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Cold and Flu Season Survival Guide

Cold and Flu Season Survival Guide

Welcome to this survival guide, you may need it now that autumn is here! Yes, this is a beautiful season full of vibrant leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes and conkers, but a runny nose is not a pretty sight.

As those cooler days are upon us, unfortunately getting a cold is inevitable. With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide to help you survive before the cold/flu virus knocks you for six.

What’s the difference between a common cold and the flu?

Sometimes it’s hard to determine whether you’re suffering from a cold or the flu. Both are caused by a virus and have similar symptoms. The common cold is also known as a ‘head cold’ because the symptoms develop in your sinuses, whereas the flu can affect your whole body.

Cold symptoms develop slowly over a few days, these symptoms often include:

  • Stuffy/runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Mucus cough
  • Sore throat
  • Mild head and body aches

The flu can really sneak up on you, symptoms develop very quickly:

  • Sometimes runny nose/sneezing
  • Dry cough
  • Sometimes sore throat
  • Severe body aches
  • Fever
  • Chills and sweats

Stock up on supplies

Make sure have everything you need to relieve your cold and flu symptoms, check your medicine cupboard at home and list the essentials you need to stock up on such as paracetamol, decongestant nasal spray, cough syrup, cough sweets and tissues. Dig out your woolly blankets and hot water bottle for those chills and have loose, comfortable clothes to hand.

Be hot on handwashing

Take extra care when washing your hands when visiting the toilet and also before you eat. If you are out and about and can’t get to a sink, always carry around some hand sanitiser. Tell your family to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and always use warm water to kill any bacteria.


Our bodies use sleep as a form of self-healing, with this in mind, make sure you are going to bed at a suitable time so that you get enough sleep, this can help boost your immune system!

Vitamin C

Most of us don’t need to take vitamins, we should be getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals from a healthy, balanced diet. But vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which means that if we don’t use what we eat that day, our body just gets rid of it, we don’t store it. If you need an extra boost and choose to take vitamin C, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 40 milligrams (mg) for adults. There is around 53.2mg in a large orange so make sure in these bleak months you have an orange a day or vitamin C tablets.

Keep hydrated

If you feel that slight tickle at the back of your throat or feel you’re at the dreaded start of a cold, flush it out! Fluids help break up congestion and mucus so reach for the water, herbal teas and juice. Make sure when you’ve finished one glass of water, you fill it right back up again and keep drinking.

Gargle saltwater

I know what you’re thinking.. yuck! But as gross as it may sound, salt has natural antibacterial properties. If you’re suffering from that sore throat, gargling warm salt water can help kill bacteria and may stop your cold developing. Good luck!

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