Monday, April 22, 2013

Surviving a Cold or Flu

Work has been crazy.  It seems like I've been working about 80% of my weekends for the past 4 months.  On the weekends I haven't worked, we have been in Iowa for birthdays and weddings.  And then a few weeks back Ryan got sick.  Really sick. A nasty chest/head cold went through his office and turned him into a very grumpy person for about 9 days.  He even took one day off of work, which for him is unheard of.  And then he gave it to me!  But thanks to my super immune system, I didn't get it near as bad (just a sore throat), and I got over it in about 3 days.

So what do you do when you catch a cold or the flu?
1. Stay home from work.  Quit making excuses for why you can't stay home from work, and just do it!  Business will go on as usual with out you.  It's one day, and yes you can afford it.  (There are some people who literally cannot afford it, but most of us can.)  Stay home, rest, recuperate, and stop the spread of the nastiness.

2. Stay hydrated. You don't have to drink plain water.  Actually, you never have to drink plain water.  Enjoy a cup of tea for the antioxidants.  Add a slice of lemon or lime to cold or hot water.  Sip on warm chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.  And before bed, have a hot toddy!  (Hot water + Slice of lemon + 1-2tsp honey + 1 shot of whiskey)  You'll sleep like a baby.

3. Eat whatever sounds good to you.  If ice cream sounds good, then buy some Hagen Daz and enjoy it.  If your stomach is churning, focus on broth based soups and cooked vegetables.  For an easy dinner, have a family member pick up a rotisserie chicken and some frozen vegetables.  If all you want is toast, then have toast with butter on it.  Whatever you do, listen to your body, it's trying to tell you something.  Sick days are not times to try and eat perfectly.  But you should still avoid things such as soda crackers which have no nutritional value and are loaded with trans-fats.  After a day or two, when the worst is over, get back to eating real foods in balance.

4. Sleep, sleep, sleep.  If you want to go to bed at 6pm when you get from work (obviously you are taking tomorrow off), then go to bed.

5. Exercise a little.  Seriously, if you are not sick enough to stay home, or you did and now you are feeling better, get a little physical activity.  Exercise raises body temperature, and if your core temp is up, then any remaining bacteria and viruses are less likely to survive.  Essentially you are sweating out the bad stuff.  If your cold is in your chest/lungs I do not necessarily recommend this.  But if it's just in your nose, go for a walk/jog/run/swim/bike/zumba... It doesn't have to be high intensity or long lasting, 10-20 minutes is all you need.  There's a good chance you will feel better afterwards.  I'm not sure this is scientifically proven, I just know it works for me.

So now that you are feeling better, you better get back to work and pick up the slack from everyone who decided not to take a day off!