Getting pretty nifty at spotting a flare up from a few days away. They're - touch wood - becoming fewer and further between. But here is a little plan that I spring (log roll) into action when my throat starts unfathomably croaking and ears start aching.
Essentially, I have convinced myself that the below really helps me to get over a 'bad' spell faster. In reality, who knows. Take this with a pinch of salt (and a handful of multivitamins).
1. DRINK. Literally guzzle as much water as you can. Think of the reusable water bottle as your best pal. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells. Even being mildly dehydrated can make it really hard for your body to carry out normal functions. I keep a bottle by my side and make sure to keep refilling. Try and do a litre and a half in the morning, the same after lunch too.
(If you're feeling really fancy, add some mint, lemon, ginger, a cinnamon stick and a couple of star anise to a jug of hot water and sip away.)
2. Liquid Chlorophyll. If you're drinking water, you may as well add this. It might be psychosomatic and yes, it does sounds a bit OTT, but just embrace your inner Gwyneth Paltrow and get over it. Chlorophyll naturally occurs in the dark green veggies, and by adding a few drops in liquid form to your water theres a chance that you'll be helping your system to destroy germs and get back to an alkaline (happy) state.
3. Set expectation. There is nothing worse than bailing on friends and family last minute, so just give them the heads up now. Unless its your best mate's wedding/your first child is being born, no-one cares if you miss the party. Tell them you're feeling rough. If you recover in time, bonus. If you don't, then at least you wouldn't have been stressing the shall I/shan't I in the lead up.
4. Wash your hair. This is the time to use energy wisely. Forget tasks that really can wait until next week (I'm a sucker for rearranging my wardrobe, whilst avoiding a million other fairly more pressing matters). Don't try and cross off your whole 'to do' list. Trust me - you'll end up feeling more unwell and for longer. But prioritise and judge the things that can't wait or are relatively easygoing.
If nothing else, wash your hair now. Hell no, I don't want to be standing in the shower, washing, brushing and then drying my hair when I'm feeling ridiculously hot/ridiculously cold/a bit rubbish. Do it while you've got the strength and thank me silently later.
5. Be kind. And thats to yourself. Because one of the things that I most dislike about these episodes, is that I can generally pinpoint whereabouts in the lead up I did too much. It's then really easy to berate (kind of similar to hangover guilt), but you're a normal human and if you don't test the boundary every once in a while then how will you know where it lies?
(There was a time when this piece would have really irritated me. Mostly because a bad spell had the capacity to last months, rather than days. Or because washing my hair on a good day was totally out of bounds. Or because there really was no warning to an upcoming tricky time at all. So I've deliberated posting this, but in the hope that it might be read by someone that can identify with this pattern, here it is for the reading)