Ten Essential Items to Combat Winter Colds and Flu

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It’s that time of year, and while I hope none of you are laid low by the virus du jour, it’s always best to be prepared.  Since I’m currently sitting in bed with my laptop, coughing and sniffling (and NOT putting away Christmas decorations!), today I thought I’d share my must-have sickroom comfort items.Ten must-have items to survive winter colds and flu | 11 Magnolia Lane

In no particular order, here’s what I rely on to survive a nasty winter cold or flu:

1. Vick’s VapoRub: I am seriously addicted to Vick’s and have been for years.  I rub it under my nose, on my chest and soles of my feet, then I put nice big fluffy socks on. I’ve also been known to carry one of their inhalers around in my purse or pocket.2. Cloth Hankies: I use my great-grandmother’s handmade handkerchiefs when I’m sick instead of paper tissues.  Even if they have lotion in them, they still dry out my nose and make it red and raw so much faster.  I have dozens of soft cotton hankies, so use one for a few hours then toss it in a lingerie bag to wash. If you don’t have beautiful hand-embroidered hankies, you can usually find them at thrift shops or even on eBay, or just buy new men’s handkerchiefs.  They’ll be plain white cotton squares, but they will feel SO much better on your tender nose!

| Vintage Hankies |

3. Robe and Slippers – I bought this faux fur trimmed robe this year on Amy’s recommendation and absolutely love it. It’s so soft and warm, and makes me look a little bit glamorous even when I feel like death warmed over.

Fur-trimmed robe

There are several styles of matching slippers or booties to choose from, too.  If you tend to wear joggers or yoga pants around the house when you’re feeling under the weather, then it’s no secret that we both swear by this snuggly soft cardigan as a layering piece.

boost your health with bone broth/chicken soup. A natural way to add nutrients and fight off illness.

4. Soup is next on the list, because of course you have to keep your strength up and soup is the perfect way to do it.  If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can make a batch of Amy’s bone broth chicken soup (recipe here), or one of my tried and true soup recipes (recipes here); or you can have someone pick up a to-go order from Panera for you!

5. Maintaining hydration when you’re sick is so important, so I try to keep ice water nearby, alternating with hot liquids like water with half of a lemon or tea.  Whether I’m drinking hot or cold beverages, I really do swear by my YETI tumbler. I have the 20-ounce with lid in white and seafoam and they’re all I use anymore!

6. Aveda Lip Saver is my go-to lip balm and I slather it on during the winter.  Cracked lips are the yuckiest feeling, especially when you’re sick! I usually buy them two at a time with free shipping here.

Aveda Lip Saver

7. A Humidifier continues the theme of hydration; I try to run one in my bedroom throughout the winter. I mentioned this one in my post about Tips for Winter Skin Care and it’s still going strong.

8. Medication: my drug of choice when I do have to medicate is the DayQuil/NyQuil combination.  I know that everyone has their personal preference and some of y’all can make it through using just essential oils and determination; often I can, too, but NyQuil sure helps me get a decent night’s sleep, which is so important.

9. Book/AudioBook– I use our local library’s digital collection to check out eBooks and audiobooks and buy very few books these days as a result.  One of my favorite things to do is check out an eBook and it’s audiobook counterpart simultaneously so I can switch back and forth between the two.  That way I can listen when I’m walking the dog or doing errands/housework, and read when I’m relaxing.  The audiobook feature is key when I’m not feeling good enough to read, too.  If you don’t have a local library with a good digital collection, then of course you can buy anything under the sun from Amazon and download their Kindle app on your phone; no eReader required.  I’m currently reading The Last Tudor and that link is to an eBook version and an audiobook (through Audible.com).

10. Last but not least, I disinfect everything to make sure no one shares their germs with the rest of the family. Computer keyboards, phones, faucets, doorknobs, all of that gets wiped down with this disinfectant spray. I know a lot of you use a spray made with OnGuard or Thieves essential oils (or a similar combination) that smells yummy and disinfects. We also swear by our HomeRight SteamMachines because they disinfect with the power of steam instead of chemicals.


All that being said, I sincerely hope you make it through the winter without needing to implement any of these suggestions.  Drink your lemon water, get plenty of rest, and wash those hands, and with any luck you’ll avoid it altogether. Now, I’m going back to bed!

Thanks for stopping by~

Final New Christy headshot 2015
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  1. Patty Morris says

    Christy, praying for your speedy recovery!

    • Patty–
      Thank you! I’m about to head to bed and try to sleep it off; I’m thankful this is a pretty light week and I can take it easy. I appreciate the prayers so much!

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