Common Sense for the Common Cold
(c) 2004 by Ross Anthony

to your health

Isn't it great waking up alive? If you're healthy and you're not happy, kick yourself in the butt because (to paraphrase the late great Frank Zappa) it is so f'n good to be alive. Don't believe in miracles? Tell me how your intestines digest your breakfast without telling you? Tell me how the heart and lungs work together to get oxygen to your brain. Is this not awesome? And it's you. It's all yours baby. Zappa was right -- you are so f'n lucky to have all that working for you. That said, it sucks to be sick. Sometimes it can't be helped, but sometimes it can. If you love your health and hate being sick, but think catching a cold or kicking it are out of your hands -- here are some common sense strategies that work for me. Ross' big ideas on how to RECOVER FROM A COLD/FLU:
1) Get 9-12 hours of sleep every night (8 hours min) -- no cheating. Then after you think you're all better, sleep 9 hours for the next two nights anyway.
2) Drink 2+ big cups of a "NOT FROM CONCENTRATE" citrus product every day. (I swear by Tropicana).
3) Don't be cold! This is the new millennium, there is never any excuse to be cold. Cold robs the body of the energy it was going to use to kick that bug. (I always carry extra sweaters and scarves in my vehicle).
4) Vietnamese Chicken soup! (This is truly medicinal -- great for your sinuses and soar throat.) If you can't find Vietnamese, experiment with available freshly made chicken soups. And use a big bowl so that steam gets in your face.
5) Soar throat? Chocolate chip cookies.
6) Try not to blow your nose, try not to cough too much (I know that's hard).
7) I hate to admit it, but I think taking a cold medicine at night helps (if only because you'll sleep better). I'm using Alka-Seltzer Night-Time.
8) Limit physical activity. Though sometimes a good workout can help sweat out a cold. You be the judge. And in case you're lucky enough to normally have sex twice a day (you should probably cut down on that -- and don't get your partner sick!)
9) Brush your teeth often (every four hours -- and in the middle of the night when you get up to pee).
10) Relax, take a few days off of work (and/or a few hours off the work day). Take naps when you're sleepy.
There once was a beautiful, intelligent, dedicated teacher. After three days of telling herself she wasn't really sick, she woke up and had to admit to herself that she was sick. Still, there was so much work to be done at school, so she took some hard medicine and worked through it. As smart as she was, she didn't make the connection when four kids in the first row were out sick the following week. I'll quote my webmanager, "It takes 3 days to get sick, 3 days to be sick, and 3 days to get better." I don't know if that's perfectly accurate, but it sure feels true. So, once I realize I'm sick, my goal is to be healthy in one week. Better yet: AVOID BEING SICK! Feel a cold coming on?
1) tickle in your throat or lungs,
2) a cough, a sneeze?
3) body temperature fluctuations at night,
4) drowsiness,
5) excessive phlegm,
6) fatigue.
If you feel any of those symptoms, kick the 10-point regiment into gear right away and you may be able to avert being sick. (In my experience, that works 80% of the time.) Even better yet: STAY HEALTHY! I think colds are around us all the time. It's our strength that keeps them from getting into our systems. Everyone is trying to look good; the truth is we all have such awesome bodies! But when your body is cold, your strength weakens to compensate, you're at risk to catch a cold (hence the name, I assume). So don't be cold! Ever! This is a choice thing. Don't weaken your system. More Ways to weaken your system (and make you vulnerable to catch a cold):
1) Being cold. (For me, my neck and chest are the most vulnerable -- so I wear turtlenecks and scarves. How appropriate -- I'm author!).
2) Skipping sleep (That will usually make me grumpy).
3) Skipping meals (That will usually give me a headache).
4) Over-exercise (especially combined with being cold is dangerous)
5) Hanging around sick people.
6) Not washing your hands often (especially if you rub your eyes).
7) Not drinking NOT-FROM-CONCENTRATE citrus everyday.
8) Riding a motorcycle. -- I didn't own a car for 7 years. And for 5 of those I road a motorcycle (which is already pretty dangerous). But I liked it and it was economical (I'm and author and the bike got 75 mpg!). Anyway, last year, when I bought the van to do booksignings -- I noticed that I got sick substantially less often. Btw, my case is extreme, I road the bike in 40-60 degree weather (the brutal LA winter).
9) Wet hair on a cool day. A huge percent of body heat is lost through the head. Odd, but interesting fact nonetheless.
10) Biting your nails, licking stamps, licking envelopes, licking your finger to grab a sheet of paper.
Anyway, that's what works for me, I'm an Author, not a doctor! So here's the DISCLAIMER: Take these recommendations at your own risk. If they work for you let me know, or if you know of something that works for you, let me know too and perhaps I'll post it. ( subject: ESSAYS-FEEDBACK:) Enjoy your day and your health.
Ross Anthony


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Copyright © 2004. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:28:55 PDT