The Cold War
It’s getting to that time of year where everybody is sniffling, coughing and red nosed, or running away from those who are in a cloud of antibacterial spray.
Colds are hateful little things; you can’t prevent them and you can’t cure them. Bluergh. There are people out there that very rarely catch colds, most of my family being just those lucky ducks, and there are people out there that catch their first cold of the year in the first week in autumn and then just seem to battle through until the first week of spring (and then when they think they are all clear, BAM!, summer cold).
Being of the latter variety I need to have a strong defence against it. Here’s my list of things I need for comfort, pain relief and, getting me back on the mend (Don’t judge me!):
1. Hot Lemon and Honey (In your favourite mug). Age old but it really works at hitting all three needs, comfort, relief and mending. Both honey and lemon have individually have antibiotic properties in them, lemon is an amazing source of vitamin C, and the warm honey lines your throat to help sooth any soreness and helps to stop tickly coughs. Plus it tastes lovely.
2. Socks. Big thick thermal socks. Mainly a comfort thing but it’s always good to keep yourself warm to battle a cold. Warm but not hot…..there is no truth in “sweating out a cold”, this refers to fevers, always keep your body temperature steady and make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Getting dehydrated will only make you feel worse!
3. Ibuprofen/Paracetamol/Asprin. I often find that different people react differently to these. Paracetamol does nothing for me but I know people who swear by it. Find out which one works for you and stick with it.
4. Tissues. Unless I have a runny nose this is totally a comfort thing for me, it must be a throwback to the days of clutching my favourite teddy but having a tissue scrunched up in my hand makes everything feel a little better.
5. Scarves. Just because, you know; scarves.
6. Films and trashy telly. Believe it or believe it not I think this comes under all three. There is nothing better than sticking on a film, whether it be an old Disney (even if you’re in your 50’s), an old romantic, or a comedy. There’s so much comfort to be taken in slipping into someone else’s world for the duration of your recovery. It can also help to distract you from your pain or help you fall asleep: pain relief! If you are watching a comedy you are more than likely to laugh. Laughing releases serotonin which improves your mood and helps to get your body going a bit.
7. Baths. Sometimes, when I’m bunged up, baths are the only thing that will stop me turning into a sleep deprived weepy toddler. The steam from the bath will get into your system and loosen any gunk…..you will probably cough a lot but at least it’s coming out. I like to add some drops of Vicks oil into my bath to help unblock things as well (don’t do this if you have sensitive skin, or broken skin). If nothing else the bath will make you sleepy and sometimes that’s all you need.
8. Finally the only thing I want to do when I am suffering with a cold is eat. And I mean eat. Nothing will stop me when I have a cold, nothing but good old comfort food will do. Being healthy means nothing to me. Fruit goes out of the window, along with watching what I eat. The only thing that will do me is pies, chips, mash, stews, bread, chocolate, ice cream……..basically anything that’s unhealthy but completely comforting. Its ok, it’s normal. Honest.If you have any good tips for batting a cold please let me know and I can add them to the list!