I love Autumn in the UK. I love its crispness combined with the striking array of colours on a sunny afternoon walk. I love wrapping up in so much knitwear I resemble a multi-coloured sheep. It’s cosy and fresh all at once. There is something invigorating about Winter’s prelude. There is also something nostalgic about it, a reminder of school days when a new year began full of possibilities. Of course Autumn does have its dark side. It’s that time of year when you leave the house empty handed and you return with a cold, a sore throat and a serious case of “everything hurts, I’m going to die”. As a seasoned traveller of public transport it is my opinion that come September every train/bus/plane ticket should come with a gas mask or even better a radiation suit. BOGOFF anyone?
I don’t know about you but the moment I know I’m really not well is when I don’t have a good word to say about anyone or anything, which is very uncharacteristic of me. I become the Incredible Extra Grumpy Hulk. It’s a rubbish superpower and I’m not proud of it. So, what is the answer to survival? Hibernation? The WHO are the go to health heroes, not only do they cater for first to third world audiences and everything in between but also they have a great name which makes me want to burst into song. What more do you want from an advisory service? That said you need a bit more than a great song to get you through man-flu and after a week of wanting to hide my snotty-nosed face from the world I have compiled my own survival kit.
- Don’t be a hero ~ I hate not working, doing nothing drives me bonkers however after being given my marching orders this week from the office I was struck with a guilty conscience. I hadn’t achieved much, I had whined constantly and my sneezing had been relentless. In short I hadn’t done anyone any favours by trooping through the sniffles and I had jeopardised the healthy & safety of my colleagues. It was time to admit defeat and enter solitary confinement.
- No dwelling ~ So you missed that important meeting, is it really the end of the world? They’ll be more chances to catch up with friends. Stay away from big life decisions, this is not the time or place.
- Do not face plant any cakes ~ It’s not big, it’s not clever. No matter how much you want to, cake is not the cure.
- Beware of self-pity ~ a little goes a long way. Short lived “poor me” attitude is fine but not cool if you keep it going. No one will come to your pity party.
- Don’t abuse the sympathy ~ point (4) doesn’t mean abusing others’ pity. When your mum/partner/friend offers to travel out of their way to bring you whatever you need, unless you are literally bed ridden, there is no need to accept their kind offer. Sometimes knowing people care is enough.
- Be kind to yourself ~ I don’t know about you but I get cabin fever within a pretty short space of time of being stuck at home. It doesn’t take long before I am beating myself up:
“I feel guilty for not being in the office”
“I’m not achieving, I am a failure.”
“Comfort food tastes so good, I’m such a fatty.”
“I haven’t been to yoga for a week, my powers of flexibility have dwindled”
“Holy moly, I’ve slept for over 12 hours but I still need more. I’m dying.”
It’s okay to do nothing, 80’s movies were made for such an occasion. Listen to your body, it knows best. Every now and then you just need to STOP!
- Good manners ~ always important but in flu season an essential. Don’t cough over me or I will take you down. Tissues, hand sanitizers, bleach, I don’t mind what arsenal you favour, just keep your germs to yourself please. (I solemnly swear to do the same.)
- Stay Positive ~ However crap you feel, you’re not actually dying. Re-read your gratitude journal. Start a gratitude journal. Stick post-it positive affirmations everywhere. Do what makes you feel good; music, books, blogs, movies, bubble baths, sticking post-its everywhere…
- Eat well ~ the comfort of some foods is short lived. Swap the cheesy pasta for home made vegetable soup, and trade the ice-cream for a Superfood smoothie. Most importantly keep drinking that H2O, by the bucket load.
- Rest & recharge ~ be safe in the knowledge that when you come through the other side you’ll feel awesome once more.
What are your top survival tips this season?