Stop Getting Sick | Self Care

I've worked in retail for nearly two years, now - that's two years of close quarters with hundreds of people from all over the world, day in, day out (you think I'm exaggerating, but I work on Oxford Street, the busiest shopping location in London). Obviously, germs are a fun bonus for this kind of wild lifestyle, and picking up every weird cold, bug, and virus going is inevitable...but, there are some ways you can prevent yourself from being bed-bound for three days.

1. HAND SANITISER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.
Invest in one that smells nice, so you don't constantly smell like the inside of a doctor's surgery, and you've won half the battle. Ideally, you should use it at least every time you eat or drink anything, but forcing your nearest and dearest to use some every time they cough or sneeze is always a good idea, too. My favourite is the PocketBac range from Bath & Body Works, but The Body Shop do a great range, here in the UK.
2. THE BEST DEFENCE IS A GOOD...DEFENCE?
So, the worst has happened; you can feel your throat getting scratchy, your sinuses are swollen, that last cough sounded a touch too 'chesty'. There's still hope! My assistant manager at work recommended First Defence by Vicks, which is this handy little nasal spray (eww, I know), which kills the virus setting up camp in your body before it has a chance to do any damage. Sounds too good to be true, but it actually works (unless your boyfriend nearly chokes on it...but that's a story for a different day). Pair it with some Tiger Balm before bed (think Vapour Rub, with a nicer smell), and you just might wake up cold and flu free.
3. WHEN THE WORST HAS HAPPENED...
So, despite all your best efforts, you're ill. Keep using the nasal spray and balm, grab yourself some Night Nurse, and keep hydrated! Drink as much water as you can stomach, but if you need something with a bit of flavour, sugary drinks like Lucozade can be a good idea, especially when you're struggling to eat. And, if you're feeling sick, ginger beer or ginger ale should settle your stomach nicely. Aside from that, my personal recommendation would be chain-watching a new series on Netflix, or playing video games that involve lots of mindless shooting - good for blowing off steam.

  4. THE AFTERMATH.
So, you've moped for a few days, wrapped up in your duvet with tissues never too far away. And then, blissfully, your sense of smell returns, along with your appetite. You can keep your eyes open for more than an hour without the need to have a disco nap...everything seems to be going well. And then you catch sight of yourself in the mirror - bloodshot eyes, dry skin, post-flu-puffy face - it's all just one big hot mess. Find yourself a good moisturising face mask - my favourite is Nuxe's 24-hour Soothing mask - and an even better eye mask (like Sephora's lotus eye mask), and you'll be as good as new by the time you have to venture out in public, I promise.
What are your top tips for avoiding (or getting over) viruses?
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6 Things People with Depression Wish You Knew | Mental Health

Disclaimer: This post stems mostly from personal experience, and from that of my friends' - I'm in no way suggesting that all depression incites the same reactions, or that everyone who's depressed behaves the same way.
These are just some things that happen to a lot of depressed people, and isn't always easy to explain.
1. WE GET LONELY. A LOT.
In a room full of crowded people. Late at night. During the working day. Sometimes, it just hits us, for no reason at all...but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate you checking up on us, spending time with us, and just generally being around. 

2. WE BLAME OURSELVES. FOR EVERYTHING.
If someone doesn't respond to our message in the group chat? We said something stupid. If we don't get included in plans with friends? No one wants us around. That time our drink got spiked and we threw up in the back of a cab? How could we possibly be so stupid?
No, it doesn't make sense, and yes, basic logic would deduce a million reasons why we weren't to blame, but we'll still find a way. We're not looking for attention, we're genuinely worried we've done something wrong. 

3. WE'LL PROBABLY BE A PAIN TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH.
Sometimes, we just need to not talk to anyone, to have a little time alone. No, it's not always healthy to isolate ourselves, but sometimes it's the only way to cope. The best invitation in the world, be it our best friend's birthday, an interview, or the wedding of the century, probably won't pull us out of our cocoon. It's nothing personal, and it doesn't mean we don't care about you. Honestly.

4. WE NEED REASSURANCE. A LOT.
'Are you sure it's okay?', 'how about this bit?', 'really?': we're not fishing for compliments, but if we did well, we really need to know. And we probably need to check, at least 5 times. Whether you're a colleague, a friend, our SO, whether you have to explain a thousand times that we haven't screwed up, why you love us, or why you keep us around...just be patient. 

5. SOMETIMES, WE SNAP. IT'S NOT PRETTY.
Depression can do weird things to our perception. We'll bottle things that bother us up for months - things that we maybe know are irrational - and eventually, it gets too much, and we explode. That comment you made 6 weeks ago, that thing you didn't invite us to, last month? It all bubbles to the surface, and our hurt feelings all come out, at once. It's not because we've been building a case against you, or harbouring resentment, we just try to tell ourselves it's all in our head, sometimes, and it doesn't always work. We know it's wrong, but it's just how we cope.

6. WE CAN'T 'SNAP OUT OF IT'.
We wish we could. We know it hurts you, too. We know we don't always handle things well, and that we don't have the healthiest of coping mechanisms. If we could just 'get over it', we would. 
Do you have depression, or know someone who does? What do you wish you could tell people about it?
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