Invasion of the Sniffles

If a “HHAAA-CHOO!” rings out from another office I will immediately cower at my desk. The germs are coming. There isn’t enough Purell in the world to make me feel safe in this situation.

Cold season is year round when you work in an office setting. It doesn’t matter if it is an office of 15 people or 1,500 someone will always have a virus to share. My first year in the workplace I got so many colds I thought my body was rejecting adult life. I was also a temp and only had 3 paid sick leave days a year. It was rough.

Fortunately, my immune system caught up (around the same time I started working out more often – a coincidence, I think not) but occasionally the sniffles win the battle. On the days that they win and I can’t stay home sick I’ve turned to some homeopathic methods (and some not so natural ones too) to make my days manageable. *Warning! I’m obviously not a doctor or a medicine woman. This is just what works for me.*

  1. When the sniffles come in full force I take something with pseudoephedrine and/or advil. I hate taking medicine, I feel weird about taking things that the pharmacist checks my ID for but when you need to make it through the work day this will save your sick booty. I’m a huge fan of Alka Seltzer cold/flu if the weather is cold but on warm days I stick to something in a capsule.
  2. If the cold is flirting with me but hasn’t kicked in I use Zicam. I have no idea if it actually works but the placebo effect of the nasal swabs is sufficient. At the first sign of a cold or sore throat I buy a pack of these and start using them religiously until the sniffles are subdued.
  3. Once I’m in the thick of the cold, need daytime relief and can’t slather myself in Vick’s Vapo rub, I turn to peppermint essential oils. I love putting a little bit of peppermint on my temples to ease my stuffy sinuses.
  4. When I need immediate relief I attempt a forward fold. It may sound counterintuitive to bring your head between your knees with a headache but it definitely helps.

What are some of the ways you keep the sniffles at bay?

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