Unless you're one of those annoying people who never gets sick, you get sick. It's usually in winter, when you're forced into close proximity with the dripping, shivering disease vectors known as colleagues or, heaven help you, children. However, because life is unfair there are spring, summer and autumn colds too and they can take you by surprise. Here's how to cope with the hell of mild illness.

Tissue samples

Unless you take evasive action, your house, pockets, handbag and desk will become a poisonous snowdrift of moist tissues. One life hack is to hang on to an empty tissue box — you'll have at least one after a day of sniffling — and put the used tissues into that. Don't leave it next to the real tissues, because there's nothing worse than grabbing a handful of what feels like cold mashed potato but is, in fact, far worse.

Supply dump

Your admirable clean-eating willpower has kept chips and chocolate banned from the pantry, and you wouldn't give a second glance to Powerade however hypnotically azure its depths. Good for you. But now you've fallen ill with nothing nice in the house and when you're sick calories are medicinal — because, science. Twisties are an actual verified cold remedy, provided you don't look that up to see if it's true. Fortunately nearly everything delicious can be delivered to your home, so eat yourself sick until you've eaten yourself well.

Red nose day

Chafing to your nose is one of the trials of a cold. It might say "aloe vera" on the side of the tissue box but it might as well say broken glass and fishhooks for all the good it's doing you. You could rub Vaseline under your nose, or you could just let it run and tell people that shiny substance is Vaseline. If you're a masochist you could even rub Vicks on it, which is just Vaseline with added tear gas. It might help you breathe easier and the burning sensation builds character.


Water works

Rest and fluids, the vicious duo. You may want to stay in bed all day, but keeping your fluids up will make you need the loo. You'll be endlessly dragging yourself from pillow to porcelain, trudging through the cold in the kind of picturesque misery Dickens would have written if he'd thought of it. If only chamberpots were still cool. Also, unless your kettle is beside the bed like some kind of 1950s domestic fantasy and fire hazard, you'll have to go to the kitchen for your healing lemon, honey, and maybe-a-little-bit-of-whiskey-okay-a-lot drinks. It's all a chore, and you'll be over your cold long before you're actually over your cold.

Pulling a sickie

So much stigma attaches to fake sick days that some people feel awkward calling in a real one. You're contagious until your symptoms are gone, so it's cruel to bring them to work and force them on other people like a batch of sugar-free cupcakes. Call in sick, and replace the compulsory third-day doctor's note with a box of your used tissues. If anyone doubts you're really sick, they're welcome to grab a handful.