6 Things You Should Avoid When You Have a Cold

Let’s be real— no one likes to come down with the common cold.  Although it’s considered relatively harmless, it can be downright frustrating to feel under the weather with a stuffy nose, pounding head, and raspy cough. In order to heal as quickly as possible, you should make sure to avoid the following things. 

Running Your Air Conditioner Too High 

It’s a common misconception that you can only catch a cold in the winter.  Plenty of people catch colds in the summer too. Even though you might be tempted to run your air conditioner on max to keep temperatures down, you should avoid turning it up too high. Extremely cold air can aggravate your stuffy nose and cough, and prolong your coughing and sniffling.   


You’ve probably heard that you should drink liquids when you’re sick to feel better sooner. Before you reach for that icy cocktail, remember, not all liquids are created the same. Drinking alcohol can be problematic for your immune system and lower your defenses. Even though it may seem like a harmless glass of wine, the truth is that it isn’t so harmless, particularly if you’re taking cold medication. You’re better off drinking hot tea, water, or juice until you start to feel better.  

Physical Exertion 

We get it, you don’t want to fall behind on your exercise program, even if you’re feeling under the weather. However, exerting yourself physically can lead to lengthening your illness even more. Rather than extreme workouts, settle for a brisk walk, or another form of moderate physical activity as long as it’s not too intense. 


Everybody loves a little comfort food when they’re feeling sick. However, sugar, like alcohol, can lower your immune system’s ability to defend itself. Try to avoid sugar for a few days until you start to feel better. Your body will be much more effective at fighting off whatever you’ve come down with. 


One of the worst things you can do when you’re sick is travel by plane.  For one, you’re putting other travelers at risk for catching whatever you have through a recycled air system. Not to mention, traveling itself is extremely exhausting. From standing in long lines to sitting in the same spot for hours on end, travel is something that’s much better suited for occasions when you’re feeling healthy. 


The same rules apply to work— don’t put your fellow employees at risk by going to work while ill!  If you’re truly sick, then treat yourself a sick day or two by getting the rest you deserve and take a break. If you must, try working from home remotely, however, if your job doesn’t have the possibility for remote work, then give yourself an old-fashioned sick day in bed!