Tips and LifeHacks for Surviving the Common Cold

Most of us will get ill at least a couple of times a year and be forced to take time off of work while we sit around the house feeling sorry for ourselves. For the vast majority of the time the culprit here is the common cold, a bug that is always raising its head and giving us grief and that never really stays gone for long.

And colds really do give us grief. Unfortunately a cold does much more than just make us feel ill and rob us of our energy – it also causes us to cough a lot, to get snot everywhere, to sneeze and to shiver. We lose sleep, we irritate our friends and family and we engage in bad habits that just make matters worse… It’s a really rather pitiful affair and it’s something we understandably dread all year round.

What you need then is a survival guide: a selection of tips that can help make the symptoms of a cold that much easier to live with and that can make you that much easier to live with for everyone else… Here are some life-hacks and suggestions that will do just that.


When you have a cold you’re likely to get through a load of tissues. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, but it does often lead to hundreds of screwed up and snotty tissues discarded around the room. Not nice for housemates!

A simple trick that will solve this problem then is to use an elastic band to attach old tissue boxes to your new ones. This way you can take the tissues out of the new box and then throw them away into the old one right next to it when done. Less effort and less mess!

Scratching a Tickle

When you have a tickly throat you’ll be overcome with the urge to cough or to clear it. Unfortunately this makes life worse often by aggravating the sore area; and it’s another quick way to irritate everyone around you.

One trick that may work for you then is to try scratching one ear. This stimulates the throat due to connected nerves which will often help (though not always).

Another trick? Buy yourself some marshmallows. They’re great for a sore throat and also… they’re delicious!

Sleeping With a Cold

Sleeping with a cold can be an absolute nightmare, but there are one or two things you can do to make it a bit easier. The first is to drink lots of water. You actually get a much better quality of sleep when you’re hydrated, so if you drink lots of water throughout the day and evening you’ll feel less groggy even when you don’t get as much sleep as you’d like. This will also help dilute your phlegm through the night.

Another tip is to throw in an extra pillow to help keep yourself propped up. This will help to prevent your nose from blocking while you sleep and thereby prevent snoring and apnea.

Wear Layers

Constant temperature changes are no fun when you have a cold and are in fact one of the most unpleasant aspects. One minute you’re shivering and need to layer up with extra jumpers, the next you’re sweating and feeling disgusting.

The solution is to choose clothes that are naturally conducive to being layered up. That means cardigans, hoodies, vests and other layers that can be piled on one after another. This way you can quickly and easily add and remove layers as your temperature fluctuates.

Something that can also help is to wear socks – and keep them on while you sleep. This will help your body to regular temperature in the same way a hat can, as you lose a lot of heat through the top and bottom of your body.

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