Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever…

So, it’s the cold season once again and everybody seems to be coughing and sneezing. I’m just recovering from a particularly nasty sore throat/cold and am still battling a cough which is driving me insane. I’m awful at being ill… being used to being full of energy and lucky enough to be in good health means that when I pick up a bug, I get so irritated by it.

Aside from being generally debilitated, unable to exercise and function properly at work, there’s the fact that everyone around you wants to give you a wide berth whilst telling you ‘You should see a Doctor,’ or ‘You shouldn’t be in the office,’ (with a sympathetic but disapproving nod of the head) – not helpful when of course you don’t want to be at work. But the worst part… knowing that you can’t do anything about it but wait for the virus to pass.

When I’m ill (and I use the term loosely!) I have a few childhood traditions that I like to uphold that I thought I would share this afternoon, in the hope that you guys will also share yours. I’m sure there’s something about the nostalgia of being looked after that evokes a feeling of well-being when you’re ensconced on the sofa with a blanket and your favourite film, even if you have to warm your own soup! So even though there’s nothing that actually will make you better, some of these little ideas at least make you feel better. 🙂

  • Egg-in-a-Cup: A definite childhood tradition for me, this involves having a soft boiled egg or two, with the shells removed, then chopped up with a knob of butter in a cup. Served with buttered toast soldiers, I think it’s the closest to heaven you’ll get with a bunged up nose 🙂
  • Hot honey and lemon: I used to have this with cordial in as a child, and still do sometimes. The idea was that the vitamin C in the lemon juice would do some good and the the restorative properties of honey too, but I’m sure the temperatures of the water kills any of that off. Either way, it smells good (if you can smell!) and soothes a sore throat whilst keeping you hydrated.
  • Olbas Oil and Dad’s hankies: My Dad always had a proper handkerchief. A fresh one every day and in an old fashioned way it still warms me when I see men with handkerchiefs – strictly for offering to a damsel in distress you understand, not emptying a nose into all day… that would be unhygienic to say the least! Sprinkled with a few drops of Olbas oil, and kept under your pillow or to hand throughout the day, it’s brilliant at clearing the nose.

Of course, as I’ve got older, I’ve learned a few tricks that are less nostalgia based, and more orientated at getting you through the day, when a duvet day is simply not an option…

  • Stock up on Cold and flu remedies… Don’t ever waste your money on Beechams or Night Nurse – buy supermarkets or Boots own brand cold and flu relief – they have exactly the same ingredients (including a bit of caffeine in the day tablets, omitted for the night time ones.) You’d be amazed what a difference it makes to getting through the day – stop ‘soldiering on’ and dose up instead!
  • Cough sweets. There’s absolutely no evidence they work… but I like them, particularly when you have that tickly throat that goes dry and causes a coughing fit – they help to keep it lubricated. The ones that have a menthol ingredient are brilliant for clearing your nose too 🙂
  • Balsam Tissues – again, it doesn’t have to be the brand names, I reckon the supermarkets own are just as good, but if you don’t want to end up looking like Rudolph with a flakey nose, then they are an essential, especially the handbag packets.
  • A good all round moisturiser… something that you can slather on your nose and will double as a lip balm, so when you finally recover, you’re still looking presentable! The gold standard for me is Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, but I’d love to hear your favourites!

So this afternoon, I thought I’d ask you guys what your cold remedies are? Was there something different you always had as a child – or are they the same as mine? And what do you do if you have to have a duvet day? Is there a film you always get out that makes you feel better?

Let’s beat the cold season together!


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