Despite my cold-weather rituals of hand-washing, vitamin C regimen and Neti pot, last week I was felled by the flu. And while beauty and this bug don’t belong in the same sentence the following steps helped me look and feel better with the flu.
1) Act fast: When I realized that what I had was not a cold but the flu – symptoms came on quickly; I had a bad headache, a hacking cough and chills – I asked my family doctor for a prescription for Tamiflu. I’m not usually one to rush to prescription drugs, but when taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, Tamiflu (Oseltamivir phosphate) shortens the duration of sickness by 1.3 days and reduces its severity.
2) Rx rest: I used to drag myself into work even when very sick but I now realize how foolish I was to endanger my health and expose colleagues to illness. As I’m now freelancing, I was able to adjust my schedule to accommodate rest, which I’m positive helped me recover more quickly.
3) Moisture mania: Let’s face it; the flu is not kind to complexions. But you’ll make even the pastiest skin look and feel better by moisturizing at least twice a day (unless your skin is very oily). Don’t forget the sides of your nose and under your nostrils as well, which take a beating from the onslaught of tissues. One of my fave moisturizers is Fresh Soy Face Cream, which is paraben-free and helps promote collagen production and cell renewal.
4) Shower power: The one place I feel relief while sick is in the shower. I think the effect is two-fold: Grooming when I’m not at my best somehow helps make me feel more normal. The second benefit is the steamy, warm air helps alleviate congestion. I enhance the effect by spraying a eucalyptus mist into the shower. Currently I’m using J.R. Watkins Menthol Camphor Relief Mist.
My wish is that you avoid getting sick this winter. But if you get hit by this flu that’s cutting a swath across North America, don’t beat yourself up. I’m convinced the regret we feel when getting sick makes the experience worse. So if it happens, some of the above strategies may help you look and feel better with the flu. And look on the bright side: while sidelined, you may actually finish reading that book that’s been gathering dust on your nightstand.