Remember when you were a kid, and being sick was actually kind of awesome? You got to stay home from school, watch all the bad TV you otherwise weren’t allowed to, AND you got spoiled by Mom? And while being sick was never really fun, it was tolerable. Comforting. There was no real rush to recover, because there was no real rush for, well… anything.
And then you grew up.
And with growing up came responsibilities. Priorities. In other words- the inability to simply just disconnect from the world and recover for a few days. You discovered that life goes on, bills need paid, and empires need run. Even if you look (and feel) like an extra in The Walking Dead. Plain and simple- you realized that no one really cares.
Except Mom. Mom’s always care. 🙂 And I love mine very much for that.
So after being down with a cold for about a week, I discovered a few things about myself. Or my evolvement, rather. I learned how to power through and still give it my all. How to still handle business, even when the only deadline you care about is your own. But most importantly- how to still be a leader to a team that needed me, and deserves to have me at my best. All the time.
And I learned how to do it WITHOUT making myself worse.
So I’m going to share my tips on how to survive Cold Season. And not only survive it- but own it. Because like the old saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Even if it is only your immune system.
You should be doing this already. In fact, if you were doing it properly to begin with, you probably wouldn’t even be sick. That old saying you’ve all heard- if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? It’s true. And should never be taken lightly. But if you’re like me, you will happily choose an iced caramel macchiato over ice water any day. So I cant really blame you. But NOW is the time to start chugging. Well, don’t chug. But seriously- start drinking. A lot. We’re all smart enough to know the benefits of water at this point. But we also need to remember that it helps flush toxins from your body.
It also might help to know that you can infuse your water with things like lemon, mint, berries- so there’s no excuse for those that claim they don’t “like” water. That’s just stupid. You kind of have to like it- your entire body is practically made up of it. Look at water the same way you do an Hermes bag- with nothing but total love and admiration.
Personally, I like to mix mint and lemon in mine. For me, its all about presentation. I have a huge beautiful vintage glass pitcher that I keep in my refrigerator at all times. It was my Dad’s, and he was a BIG believer in drinking water. So it reminds me to never take my health for granted, and that doing something so simple as drinking water can (and will) make or break you. Plus, something about it always being there and ready to drink makes it so much easier. I use fresh mint that I grow myself, along with fresh squeezed lemons- those I did not grow myself. Honestly, I can barely keep the mint alive… Occasionally I’ll blend the mint with berries and a little honey for an extra source of antioxidants. And flavor. I’ve also been known to add small amounts of Sweet N Low. But the sweetener is up to you. My advice is to start off using it just to get in the habit of drinking more water in general, and then wean yourself off.
Keep a pitcher like this full and ready, and you’ll never have he desire to reach for anything else again. Accept wine. Which is totally acceptable.
2. FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
That’s right. Because even if you feel like shit, it doesn’t mean you have to look the part. And I know- that’s way easier said than done. Its hard to imagine even getting out of bed, much less mastering your standard AM beauty routine.
Relax- I gotchu girl. (Or boy!)
First, take your time. There’s no way around it. Your energy is depleted, seeing that your body is doing everything it can to fight off all those nasty germs. And you need to let it. But rolling into work looking like the troll that lives under the bridge isn’t going to make anyone happy. Now, we all wish that we worked at places where employers were sympathetic and understanding. If you’re lucky enough to have this, take advantage of it. Please. Stay home. Rest. And save your fellow co-workers from getting infected. Not to mention, yourself from being the asshole that got everyone sick. NO ONE likes that person. You’re now that kid that eats their hair in the back of the classroom- we ALL had one of those. Fortunately, I recently found myself with a company who cares, so I was able to rest for a day after being sent home. They didn’t want me to be that asshole either. But maybe you don’t have that leisure. Or sick time. Or anyone else to do what you do. So… lets get you ready for battle.
Take a hot shower. And I mean HOT. Its amazing what steam can do for the body. Not only will it help wake you up, but it opens everything. From your pores to your sinuses. And sinus pressure is one of the most unbearable symptoms of being sick. Dizziness, earaches… mine get so packed even my teeth hurt. But the steam will help loosen it all and will be a major factor in how well you’ll feel for the day.
DONT wash your hair. Save the energy. Dry shampoo is your best friend right now, if it wasn’t already. Zap your strands and let it dry. Then simply rough up your hair with your fingers for added texture and throw that mane into a messy topknot. Up high, down low, to the side- it doesn’t matter. Its the lifesaver of hairstyles simply because the messier it looks, the better. Its the IDGAF (but I kind actually do) look that we all know and love- so WORK IT.
My personal favorite-
Dress comfortable. Yes, this is your Get Out Of Jail Free Card for the fashionistas. No heels. No crazy accessories. No body hugging fabrics. If leggings are acceptable workplace attire, use it to your advantage. A cute off the shoulder sweater will keep you warm while still keeping you on point. But lets say you work in a No Legging Zone. That’s okay- find a maxi dress and pair it with a blazer. Regardless of what you choose, ADD A SCARF. Not only is it super comforting when your sick, but it will help keep your throat warm, and you looking chic. The bigger, the better. Plus, its easy to bury your face into during those inevitable times throughout the day when you feel like you’re going to die. PS- you wont!
Style tip– I like my scarfs with a lot of drama. In other words, LOTS of fabric and length so I can wrap it multiple times. But not a lot of scarves come this way, with the exception of blanket scarves. So to get that look, I simply take two scarves with patterns/colors that work well together. And I wrap them together. And boom- I have the perfect amount of extra body and thickness that you picture when you think of Fall.
Lastly- Makeup. Yes, I’m sorry, you still have to wear it. Just not as much of it. No, its not about vanity. Its about doing everything you can to make yourself feel better. Because you will literally feel better. And going out into public looking like a hot mess is not going to help you. Its my personal belief that if you feel bad about yourself, you cant help but look bad. At the same time, thinking you look bad, will make you feel worse. Its a no-win situation. So just avoid it. Take 5 minutes to a basic face- a little concealer and brightener can go a long, long way. Groom your brows, throw on some gloss, and handle it. Anything else will be a complete waste as you will no doubt wipe it all off after blowing your nose for the 50th time. But I promise- the effort here will be worth it. It feels pointless at the time, but you’ll be so glad you did once you’re at work. Plus, it will keep children from being completely terrified of you. If they weren’t already… 😉
Here’s all you need for a basic, yet flawless face:
(click on picture to enlarge)
3. GET TO WORK
When you’re there, let people know you’re not feeling well. No, don’t whine about it. We all hate that. Instead, let them know so they can steer clear and avoid catching whatever it is you have. Its courteous, and hopefully will earn you a slightly easier day. In other words, maybe an extra task that would involve staying late might be put off for another day. But again- don’t come across as whiny. Simply state the facts- “Hey guys, I’m a little under the weather today. You might want to email me anything you need. Me and my disinfectant will be in my office…”. Hopefully you have a good crew you will understand and will proceed with caution. Or you have a crew who couldn’t care less and will enjoy passing your cold around for the next 4 months.
I cant stress this enough. You showed up. You played the part. You got shit done. Now its time to rest and let your body recover. No Happy Hour. No reality TV. No Empire marathons. No social media- no one wants to here you whine there either. Put your eye mask on, and just sleep. And hydrate. Sleep and hydrate. This will be your life for the next 24 to 48 hours. Accept it now and you will be well on your way back to Diva status. Or Boss status. Or if your like me, both.
5. TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION
You did it. You survived. Hopefully with a stronger immune system and greater respect for H2O. Get rid of any evidence that this cold even existed. Strip your bed sheets. Clorox everything. Stock your fridge with better, healthier foods. Sign up for yoga. Go for a walk. Consider this your chance to be reborn into a more health conscience version of yourself- forever invincible to colds, flus and men with no ambition.
But darling- above all- drink your damn water.
Your body is a temple, after all.
So start treating it like one.