How to beat the plague this winter…

Ok, so it’s not as bad as the plague, but my busy lifestyle has finally caught up with me and I’ve been knocked down with a cold, confined to my bed for a few days while my body fights it off.

I was so determined not to slow down that I went through the 5 stages of grief as I tried to deny the inevitable illness; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

This is how it panned out…

Denial. “I’m just a bit tired. It’s ok. I’ll do a quick gym session, get some study done, rush around to visit this friend. God I’m SO tired. Better get a good sleep tonight.”
Newsflash- you’re not tired, you’re getting sick and you need to slow down before you crash and burn.

Anger. “Shit, I don’t have time for this! It’s only a few sniffles- I’ll sweat it out at the gym.” THIS DID NOT WORK! I got about 5 minutes into my regular kickboxing class and almost passed out. This is the point when I decided to listen to my body rather than try and be tough and push through.

Bargaining. “ok, I’ll drink heaps of lemon tea, take half a day off work and rush to the the doctors.”
Me to my body- “If I take you to the doctors and give you more multi vitamins will you please please just feel better so I can carry on with my life?” This worked and I felt better. For a couple of hours until I crashed again. Apparently just going to the doctor isn’t a miracle cure. Dammit.

Depression. This is the bit where I apologise to my friends and mum for the nasally, teary phone calls and the self pitying texts. “I just don’t have time for this. My boss is going to kill me. I’m home on my own and I just feel SO crap!!” Most of this is completely garbled because I’m busy attacking chocolate biscuits. “And I’m gonna get FAT… ahhh.” Yeah, having a cold or the flu is no fun. But beating yourself up about it is even worse. Luckily I have good friends who know to laugh off my melodramatic ramblings and just tell me what I want to hear. They know I’ll snap out of it pretty quick.

Acceptance. Another day off work. This is ok because I need the rest. Have a sleep in and wake up to my lemon and ginger tea. Wear about 10 layers. Do something that won’t give me a head ache. Try a little bit of writing. I hate not being able to move my body so have come up with a light yoga flow to create some gentle movement and build my strength back up a little. It’s only a cold, people have colds every day and it’s not the end of the world. Realising that I feel like crap makes me feel a little better. So now the real healing begins.

 It would have been so easy to just curl up under a blanket until I felt better but I finally  decided to use my miserableness for the greater good and really listen to my body and what it needs. My body gets me through so much every week, it’s time to let it rest, heal and give it all the tools it needs to get better.

In case anyone else has been caught by this bug, here are some warming and healing steps to enhance your recovery..

Lemon & Ginger Tea.
My favourite remedy. It warms you up and has lots of antioxidants to help fight infection. I just put a few lemon slices into a pot, with some ginger powder and honey. Delicious and calming.

When our bodies are stationary it means our mind works overtime, so it’s easy to over think things and become stressed. I’m a big fan of meditation and make time to practice several times a week. Although my breathing was a bit out because of a blocked nose, just accepting that and focusing on nothing at all really helped to re balance my thoughts and feel refreshed after each session. 

Light Yoga
It’s great to re center your body, for somebody so active it’s hard to accept when your body needs rest. Yoga can be very restorative and a light 20minutes of stretching and concentrating on breathing is very healing.

Get as much sleep as you can. Sleep is the best way to restore your body and taking some magnesium tablets will help relax your muscles and prevent cramping if your not getting up and moving as much as usual.

Olive Leaf Extract
This liquid tastes like absolute crap but a teaspoon a day is a great way to keep your immune system strong and it will help soothe a fever as well. Good to always have on hand especially this time of year.

So no matter how busy your life gets, remember to recognise the signs from your body and take enough time to rejuvenate and fully recover to prevent drawing out a sickness longer than necessary. 


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