Winter should be the time for hot chocolate, warm woolly jumpers and altogether cosiness. But as many of us know, it can also be the time to catch a cold or even flu. Here’s our top 5 tips to help you cope…
Cold v Flu, what’s the difference?
Although the two share a lot of the same symptoms (such as coughing and a sore throat) they are completely different as they are caused by different viruses. Under some circumstances, flu can even be lethal, which is why people in certain professions or of certain ages are advised to get a flu jab each year. For more information, have a look at this dedicated NHS page. In the meantime, we’ve rounded up our top 5 tips to cope with a cold or flu.
1. All year round
First things first: make sure your immune system is as strong as possible. Keeping up with your daily vitamins and minerals is very important for that. We all know that getting your five a day isn’t always easy, which is why there are countless multivitamins out there to make sure you’re in fighting fit condition. An extra Vitamin D supplement is also helpful, as you’re unlikely to see enough of the sun in the dark months around Christmas to maintain normal levels. Have a look at our previous blog on Vitamin D for more information.
2. At early onset
Your nose starts to run, your throat starts to tickle and you feel slightly less energised compared to normal: these are the tell-tale signs of the early onset of a cold or flu. At this point, taking over the counter pain relief is recommended to make sure you get a good night’s sleep and can get on with your life painless throughout the day. There are syrups, lozenges and tablets, so you can choose what feels good to you.
3. Full blown
Has it turned into a full-blown cold or flu? We’re sorry, but the good news is that it will blow over. Treat yourself to some immune boosting food with loads of healthy veg, make sure to take plenty of fluids and stay nice and warm. Chicken soup does all these things, which is why it’s also known as Jewish penicillin. Day and Night Nurse capsules can also help, as they ensure a good night’s sleep whilst being non-drowsy during the day. And Lemsip Max sachets contain added Vitamin C, for a little extra boost.
4. Protect those around you
Whether it’s a cold or flu, when you have the sniffles it makes sense to try to keep it to yourself. Antibacterial hand gel helps you contain the virus, making sure your family or colleagues remain safe. Tissues are more hygienic than handkerchiefs, but make sure you get some which are moisturising for the sensitive skin around the nose – unless you want to look like Rudolph!
5. Be kind to yourself
This one speaks for itself. Be kind to yourself, don’t work too hard and get plenty of rest. This might be the ideal time to treat yourself to that Netflix subscription, or that DVD-boxset of Midsomer Murders. Don’t stay cooped up in the house for too long though – some fresh air will help clear your head. Take care, and get well soon!