By Dr Dan Robertson

7 ways to fend off the Christmas cold

Ever find yourself catching a cold just as you're winding down for a break?

Well, with Christmas just a couple of weeks away, we don't want that to happen to you this year. So, to help you keep healthy and stay in tip-top shape, we've put together 7 ways to help you fend off the Christmas cold.christmascold2.jpg

1. Wash your hands regularly

You can pick up the cold virus just by touching someone or something that's carrying them, such as a door handle or toilet flush. Make sure you regularly wash your hands to keep those bugs at bay.

2. Don't share

If someone in your family or at work has a cold, use your own cups, plates and cutlery. Don't share towels and regularly wipe down surfaces to get rid of the bugs.

If it's your little one that's suffering, don't share their toys and make sure you clean anywhere they touch to help stop it spreading to the rest of the family.

3. Stop touching your face!

Ever find yourself rubbing your eyes or touching your mouth or nose without noticing you're doing it? This is an easy way to let those germs get into your body, so avoid touching your face if you can, or make sure your hands are clean if you do.

4. Keep your distance

If someone's coughing and sneezing, try to stay away from them, as that's the most common way to catch a cold.

We know it's not always as easy as that, so if you can't keep your distance, make sure you follow tip number 1 and wipe down anything they may have coughed or sneezed on!

5. Keep stress to a minimum

Recent studies have shown that people who are stressed are more susceptible to colds, because they have weakened immune systems. So, make sure you get chance to relax and unwind, even if you're mega busy. You can read our tips to avoiding stress here.

6. Keep your body healthy

Make sure that you're getting your seven portions of fruit and veg everyday, as well as plenty of exercise to keep your body fighting fit.  

7. Get plenty of sleep

Your body can't fight off germs properly if you're overtired.

Try to get your 8 hours of sleep a night to give yourself the best chance of staying well.

Already feel like you're coming down with something?flu-jab

There are signs that a cold could be on its way. These include:

  • Sore throat - this is one of the first major warning signs a cold may be on its way.
  • Runny nose - the mucus will start off fairly thin and watery, before thickening up.
  • Sneezes - your body will be trying to get rid of the virus in any way it can.
  • Coughs - again, this is your body's way of trying clear the virus.
  • Headache - this can be caused by mucus clogging up your sinuses.
  • Feeling tired - this is common with any virus and is your body's way of telling you that you need rest.

If you're already showing these symptoms, unfortunately it's too late to stop a cold. However, there are things you can do to speed up your recovery time:

Keep hydrated

Water helps you replace any lost fluids from sneezing and sweating, plus it helps loosen any mucus at the back of your throat.

Eating healthily

Comfort food won't do you any good if you're trying to get rid of a cold. You need vitamins and minerals, so get plenty of fruit and veg, as well as broths, soups and oily fish.

Vitamin C

Whether it's eating fresh oranges, drinking freshly squeezed orange juice, or taking a supplement, vitamin C can help give your immune system a boost.

Honey and lemon

If you're suffering from a sore throat, honey and lemon can help soothe your symptoms. Unfortunately it won't speed up your recovery, but it should help you feel a bit better! Give our homemade honey, lemon and ginger tea a go.


This is one of the best ways to speed up recovery from a cold. Your body needs time to recuperate, so going into work won't do you any good.

You're also likely to spread your bugs around the office, which no one will thank you for! So rest up till you're feeling more like yourself.

If you've been struggling to shake off your cold, or if you're feeling particularly under the weather, find out more about how we can help.