It’s Autumn and right on cue I got my first cold of the season. Although this is one of my favorite times of the year, I really don’t appreciate all the germs that seem to suddenly surface around this time. Having a cold is miserable, it’s horrid enough to make you feel really quite yucky but not horrid enough to grind you to a halt which means you have to go about your normal daily routines but operating on pretty much no energy at all whilst coughing up your body weight in mucus and as if all that wasn’t bad enough you end up with a beacon red nose like some kind of badge of shame from blowing your nose 500 times a day to get rid of the seemingly endless snot and people actually back away from you, turning their nose up like you have the plague.
It’s not great. Here’s how I survived it:
- Sleep – this is important! Get as much of it as you can possibly manage, shirk off the TV/chores/social life and hit the sack. They say your body repairs itself while you sleep and I really believe it’s true. Plus whilst your asleep you’re not aware of how yucky you feel
2. Green Tea – I drank many many cups of green tea, it’s full of antioxidants and some studies have suggested that it kills bacteria and potentially reduce your risk of contracting infections such as the influenza virus. Plus it’s warm and comforting!
3. Chicken Noodle Soup – Everyone knows that Chicken noodle soup is the best thing to eat when you have a cold, but does anyone really know why? Well hold on to your snot rag, here’s comes the science bit: Research suggests that during a cold the body responds with inflammation which causes white blood cells to travel to the area of inflammation and stimulate the production of mucous which in turn makes us sneeze and cough. It is believed that something in the soup slows the amount of white blood cells congregating and so reduces the mucous production and in turn lessens the symptoms of the cold. Or something like that. Anyway, I made a huge batch of it and it made me feel a lot better so whether it was psychosomatic or not I don’t know but I figure it’s worth trying, worst case scenario you’ve got a steaming bowl of delicious soup to enjoy!
4. Drink lots of water – staying hydrated can help to relieve those nasty cold symptoms so I made sure I drank plenty of water and herbal teas. The herbal teas had the added benefit of providing warmth and steam which helped to ease congestion, although not for long which is why it’s important to make sure you drink them regularly.
5. Stay warm – It sounds obvious but staying warm will help aid recovery and will make you feel a whole lot better, especially when you’re in that shaky shivery stage. So crank up the heating, layer up when you’re out and about and give in to your pyjamas and toasty socks when you’re in the house.
So there you have it, my top five tips for surviving a cold. I hope you don’t get one at all but, if, like me, you have children who attend playgroups and you have a job that has you work with the public,then I think we have to face facts and admit to ourselves that you are likely to get a cold at some point…in which case I hope you are able to fight it off quickly and easily, armed with your bed and bowlfuls chicken noodle soup!