12 Things to Do When You Have the Worst Cold Ever

The sneezing, the coughing, the overall brain fog that makes every little thing seem infinitely more difficult… Colds are the worst. On the bright side, you now have every excuse to stay in your cozy PJs all day, binge-watch Bridgerton and be coddled. Here, 12 things that will make you feel better now.

water list

1. Drink more water. Heck, down a whole gallon of the stuff if possible—add lemon and mint if that helps you keep at it. Sure, you might have to pee every two minutes, but you’re home, so consider it your one form of (light) exercise.

2. Sip some apple cider vinegar. Add a tablespoon of the stuff to one of your cups of water. It won’t taste great, but it will help clear some of that mucus.

sleep list
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3. Get extra sleep. Cold- and flu-causing germs are everywhere. Your best line of defense—apart from being extra vigilant about washing your hands and taking an OTC med to combat pesky symptoms, like Mucinex Nightshift Cold & Flu for nighttime relief from nine cold and flu symptoms—is getting a few extra hours of sleep each night so that your body is better able to fight off the viruses.

4. Relax to some tunes. Better yet, run a hot bath, light a few candles and kick back to a soothing soundtrack. The steam from the warm water will clear your congestion, too.

5. Catch up on all the movies. What better time than when you’re stuck in bed? A few feel-good flicks (and laughs) are necessary when you’re feeling under the weather.

read list

6. And read all the books. When you feel your brain melting from the marathon movie sesh, take a reading break.

7. Stock up on soups. They’ll soothe a scratchy throat and help drain a stuffy nose. (These recipes take less than 20 minutes to make.)

vacay list

8. Plan a trip. Use this downtime to start planning a fun getaway to take when you’re feeling better. Perhaps someplace warm and tropical?

9. Pop some zinc. While it won’t prevent a cold, studies have shown that it does help shorten the duration of one.

10. Take a cough suppressant. Another thing keeping you up at night? That awful cough. Try Mucinex DM for 12 hour relief from both wet and dry coughs. And remember: Always consult a doctor if your symptoms are severe.

stretch list

11. Clear your mind. Try a few minutes of meditation and stretching. Not only will it feel good after all that sitting and lying down, but it will also help you calm that mounting anxiety you’re feeling about missing work.

12. Blast a humidifier. Consider it your best friend for the next few days. Everywhere you go, it goes. The extra moisture in the air will make breathing easier—and your skin softer.

13. Cover the redness. When you finally venture outside again, pat on a little concealer around your nostrils to cover up the fact that you’ve gone through seven boxes of tissues in three days.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.