No one wants to get ill, especially over Christmas. Touch wood, I'll manage to avoid another cold like the one I had back in October, but if you're already in the throes of a cold or feel as though you're about to get ill, you may want to continue reading. 

There are so many recommendations out there, so many wives' tales and a vast range of suggestions with loose scientific justifications to be found on the internet. I am not a scientist, and the methods suggested below are not based on anything except my own personal experience of trying them. I'll warn you now, they're not particularly groundbreaking or revolutionary! I'm always interested to hear about other coping mechanisms other people have developed, or swear by, so if you've got any suggestions not listed below, please leave me a comment!!

I have been using Zinc to fend off/help cure colds for years. I've also spent years recommending this method to other people, only for them to look at me as if I'd lost my mind... Generally speaking, as soon as I feel myself getting ill, I'll start taking Zinc supplements, and if I've well and truly caught the cold, I'll also spend a full day asleep in bed, eating more fruit in the space of a day than I probably do all year!

I really, really do swear by this method, hence why I have put it first in the list. It always seems to reduce the length of a cold by about half if not more, and definitely lessens the symptoms. This I know because I realised several days into my last cold that I'd been taking out of date Zinc tablets (like 2 years out of date!) and I'd been thinking before that that the supplements weren't working anymore as they didn't seem to be making me feel much better! 

Zinc tablets can be pretty difficult to get hold of, especially if you don't have the energy to trek to your closest major supermarket. If you can't get any, try eating foods high in Zinc instead. 

To me, the worst part of having a cold is the blocked nose. This time around, my nose was fully blocked for 2 days, and it was hideous! To help reduce the congestion, I had 3 very hot baths in 2 days; I'm well aware that this seems excessive, but the relief I felt was completely unmatched by anything else I tried. If you haven't got a bath, try holding your head over a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head; this is a technique I've also sworn by over the years.

Harvey actually thinks I was suffering from sinusitis in addition to just the normal cold, as I had some seriously bad sinus-related headaches - both of these techniques worked wonders. If you love having a bath as much as I do, there's no better excuse.

Definitely not the healthiest of suggestions out there, but definitely one of my favourites. When you get to the stage where you can taste barely a thing, you can always taste Orange Lucozade.

I am a big fan of this drink anyway, for my sins, so I need no excuse to drink it. But I did learn an interesting piece of trivia about the drink the other day, courtesy of Harvey. Apparently, and I've since researched it so can confirm it's true, Lucozade was designed for and originated as a source of energy for people who were ill with common illnesses in the 1920's and was thereafter regularly recommended by GPs to people suffering from a cold or flu. I bet you didn't know that...

Need I say more?

4. R&R
Undoubtedly the best way to help get over any illness, is to rest up and just relax. Find a good series on Netflix (I'm a big fan of The Crown), pick up a good book (Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes is a great read!), or just catch up on your current affairs; there are no side effects of some good old R&R, so take the opportunity to indulge yourself - remember, being ill doesn't have to equal wasted time.

Even if you're feeling rotten, being ill is a great chance to give hygge a go. Pronounced hoo-gah, if you've never heard of it, now is the time to google it. 

And there we have it, four recommendations for helping to cope with the symptoms of a cold, and speed up your recovery! As I said above, please let me know if you've got any other suggestions, or if you've written a similar blog post. 


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