The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide to Colds Season

You’re a grown-ass woman, you know the autumn game. Fun foliage, fresh pencils, pumpkin spice lattes if you’re into that sort of thing, regular person’s hot drinks if you’re not, sweaters and black tights and Thanksgiving and the constant, impending threat of illness. Ugh. Gross. The changing temperatures, close quarters, busier schedules and shorter days combine in a real cornucopia of possible disease-inflicters, and the common cold seems to be a lot more common than it was a month ago. It’s not the end of the world, though. You can do it.

Cough into your sweater, not your hand

This is really good advice that I learned from a transit poster on the tube in London. (See also: “A little courtesy won’t harm you.” #england) You can wash all those germs out of your sweater or coat when you get home, and you’re not touching things like your phone, or your desk, or other people’s hands and faces (maybe) with your sweater, which means you’ll be spreading fewer mucus particles around. …it goes without saying that you NEED to cover your mouth, right? Like, you should have to go to person jail immediately if you don’t because now everyone else around you is upset if you just free-cough into the middle of the bus. Speaking of the bus…

Public transport is happening, deal with it.

It feels like there is disease everywhere on the TTC. I get it. But you just have to carry on with your day. Say “bless you” to people who are sneezing and offer tissues if you have them to someone who needs them. We’re all in this [cramped metal cannister of human suffering] together. And as a piece of general life advice: you probably do not need a SARS mask.

Fluids really do help

The thing is that you need a lot of them. Like, way way more than you think. A warm cup of Neocitran is not going to do it unless it’s followed by thirty warm cups of regular hot lemon water. You need to drink until you can drink no more. I successfully peed out a cold last week by spending the entire day by a kettle brewing pot after pot of something my friend Shauna calls “Douchebag Tea.” Named after the Douche who taught her to make it, this potent brew is a simmered down litre of water with ginger, lemon, honey, and a teabag of your choice, reduced to one cup of spicy cold-killing goodness. Finally, a douche that’s good for women.

Time to smarten up

Summer is for crazy nights on patios and eating fried butter (I guess, if you’re disgusting and love the Ex/Instagram), but autumn is for learning how to make homemade soup and remembering what it feels like to take care of yourself. Drink a bit less, exercise a bit more, try to consume lots of fruits and veggies and get as much rest as you need. It’s duvet weather, after all. Take advantage. 


There is honestly no worse person in the world than the person who goes “Omgggg get away from meeeee you’re going to make me SICK ew grossss!!!” when you tell them you’re coming down with a cold. These people are having a hard time already. They wake up with dry-ass mouths and can’t breathe out of their noses most of the time. Food tastes like the colour beige looks. They do NOT need your guilt trip and also it’s that time of year, do you really think you are above getting sick? It’s going to happen to you eventually and do you want someone who’s going to germ-shame you about something over which you have no control and give you stink eye for blowing your nose as though they’d rather watch the snot slowly drip out of your nostrils and onto the ground than have you feel a bit better because they “hate that noise”?? Get a grip.

Follow Monica on twitter: @monicaheisey

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