus on the basics like feeding yourself and your kids, going to work, and doing whatever household chores are necessary for your survival. Anything else can wait until you're feeling better, and the more rest you get, the sooner that will happen.
10. No cry is a good cry. Sometimes you've just got to let it go, of course, but stay away from sad movies, sentimental commercials (what??), and Someone Like You -- the sniffles and swelling from crying are just going to make your cold symptoms worse and then you'll be sad and suffering.
What's your surefire way to deal with a cold?
Image via noahbloom/Flickr