Stop Getting Sick | Self Care

a bottle of lucozade, nuxe moisturising mask, tiger balm, vicks first defence, bath and body works pocketbac, a sephora eye mask, and some ginger ale, lying on a bed

I’ve worked in retail for nearly two years, now – that’s two years of close quarters with hundreds of people from all over the world, day in, day out (you think I’m exaggerating, but I work on Oxford Street, the busiest shopping location in London). Obviously, germs are a fun bonus for this kind of wild lifestyle, and picking up every weird cold, bug, and virus going is inevitable…but, there are some ways you can prevent yourself from being bed-bound for three days.


Invest in one that smells nice, so you don’t constantly smell like the inside of a doctor’s surgery, and you’ve won half the battle. Ideally, you should use it at least every time you eat or drink anything, but forcing your nearest and dearest to use some every time they cough or sneeze is always a good idea, too. My favourite is the PocketBac range from Bath & Body Works, but The Body Shop do a great range, here in the UK.


So, the worst has happened; you can feel your throat getting scratchy, your sinuses are swollen, that last cough sounded a touch too ‘chesty’. There’s still hope! My assistant manager at work recommended First Defence by Vicks, which is this handy little nasal spray (eww, I know), which kills the virus setting up camp in your body before it has a chance to do any damage. Sounds too good to be true, but it actually works (unless your boyfriend nearly chokes on it…but that’s a story for a different day). Pair it with some Tiger Balm before bed (think Vapour Rub, with a nicer smell), and you just might wake up cold and flu free.


So, despite all your best efforts, you’re ill. Keep using the nasal spray and balm, grab yourself some Night Nurse, and keep hydrated! Drink as much water as you can stomach, but if you need something with a bit of flavour, sugary drinks like Lucozade can be a good idea, especially when you’re struggling to eat. And, if you’re feeling sick, ginger beer or ginger ale should settle your stomach nicely. Aside from that, my personal recommendation would be chain-watching a new series on Netflix, or playing video games that involve lots of mindless shooting – good for blowing off steam.


So, you’ve moped for a few days, wrapped up in your duvet with tissues never too far away. And then, blissfully, your sense of smell returns, along with your appetite. You can keep your eyes open for more than an hour without the need to have a disco nap…everything seems to be going well. And then you catch sight of yourself in the mirror – bloodshot eyes, dry skin, post-flu-puffy face – it’s all just one big hot mess. Find yourself a good moisturising face mask – my favourite is Nuxe’s 24-hour Soothing mask – and an even better eye mask (like Sephora’s lotus eye mask), and you’ll be as good as new by the time you have to venture out in public, I promise.

What are your top tips for avoiding (or getting over) viruses?

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