9 nice things to do for yourself when you have a cold

cures for a cold

I don’t know about you, but it feels like we’ve had about 27 colds between us already this year. Yucky ones too – proper colds that leave you feeling grotty and exhausted and like it’s almost too much effort to reach for the remote control. It’s not much fun.

A cold can leave you feeling seriously sorry for yourself. I tend to go as far as actually sticking my bottom lip out and trying to widen my eyes when I look at people, to extract maximum sympathy when I whine pathetically ‘I don’t feeeeeel very welllll.’

It’s a sorry sight.

Just in case you’re in a similar predicament, I’ve put together a list of nine nice things you can do for yourself when you have a cold that will help you feel not quite so awful as you otherwise might.


Accept that you have a cold. This is tricky because we all like to soldier on don’t we? It’s like there’s glory in working even harder than normal, to prove you’re somehow much more capable than everyone else. Accept that you have a cold, be kind to yourself and lower your expectations. It’s okay if some things don’t get done until next week.


Get yourself some wholesome snacks. You might not feel like cooking, but don’t fall back on crappy things like biscuits and ice cream. Your body needs good things to help the healing process, so stock up on things like good soups, fruit, smoothies – stuff with actual nutrients in. Shop online for minimum hassle or bribe a child to go out for you.


Stock up on proper supplies – no one feels good about themselves when they’re blowing their nose on their sleeve. I get a horribly sore, red nose when I have a cold, which is always sexy, so I like to treat myself to Kleenex Balsam to help soothe my nose and minimise the Rudolph effect.




food waste hacks

Now is the time to binge on all your favourite TV shows – stuff that’s easy to watch and that makes you feel good. I recommend a bit of lighthearted crime drama – something like Rosemary and Thyme or Death in Paradise? No matter how glum I’m feeling, a brutal murder, closely followed by some cheery Caribbean music, always lifts my spirits.


Stay in your pyjamas all day long. The ultimate treat! This works best if you can take a day off when no one else is at home, as you can properly slob about and not have to worry about anyone else. It can also work if you have older children who won’t demand you play bouncy games with them and who may even be persuaded to fetch you drinks and snacks.


Feed yourself a steady stream of lovely hot drinks. Personally I like something with a bit of a kick to it, to help get all that mucus flowing nicely. (Yum!) Fresh ginger is really lovely when you’re feeling rough – plus it has anti-mucus properties – so try adding a few slices to some hot apple juice, or hot lemon and honey.


hot lemon and ginger


food waste hacksBuy yourself a new book. If your cold is really horrid you might not fancy concentrating on a book, but how about ordering something now anyway, so that you have something lovely to read while you recuperate. I also like rereading old favourites like Nancy Drew and Adrian Mole – going back to characters you know well is very comforting.


food waste hacksTry having a nice steamy bath with some essential oils. They won’t cure your cold, but smells like eucalyptus and lavender are definitely soothing. You want to have it nice and warm, but not so hot that it makes you feel peculiar – I find a bath is much more relaxing if the water is closer to body temperature.


food waste hacksOrder a curry. Apparently chilli peppers can help to open up the sinuses and clear the lungs. Mustard and horseradish can have a similar effect. The added benefit of ordering a curry is that you only have to get out of bed for long enough to open the door and fetch a spoon, then you can get straight back to Death in Paradise in bed on the laptop.

Do you have any top tips for getting rid of colds?

tips to get rid of a cold

Produced in association with Kleenex. Image – ESB Professional/shutterstock.



  1. Keri Jones
    27 March, 2017 / 11:52 am

    I love this post! My son has a cold so I fear I will be needing this list very soon. I will get the menu for the Indian ready ;) x

    • Jo Middleton
      27 March, 2017 / 12:39 pm

      Yep, get that chilli sauce ready! ;-)

  2. 30 March, 2017 / 10:12 am

    OMG! Talk about your timing. This is just what I need today. You are a lifesaver.

  3. 31 March, 2017 / 3:09 am

    The perks of catching a cold, haha! I love this post, especially #4 #5 and of course #1. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Liz
    9 April, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Chocolate for a richly throat or cough is great, it coats the throat and really soothes.

    I usually try and fill myself with lots of hot honey and lemon to try and flush a cold out.

    Balsam tissues are a must!

    I like the bit that says accept you have a cold. That’s very sensible!

  5. Jonathan
    23 June, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    This should be available as a print out or fridge magnet or something that allows you to remind yourself daily that it’s ok to look after yourself too! Especially tricky when your inclined to avoid rest in the interest of making sure your kids don’t miss out on anything. If you have a cold – chill out – you’ll feel better quicker – and every kid loves a movie night at home! Love the list.

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