Waking up with a god-awful cold on a day when we really can’t ball up in a duvet and sleep through it has happened to us all. It feels terrible, but isn’t quite bad enough to warrant a fully fledged sick day off work. No one likes having to trudge on coughing up a lung, feeling like you’ve swallowed a mace and running on zero sleep thanks to both nostrils blocking up every time you tip your head back. You sexy, sexy phlegm machine.

I recently managed to come back from a gorgeously relaxing weeks’ holiday, only to wake up for work on Monday possessing all the above symptoms. Ball ache or what?

It was time for a plan to shift the snotty phase – STAT. After cramming in some emergency saviours, I waved off my grotty cold three days later and got back on top of the world. Here are my secrets:

Grog: The miracle potion

My lovely, deliciously French colleague Sophie Rivet gave me the most amazing recipe for a special get well juice. I should point out now that you should NOT be drinking this right before work, but is best taken in the evening when you don’t have to be out in public. Few work places will let you down copious amounts of rum, even for medicinal purposes.

To make:

  • Bring 3 cups of water to the boil. Add a measure of rum and boil for a further few seconds
  • Add a couple of squeezes of lemon juice for vitamins
  • Add cinnamon and sugar to taste

Drink the grog while it’s still really hot (it’s not vile by the way – it’s basically mulled rum!), layer up and hit the sheets. While the concoction works it magic, it’ll also bring on drowsiness. Sweat out the cold and you should hopefully wake up a great deal better in the morning.

If you really can’t stand long enough to boil things, warm a mug of apple juice in the microwave and add a measure of rum to that. It won’t have grog’s medicinal properties, but it’s very soothing to a prickly throat.

Sailor Jerry logo
In times of woe, the Sailor Jerry’s pinup is my best friend.

Vicks and Karvol: My new best friends

I willingly put up with my colleagues whinging at me about smelling like an explosion in an Olbas Oil factory┬áto clear my poor bunged up nose, but it was worth it. My menthol beast of choice was Karvol drops. To keep your airwaves free throughout the day, grab a stack of tissues and sprinkle Karvol on them to keep in your bag. Much more effective than normal tissues, and as you get more tired through the progression of your working day you’ll appreciate constant boosts of sharp menthol goodness.

At night time, either do the classic Vicks Vapour moustache move for nigh-long clearing, or pop Karvol drops on a hand towel and keep it on your pillow – however you’ll sleep best. Allowing yourself to breathe and therefore get those precious hours kip will do you a world of good.

Rest, warrior, rest (and eat)

I don’t need to guide you on this one do I?

You may indeed have a busy day at work, but as I’ve well learnt, piling on the stress does more damage in the long run. So leave work on time, go to bed early, and in between ditch the diet for comforting but nutritious food possessing at least SOME greenery. Yes, that goes for you too fussy girl. A small amount of carb wont hurt and they’ll provide some essential energy that you’ll be thankful for the next day. My favourite comfort food is bangers and mash with peas and runner beans. Get stuck in ­čśë Stress does awful things to your immune system, so no matter what you have to contend with during the day, prioritise massively until you recover and can tackle the work with a clear head. Much, much more efficient.

<Do you have a secret cold remedy I should know about? Winter is a-coming after all…

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