How to survive colds & flu this winter

Winter is coming… that can only mean one thing; you’re bound to get ill.

Colds and flu in the winter seem to have become the norm. But do they have to be? If you live in complete isolation and never come into contact with another human being, you may get away with no bugs this season. In reality, we touch surfaces other people have touched, we breathe the air they have breathed out, and we just can’t escape civilisation!

We can, however, be prepared for it. The worse-case scenario is a full-blown flu. People often mistake a heavy cold with a cough for a flu, but the reality is much worse. If you have flu, you are down and out for days. Your body won’t want to move, you won’t have the energy to make it move, and excessive tiredness will mean you are in your bed for a week. This is because your temperature shoots up while your body fights the virus.

Coughs so persistent you end up wetting yourself are no joke. That tickle that won’t quit is a sure way to get everyone out the room and far away from you. Once it has moved into the chest so it makes that barking sound, you are probably in trouble. It will affect your breathing and may need GP intervention if it hasn’t shifted on its own after a week. While it is still in the tickle stage, and at the risk of needing fresh pants, try coughing it out onto a tissue. The bug wants to come out to be shared and multiplied, but using a tissue gets rid of it forever. Try that forced throat clearing sound. Be careful not to strain your voice or over-inflame your throat. Use soothing honey and lemon remedies.

Sniffles and blocked noses are embarrassing and disgusting but they happen every year without fail. The cold bug gets in your nostrils and inflames the hell out of your sinuses. It hurts, and makes it difficult to breathe. Try sneezing out with full force into a tissue every time you have the urge. We tend to try and stifle sneezes in polite circles but that just keeps the bug in and prolongs our symptoms. Sneezes are the bug’s way of travelling to the next victim so use a tissue to stop it. Drying up a runny nose with cold and flu remedies may help relieve your symptoms but the drippy snot is your body’s way of getting that bug out. It’s a trade-off.

The best cure for a cold is sleep. Your body will only heal, regenerate or grow when it is not having to walk to work or cook a meal for the kids. Get yourself off to bed and sleep it off. Be sure to drink plenty to replace lost fluids (yep, the snot), and eat hearty meals. Give your body everything it needs, and a well-earned rest!


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