Allison’s Guide To Surviving A Cold

Because that’s all you can hope to do.

So I’ve suffered from a pretty bad virus the past several days. I’m talking from zero to Used Tissue Monster in 1 day flat. Normally, I only need to consult my mom (yeah yeah I’m a mama’s girl, but she’s also a nurse practitioner). But this time, it went from “I got this” to “I need my mommy and a million meds!” in record time. Unfortunately, mom is too far away, so I had to go to the doctor. Besides some super strong meds, I’ve been pampering myself hardcore. These tips may not cure your cold, but they will offer major relief. It’s all about Survival, baby.


Here’s my list of Ultimate Cold Survival Tips:

1. Rest, Rest, Rest: Because, well, you deserve some much earned rest, and this is your body’s way of saying slow down a little (lotta) bit! I do well with multitasking, so slowing down is like pulling teeth for me. I make sure I have everything I might possibly need by my side, whether I’m in bed or hogging the whole couch. My Kindle Fire, a giant mug of tea, lotion tissues, a not-too-warm-not-too-cold blanket, cough drops (Cepacol are my favs), and a humidifier are all must-haves.

2. Take A Bath: But not just any bath, the Mother of All Baths. I’ve recently become addicted to adding Epsom salts to my baths, like this one here. Besides the killer relaxation factor, they can be great for aching muscles. I like to meditate while I’m relaxing in the bath, making the 12 minutes you need to absorb the Magnesium from the Epsom salts fly by.

3. Liquids, Liquids, Liquids: Without going into too much (gross) detail, they’re important. And forget sports drinks, coconut water has 10x the potassium, no artificial coloring, and a lot less sugar. Tea, coffee, water, juice (basically anything except alcohol). Drink it up! I try to keep my nose, throat, and lungs happy too. I’ll do nasal washes and throat gargles 3-4 times a day and keep a humidifier nearby. Essentially, low humidity is bad for you.

4. Eat What You Want: When your appetite is suppressed, it’s really hard to motivate yourself to eat, let alone make, your own food. I pick up low sodium premade soups every once in awhile to keep in the pantry for when a cold strikes. And if I want (dairy-free) ice cream, I’ll have it (sometimes twice a day…). It’s better than nothing at all! Comfort food, whether healthy or otherwise, always picks me up. The last thing you need is to feel faint when you already feel crappy.

5. Stagger Your Meds: Even though most OTC meds say to be taken every 4-6 hours, I tend to notice their potency lessening at 3 hours. To make sure I’m not suffering needlessly, I like to make my own homemade cough syrup that I can take without worrying about overdose or interaction with my other meds to take once the meds start to wear off. My recipe is at the bottom of this page.

6. Change Everything: Ok, not everything. But replacing your toothbrush and contacts as well as changing your linens and towels is super helpful. Think about it: you come into contact with these things everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, reintroducing yourself to the same nasty germs over and over again. I also wipe down common surfaces with antibacterial wipes. No germ is safe on my watch!


Allison’s Easy Cough Syrup

6 Tablespoons Honey

2 Tablespoons Lemon/Lime Juice or Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (or a flavorless oil if the flavor bothers you)

Warm all ingredients in the microwave and whisk to combine. Take a spoonful up to once an hour. Store at room temperature for up to 1 month. I like to warm it a little before each use.



One thought on “Allison’s Guide To Surviving A Cold

  1. Wow! Those are some pretty wise suggestions! I’ll do my best to make the cough syrup that I hope I never have to make! Feel better soon.

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