How to survive a flu

Besides everything that is going on right now, I also got my yearly flu, which debilitates me for a week or so. I have some tips and tricks, which helped me go through this awful period.

How to keep warm

I always have problems keeping my body warm, as my body temperature drops to unhealthy levels very easily. But I like to scare people with my cold hands and feet, as they probably feel like ones of a dead person. 

- Wearing an oversized sweater with extra long sleeves. I try to avoid wearing anything with 3/4 sleeves, as uncovered wrists means that I will start sniffling within minutes. 

- Wearing a hat and a thick scarf, when I go outside. I used to hate wearing them, because I am very forgetful and I keep losing them in public transport. But as I got older, it has become a necessity to cover my head and neck, which are places on the body that loses warmth easily. 

- Wearing something from the Uniqlo heat tech line. I bought a bunch of Uniqlo heat tech knee socks and they were great in keeping my legs and feet warm. 

- Placing a fleece blanket underneath your body, when you sleep. I saw this tip in a Japanese TV program. Most people would add another blanket on top of their original blanket, but your body gets warmer when you have a fleece blanket on the mattress and a thick, winter blanket covering you on top. 

- Drinking fresh ginger tea. Although I prefer cold drinks as they are really refreshing, I switched every drink I had in this period to hot drinks. Adding a few slices of fresh ginger to a cup of boiling water added a hint of flavor and it made me feel warmer on the inside.

- Having a hot bowl of rice porridge as breakfast. In the early morning, it is colder than during the day and you just got out of bed, where it was warm and cozy. Eating something warm will make you feel better. I don't really like the flavor of normal porridge that much, so I prefer rice porridge.

How to treat a bad, dry cough

I always have one particular cough problem, when I get the flu. My throat gets itchy and dry. I can often predict it the day, before it turns bad. 

- Drinking a hot citrus drink. The best option is a cup of hot yuzu tea, but if I don't have that at home, I make hot lemon tea with honey. About two slices of lemon and one tablespoon of honey should do the trick. 

- Taking medicine. I didn't know there were pills for coughing, but my little brother handed me some and it did seem to help. 

- Snacking on dried lemon or dried plum. You can find excellent dried lemon and dried plum in Hong Kong that can dissolve mucus and stop the cough. 

- Applying a menthol balm under your nose and on your chest, when you sleep. It helps unclog the nose and improve the breathing. The refreshing air flow doesn't trigger the cough reaction as much. 

One tip I didn't get to try, as I happen to not get a clogged nose, was also from a Japanese TV program. They said that you could unclog a nose by putting a small plastic bottle at the arm pit of the other side of your body (as in: not at the same side as the nose that it clogged, so when your left nose is clogged, you place the bottle at your right side armpit). After holding it there for some time, your nose will get unclogged. 

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