Surviving Cold Season at Work

This post is my third in my “How to survive work” series (see #1 and #2 here)

Remember that cold I mentioned having in Friday’s post?? Well it’s now Monday and it’s still kicking my ass! I haven’t had a cold in years so I forgot just how inconvenient they can be and just how miserable they can make you feel! Add in Monday and some current feelings I have about my job (more on that in a later post), and I wasn’t the most joyful person to be around yesterday. However, I did manage to survive the day so I wanted to share my tips on how to get through the work day when all you want to do is stay at home snuggled in a warm blanket!

I’m kind of a germaphobe and I get really freaked out when people are sick at work so I have created my own defense system (other than walking around covering my face!) to fight away the germs that are inevitably spread during this time of year.

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Tips to Avoid Getting Sick:

  1. Clean/sanitize: During cold & flu season I always keep some Lysol wipes in my office and I do a quick wipe down of everything at least once a day. It takes 10 seconds and it’s so worth it to kill any bugs that might have made their way into your work space!
  2. Wash your hands: It’s nice to assume that everyone is washing their hands properly so that they are not spreading their germs, but it’s not always the reality. Wash your hands well and often during cold & flu season to keep yourself healthy!
  3. Hydrate: It’s always important to stay hydrated, but it’s extra helpful during cold & flu season, especially when the seasons change and the air becomes dryer. A well hydrated body helps your immune system fight any viruses it might encounter.
  4. Eat right: This goes with hydrating, but eating well and keeping yourself healthy is your best defense to getting sick.
  5. Don’t be afraid to say speak up: If someone is at work and you can tell that they are too sick to be there, tell someone! Tell them, their manager, or your HR department. When someone comes into work sick it’s not good for their recovery, and it’s really not fair to everyone around them.

If you are one of the unlucky ones who ends up working with a cold, I have a few tips for you to get through the day.

Tips for Surviving Work with a Cold:

  1. Reschedule your day: If you are working with a cold, the last thing you want to do is spend time in meetings feeling miserable, not adding anything worthwhile to the meeting, and potentially infecting others. As soon as you get into the office, check your calendar and either reschedule your meetings or send someone else in your place. If you absolutely can’t do either one of those, see if you can conference in from your office – you coworkers will thank you!
  2. Keep hydrated, and preferably not with coffee: Your body needs fluids, fluids and more fluids when you are sick so make sure you constantly have a glass/bottle of water at your desk and drink as much tea as you can. The warmth of the tea will feel comforting and soothe a sore throat, if you have one.
  3. Don’t skip lunch: It’s so tempting to not eat when you have a cold but it’s especially important to eat something if you are work. Not eating will lower your blood sugar and make you feel worse, so even if all you can handle is some soup, have that.
  4. Redo your To-Do list: The first thing you should do after prioritizing your meetings is rethink your to-do list for the day. Make a note of everything that absolutely has to be completed today and give yourself a pass if nothing else gets accomplished.
  5. Wash your hands! Ok, this one is more for everyone around you, but it’s so, so important. Wash your hands, and try to keep contact with others at a minimum. It’s bad enough that you had to work while sick, but it’s even worse if you infect everyone else!
  6. Relax: Once the day is over (early if you’re lucky!), go home, put on some comfy clothes and spend the rest of the day/evening with Netflix. You deserve it!

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Please note that this post is only for working with a cold! Everything else usually requires a sick day so please use your judgement and think about your coworkers when deciding to go into work when you are not feeling well!

Hope this helps! And if you’re down with this cold that I have, I hope you feel better soon!

-SS

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