What to Do When You’ve Got the Cold

Got the sniffles, but have to go out? Well, don’t go out, dummy! If only life were that easy. For the responsible people, here’s some tips for those unfortunate situations to look better than you feel.

First, let’s get the important stuff out of the way. Don’t go into work if you’re seriously sick. You’re not doing anyone any favors. Sure, misery loves company, and who knows, you might take your nemesis at work down with you, but most of your more reasonable co-workers will resent you for coughing up a storm, and you’re prolonging your own suffering as well as that of everyone else. Presenteeism is a serious problem that is estimated to cost more than a 100 billion dollars in productivity annually in the United States. Seriously, don’t be a part of the problem.

Unfortunately life isn’t so black and white, and sometimes medical advice can seem out of touch--stress is the cause; don’t get stressed! If we lived in a rational society, we wouldn’t need 90% of articles like these; we’d simply take a rest, and be expected to, but alas we live in the real world full of project deadlines, bills, pointy haired bosses, bad culture, and so on. Perhaps it’s not work at all, but you’re too late to cancel a date, and it’s not like you’re seriously sick; just the sniffles or a mild cough.

Feeling bad and looking bad:

There are a host of problems when you’re sick, and the worst ones aren’t the visual symptoms. If you feel bad, that’s a sign that you need to listen to your body and give it the rest that it needs. If you feel ok, but look bad, there are some quick fixes that can help you look your best, or as good as possible.

Dry skin: The skin frequently becomes drier when you are under the weather. Drink plenty of fluids, and apply moisturizers throughout the day to help the skin retain some moisture. It can also help to sleep with a humidifier in the room to restore some moisture back into the skin.

Dullness: Along with drying of the skin, the skin may appear dull and lifeless. Steam facials can help to open up the pores and even help with congestion temporarily.

Dry nose: The nose, an area that is usually protected from dryness by the concentration of oil glands in the area, may become dry. Sniffling and blowing your nose frequently may also make the nose red and irritated as well. Applying vaseline to the nose can help relieve redness, dryness, and tenderness of the nose.

Baggy eyes: Baggy eyes, or dark circles under the eyes are common symptoms. There aren’t any magical solutions, but applying cold tea bags over the eyes is a popular DIY solution that can soothe irritated or baggy eyes.

Chapped lips: The lips will often become dried and chapped when you have the cold. As your immune system is struggling to fight off the cold, you may notice that cold sores might appear if you have the virus. Lip balm can really help to soothe chapped or cracked lips.

Keep in mind that these are temporary fix-ups to make you look healthier and better, but it doesn’t mean that you are, in fact better. Get plenty of sleep. It’s the most important thing that you can do to help fight off the cold, and get you looking and feeling your best.

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