30 October 09 • MAV

As much as I’d like to deny it I have been fighting a cold all week. I really love that phrase, ‘fighting a cold’. It’s a battle that at this time of year, for me, always arrives early in the season. The dry heat starts kicking in, the air pressure changes drastically and my sinuses get angry. My strategic goal is to make sure I don’t let it take me down!

To that end, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my top five tactics for ‘fighting a cold’. Now let me say for the record that this is what I do when I am actually feeling okay but just starting to have symptoms (sore throat, stuffy head, runny nose) and not what I do when I have the really bad symptoms that mean I am actually sick (fever, aches, sluggish, green gunk). If you’re really sick I advise, like everyone else does (most especially doctors who know what they are talking about), to stay home and nurse yourself, period. This list is for those who actually feel okay but deep inside have a little something lurking and they are ready to fight the good fight!

1) Drink lots of hot stuff. On Tuesday when I felt the scratch I went straight to my local tea shop and got my own sinus elixir which I have been drinking at least 3-4 cups per day. I have also had soup every day (at least once) and made up a batch of broth (garlic, chicken, salt, celery, onion, water) which I have had (broth only) in a mug every evening before bed. Think hot, hot, hot you’re starting to feel scratchy and stuffy.

2) Groom yourself and wear something you love. I am not an advocate of giving in to the cold even an inch when you’re just starting to ‘fight it’. I say get out of bed (after 8 hours of sleep minimally, please), shower, comb your hair, put on your makeup, etc. The last thing you need is to be drooping around the house when you’re truly not sick. Maybe you don’t wear those high-heeled boots (or maybe you do, yeah; that is the way to fight it; go girl!) but rather your old chuck taylors or comfy work boots. Perhaps you can grab a cozy over-sized sweater from your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s closet or that old work-shirt with a hole in it (draping yourself in something well-loved is the way to go, trust me) but regardless get up, get moving and find something you adore that makes you feel good and wear it. This will help your overall mindset as you face the cold head-on!

3) Take walks. I have written about the power of walks before and in this case I feel it’s back to basics. Skip the gym for the week or even the yoga classes where you sweat like mad and just take a walk every day for 15–20 minutes at your own pace while breathing deeply. Don’t forget to bundle up if it’s chilly out, of course, and try taking your time while being mindful of the ‘fight’ you’re involved in. It helps, I swear it does.

4) Buy the tissue with lotion or use a handkerchief. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing worse than a red/worn nose. I consider myself to be a pretty ‘natural’ person and quite honestly I don’t really know what is in the lotion-tissues but I can say that I went straight out and got two boxes earlier this week. I have also had two soft cotton handkerchiefs in my bag each day as well (replaced daily of course). You won’t want to look like you have a cold when you really don’t, do you? No way. No how. Fight it!!

5) And lastly, take up a new hobby. This one is odd, right? Well of this one I am more sure than any other on my list. So you’re starting to feel a cold and you have decided to try to keep it mellow maybe passing up drinks with friends or a night out to dinner and that means you’re home all week which is just fine. But what the cold wants is for you to feel down about it. The cold wants you to feel depressed and sad that you’re getting sick and you’re quite home-bound. Well, forget it! The sure way to feel good and up-beat while staying home in the evening with an early bedtime is to take on a new hobby. Have you been wanting to try your hand at drawing or baking? Do it. Have you been wanting to recover a chair or try to write a short story? Try it. I promise that it will make you feel productive and whether it’s ‘good’ or not you’ll still feel like a hero and keep those spirits up. My new hobby this week has been sewing. HA! I have not sewn since I was a kid and was handling two papertowels stitched together but this week I have started to sew a little soft animal for someone I love. No … I won’t be selling softies anytime soon or ever (I’ll leave that to my favorite soft-sculpture-maker) … but at the end of this fight I’ll have a little something that I made and can share and when it really comes down to it there is nothing better for ‘fighting’ a cold than love, love, love.

Be well!