This week I struggled for a subject to write a longer post on when it came to the subject of beauty and beauty related things. I grappled for an idea, when suddenly, like a message from above, it hit me, and hit me hard.
No, this post won’t be exclusively about bronchitis, but it will be about how to feel more like yourself and how to enjoy the products you use every day, while you’re battling a cold, infection, virus, what have you.
I used to get bronchitis every year as a kid, so when I started to get a dry, raw cough that kind of felt like a hole in my chest, I did what any 25-year-old might do, and tried to self-medicate for a few days. I don’t recommend it, but I took some cough syrup and hoped that this was not bronchitis. I had also already planned a night out in New Jersey to see some friends for my boyfriend’s brother’s birthday, so I wasn’t going to miss that just because of a little cough.
Come Sunday morning after the birthday celebration, and I couldn’t tell if it was the one (one!) shot I was convinced to do or the hacking cough that had me feeling so low. Either way, the alcohol probably didn’t help, and by Monday it was time to see an actual doctor. One listen to my chest and a solemn nod, and my prognosis was clear. Bronchitis it was! Next time I should probably forgo the alcohol and see a doctor sooner.
In the meantime, here are some of my words of wisdom on how to feel a little more like yourself while you’re recovering from/dealing with an illness.
Moisturize and hydrate
Every time I say the word “moisturize” to myself, I get an image ofLady Cassandra from Doctor Who, screaming “MOISTURIZE ME” and imagine strange men in suits misting me with a water planter.
Sounds nice, right?
Not if you’re basically just skin and a face. Anyways.
Since moving into a new place and dealing with dry air all winter long, boyfriend conceded and purchased a humidifier, which has been a godsend. As a cool mist humidifier, I’m not sure what the exact differences are between this and a warm mist (besides temperature), but it has made our bedroom much more tolerable, and in the first few days, has really helped my chest congestion. It also seems to have helped his winter nosebleeds!
This one from Crane is available at Target and comes in a bunch of funky colors. The one night I went without it, my nose was in absolute agony.
Don’t forgo the H2O
We’re all told that we need to drink more fluids, and this one can’t be any truer than when we’re sick. Now, there’s only one time you can rip my coffee from my cold dead hands, other than me actually being dead, and that’s when I’m sick. I’ve learned that I can’t even drink soy milk when I’m sick. Anything in milk form makes it that much worse. Water and tea are where it’s at. Treat yourself to your favorite brand of tea, and get to brewin’.
Don’t forget the actual moisturizer as well. For nighttime, I’ve been favoring this Organic Hydrating Day Cream by Boots Botanics. I know it’s a “day cream,” but it lacks any SPF, which I prefer in my daytime products. It’s formulated with rose hip, jojoba, and cocoa butter and feels amazing around my Rudolph-esque nose right about now.
During the day, I’ve been favoring a combo of these three products — the Sea-Results duo I reviewed here and Biore’s KAO JAPAN AQUA RICH SPF50+/PA++++ Sunscreen. I’ve been using the serum followed by the Biore sunscreen during the day, and alternating the moisturizing gel/Boots at night.
Don’t feel obligated to wear makeup!
As someone who’s just getting back into the swing of things with beauty and has no qualms telling you this, it might be easier for me than others to go without a full face of makeup. But Saturday night, when we were on our way to go out, I felt like I needed to make my sick, pale face look somewhat presentable, so I flipped down the mirror in the car, got out my mascara, looked at it, and put it directly back in my bag.
My eyebrows were somewhat filled/shaped, my skin was kind of even, so I swiped on the NARS Satin Lip Pencil I got from Sephora for my birthday and called it a night.
Two days later, when I was at the doctor’s office, no one noticed if I was wearing mascara or not because they could barely hear my voice when I talked. Filling in my brows that day did make me more confident in my presentation. A full face of makeup, however, with the sweats and chills I had? Probably not.
Treat your body right, whatever that means to you
One of my biggest goals for moving into this new apartment was eating better. Boyfriend and I have been severely lacking when it comes to getting the right nutrition due to our move and his work schedule just before it.
Sunday night, when we came home from a terrifying trip to Ikea (we still desperately need a bed frame), we were both famished and unsure about what to do for dinner. I had a pork roast in the fridge that I’d been wanting to make all weekend, but I just couldn’t do it. I felt extremely guilty about not cooking, yet again, but my head was pounding, my chest was raw, and all I wanted was my bed. And maybe some wonton soup.
So we got Chinese food, and I made the roast a few days later.
Treating yourself right doesn’t just begin and end with food, either. By my second day of staying home, I was ready to get out of the apartment. I was at least going to walk six blocks and catch the bus to Starbucks. But I got through the six blocks, saw the Walgreens at the corner, bought some tissues and a water and turned right back home. By the time I got back to my apartment, I felt like I was breathing through a hole in my chest. Despite starting to feel a little better, I was probably only operating at 50 percent but had tricked myself into thinking otherwise.
Don’t do this to yourself. Stay in bed, put on a sheet mask, paint your nails, and make the time fly.
A hot shower is bliss, but if you can’t…
Get on that dry shampoo train. If you’re too sick to get out of bed, or if it just doesn’t feel manageable, and you want to look presentable for visitors (or maybe just to feel a little more human), get yourself some dry shampoo. I’ve been loving Aveda’s Shampure Dry Shampoo.
Obviously, since a chunk of the label has worn off.
Take this time to enjoy yourself
Seems counterintuitive right? How can you possibly enjoy yourself when you’re sick? Well, you can’t. But you can try. As awful as your might feel, like I mentioned earlier, use this time to pamper yourself. Put on your favorite sheet mask and lay completely still and let it go to work while you binge that show you’ve been meaning to get to on Netflix. You have to rest, and there isn’t a better time than this to hydrate and replenish your skin!
If you can’t get out of bed, bring your beauty fun to you and set up your nail kit on a bedside table or one that can easily be brought up to your lap. Being sick is the perfect opportunity to do your nails, because you can’t really do anything to screw them up (except maybe sneezing, that is!)
Whatever winter ailments happen to strike you this season, I hope they’re quick and mostly painless, and that you get back to your routines as quickly as possible.
Now I’m going to go make some tea and finally wash my hair.