How to Survive a Plague


Okay, okay – I admit that the title of today’s post is a bit dramatic and a total rip-off from a very serious, but great documentary from last year (that everyone should see, by the way). No, I haven’t contracted a life threatening disease or anything, but I did for the first time in years actually get sick over the weekend. (Pausing to let that marinate.) Why is this such a big deal? Well, I’m one of those people with a strong immune system that doesn’t have to deal with the common cold very often so this is pretty big news. The greater issue is why I got sick in the first place!?!

Spending 3 days in bed doesn’t give a gal much to do other than to spend a lot of time thinking about lots of random things (I think I’ll sign up for Italian classes after all) while figuring out the fastest way to get back to your normal self because in the moment you feel so crappy you think you might not make it and start planning your will (To my brother Drew: if I don’t make it – you can have my beloved car…I’m almost done paying for it 🙂). On the other hand, there are 5 epiphanies I had after surviving my ordeal.

Here’s what I learned:

{1} Something’s off and it’s time to do something about it.

As you can tell from my last 2 Highlight’s post (here and here) things have been very off-balance in my life lately and the fact that I got sick was a wake-up call as to how off-balance. I stopped taking my awesome yoga classes, I’m skipping meals (because I’ve trained myself to not like eating breakfast except on weekends again for some reason), and I’m stressed out in every area of my life. The problem is balance. Realizing that it’s time to take a chill pill and come up with a game plan, I’ve decided it’s time to make some changes. One of them being that it’s beyond time to get back into a steady work-out routine, my yoga practice, and enjoying my much-loved outdoorsy activities (even if it means going alone).

{2} The best way to open congested sinuses in 3 seconds flat.

I don’t know about you, but though I’m not a fan of being sick – it’s not the end of the world. In general, us ladies have a much greater threshold for pain because it visits us on a monthly basis for 45 straight years. However, the absolute worst part is by far the constant congestion that ultimately causes me to lose my sense of taste and smell. So I decided to figure out a way to calm my sinus pressure/congestion with a bit of research. I learned that while it feels counter-intuitive because you’re blowing your nose every 2 minutes – your sinuses are actually craving moisture and steam helps! Sure, a nice long hot shower feels great, but I had much better success with boiling a pot of hot water and carefully inhaling the steam. My congestion alleviated after just a few seconds. Be careful when placing your nose over the steam, I don’t want to be responsible for your face melting off.

{3} Eating is NO FUN when you can’t taste your food, but there is a silver lining.

While I’m not promoting the sick diet and can’t enjoy 2 out of 5 of my favorite senses when I’m on it, it seems my appetite goes right out the window too. I did make a point to stay really hydrated, but just couldn’t do much food. Since you’re always supposed to find the silver lining in every situation, I thought I would share that I dropped a few pounds over the weekend without much effort at all. At least something good came of this.

{4} Entertainment is crucial.

You’ll likely be spending a lot of time alone while you convalesce. I spent $100 on the Sex and the City Complete Series as a gift to myself on my 26th birthday and I’ve MORE than gotten my money’s worth. Every time I’m down – any disc from any season, or either movie makes me happy. My advice? Spend as much time with the girls as you can when you’re under the weather. Every giggle instantly made me feel better between chaffing nose blows. (If your male, I heard Entourage provides the same effect for bros).

{5} A little kindness goes a long way.

Before I succumbed to the true depths of my cold (circa day 2 was the worst), I had a girl’s night planned that I was looking forward to all week that I didn’t want to skip but didn’t want to drag my sickly carcass over and spread my germs to my girlfriend. I wasn’t exactly hacking every where at that point (or I wouldn’t have gone), nor was I in full-blown sick mode yet, but it really made my weekend when my friend not only encouraged me to still come over, but ordered me some miso soup to go with our sushi feast to help make me feel better. The horror was that I couldn’t taste any of it after the first 2 bites (I’m still devastated…DEVASTATED about this) – but it meant the world to me that she didn’t treat me like a complete leper and watched a crappy movie with me. Thank you! 🙂

And this my friends is how to survive a plague…or the more accurate (but much less dramatic) common cold: figure out what’s off-balance, keep those sinuses clear with my new trick, look forward to shedding those last 5 stubborn pounds, make sure you have appropriate entertainment, and someone sweet enough to bring you soup.

Here’s to clear breathing! Ahh!


2 thoughts on “How to Survive a Plague

  1. Pingback: Highlights | All That Glitters

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