It’s that time of year again! The days are short, the temperature is dropping, and the sniffles are starting. That’s right, it’s cold and flu season. And while you may be thinking that you can tough it out and power through your to-do list, the cold can significantly impact your productivity at home.
What are Colds?
Most people have experienced colds in their entire lives. However, most of them don’t know how it happens or what causes it.
Colds are caused by viruses that attack people’s respiratory systems, such as the nose and throat. The most common virus that causes is the rhinovirus . The viruses can quickly spread through sneezing, coughing, or even talking close to someone else.
Additionally, colds can be more common during certain seasons like winter and fall. This is because the colder you feel, the more susceptible you are to disease and viruses.
Cold symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, headaches, and body aches. These symptoms can last for about 7-10 days, and there is no cure for the common cold other than letting it run its course and treating the symptoms with medicine or rest. Thankfully, colds aren’t lethal unless they become complications. The most common complications of colds are sinus infections and pneumonia. These complications can be fatal, especially pneumonia.
The Impact on Productivity
Having a cold may not seem like a big deal at first, but it’s important to remember that it is still an illness that affects our bodies. Here are four ways the cold can affect your productivity and what you can do to combat them.
When you’re fighting off a cold, your body works overtime to heal itself. As a result, you may find yourself feeling exhausted all the time. The exhaustion can then take its toll on you, leading to decreased productivity. It can also lead to decreased cognitive function, making your life much more complicated. Exhaustion can also lead to a lack of concentration.
Lack of Concentration
It’s hard to focus when your head is full of congestion, and your nose won’t stop running. It can also get problematic if you’re exhausted at the same time. However, you can deal with exhaustion and lack of concentration by getting enough rest and taking time off if necessary.
Lack of Appetite
Loss of appetite is a common symptom of the cold or flu. But your body won’t have the energy to fight off the infection if you’re not eating. So make sure to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day. Soups and teas can also help soothe a sore throat and ease congestion.
Lack of Motivation
It’s hard to be productive when all you want to do is curl up in bed with a good book (or Netflix show). If you’re feeling low on motivation, try breaking up your work into smaller tasks that you can accomplish easily. For example, write one section or do some research first instead of writing a whole report. Small accomplishments will help give you the boost you need to keep going.
A headache, sore throat, or stuffy nose can make even simple tasks impossible. If you’re in pain, over-the-counter medication can help ease your symptoms and focus on getting your work done. Just follow the instructions on the package and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
Prevention will always be better than cure. So if you want to prevent colds, follow a few options.
Your body temperature is essential when fighting off any disease. You have a couple of options when it comes to heating. If you want a rustic option, consider installing a fireplace in your home. It can also be a great addition to your interior design. Alternatively, you can also invest in a space heater for specific rooms or even electric blankets for when you’re sleeping.
Germs are everywhere and can quickly spread by touching contaminated surfaces or being close to someone sick. So, wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and avoid touching your face unless you’ve washed your hands first. You can also disinfect frequently connected surfaces in the house with cleaning products that contain alcohol or bleach.
A robust immune system will make it easier for your body to fight any illness. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables will give your body the necessary nutrients. Regular exercise and getting enough sleep will also boost your immune system. Supplements like vitamin C or Echinacea can also help with immunity, but consult your doctor before taking any.
Remember that prevention is vital when it comes to colds and
If you’re fighting off a cold this winter, don’t try to power through your work—it will only worsen things in the long run. Instead, take some time for yourself to rest and recover. And if you find yourself struggling with any of these four symptoms, there are things you can do to ease them and get back on track with your productivity goals. Of course, you can also prevent colds entirely by following the tips above.