Staying Healthy This Winter

We’ve finally reached winter, and with this seasonal change comes a myriad of things like Christmas, sweater weather, limited edition Starbucks drinks, sparkly fairy lights...and colds. Yes, the dropping temperatures mean that while we can finally pull out our long-forgotten parkas and boots, we also have to remember to take care of ourselves to avoid getting sick. Having grown up in Southeast Asia, I always end up struggling getting ready in the fall and winter because I have no idea what “dressing warmly” constitutes. Unsurprisingly, I ended up getting extremely sick early last week. Since I’ve finally recovered from the most common symptoms, I thought it would be useful to compile a list of the products that I feel helped me greatly (especially considering that I live alone and had to rely on myself)! 

1. Wet filter masks

Surgical masks are a common sight in East Asia, where people wear them on a day-to-day basis. I personally only wear them when I’m feeling sick because I don’t like feeling stuffy. So, imagine my surprise when I found out how comfortable wet filter masks are! Shape-wise, these are the same as normal surgical masks -- the only difference is that wet filter masks have a special pocket on the inside where you can slip in pre-moistened filters. These filters are supposed to help your throat stay moisturized overnight, which is extremely helpful for when you have a sore throat! 

2. Humidifiers

In addition to the wet filter masks, my humidifier also helped with my constant coughing. Having a stuffy nose meant that I frequently found myself waking up with a dry mouth, which only amplified the soreness. Using both the masks and a humidifier guaranteed that even if my mask slipped off while I was asleep, my sore throat wouldn’t be as bad as it could be. I got my humidifier at Muji so it’s pretty straightforward in terms of what it does. You don't need to get a fancy one, because all it needs to do is put moisture back into the air! 

3. Cough drops

I don’t know if cough drops actually serve a medical purpose because I only used them to convince myself that I was doing everything I could to get better, but they did do a good job with soothing my throat. Japanese convenience stores have a wide range of flavored throat candies -- the lemon ones are great! -- but the Vicks medicated drops are also nice and noticeably stronger. 

Getting sick in the winter is truly a pain because the recovery process takes forever. No one wants to spend the last month of the year sneezing and blowing their nose every five seconds, so make sure to stay warm, drink lots of water, and take your vitamins!