Winter Cold Survival Guide

Your nose is bright red. Your eyes are streaming. Everything hurts. Your rubbish bin is so full of tissues that it looks like it belongs to a teenage boy with a porn addiction (Too far? Sorry not sorry). Welcome to winter! It's cold season! Hoo-fucking-ray.

It's pretty much guaranteed that when the first person in your office or your seminar group at uni gets a cold, everyone who sits within 10 meters of them will be down with it within the next 48 hours. But you needn't let the sniffling and sneezing take over your life and ruin your entire week - follow my advice and show those germs who's boss.

Before it Begins...
When cold season is approaching, preparation is key. You can boost your immune system before you come into contact with any nasty germs to ensure that you aren't too badly affected by them. One of the things that I do is to take an echinacea supplement. Echinacea stimulates and strengthens your immune system and supposedly reduces the chances of you catching a cold by 58%! If you've already got a cold - don't worry, it can still help you! Taking echinacea is also thought to reduce the duration of your cold by at least a day and a half. Great, eh? Echinacea is widely available from high street health food stores and online.

Unblock your Nose
If you're feeling really sore and bunged up, lavender essential oils are a powerful, natural decongestant. I add a few drops to a hot bath and soak in it to feel the effects, but you can also place some drops into a bowl of boiling water, then breathe in the steam to unblock your nose. It might seem silly but trust me - it works! The lavender is also really relaxing and soothing.

Ditch the Dairy
This is a contentious one - some people think that this is just an old wives tale but others believe that dairy products encourage your body to produce mucus, which is not good when you have a runny nose and phlegm bunging up your throat. Personally, I find that eating dairy does have a bad impact on me when I have a cold, but others may not feel the same effects. It's an individual thing. So if you'd rather be safe than sorry, think twice before digging into a massive cheesy pizza as your comfort food of choice. 

Soothe your Throat
Having a sore throat is one of the worst cold symptoms, in my opinion. To soothe a scratchy or tickly throat, I drink warm lemon water. This couldn't be simpler to make - simply boil a mugful of water, and add in a generous squeeze of lemon juice directly from the fruit, and a slice of lemon too if you like. Lemon is high in vitamin C which will help your body to fight the cold, as well as calming your throat.

Do you have any cold-busting tips to add to my list? Please share them in the comments below, and get well soon!

Until next time,

A x