Evil Gal Productions

Mere Smith
is a recovering Southerner,
longtime TV writer,
author and blogger.
April 4th, 2016 by Mere Smith

The Year of Blogging: 4-4-16

I don’t get sick.

I don’t get sick.

I don’t get sick.

I say this like a mantra. If you believe, like I do, that your conscious mind has a measure of control over the physical processes of your body (anyone who’s ever done really hard yoga, or battled through a panic attack, would probably agree), then repeating I don’t get sick can go a long way towards keeping your mind from focusing on the sniffles/scratchy throat/fatigue and mentally extrapolating it out to OH NO OH MY GOD I’M SICK I’M DYING. Because in my experience, once you do that, it becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. Every worry sublimates into a physical twinge, every twinge transforms into a symptom. Basically, I believe you can think yourself into certain sicknesses – or at the very least, make them worse or longer-lasting by dwelling on them. (It goes without saying – even though I’m ’bout to say it – that this only applies to certain illnesses. I’m not sitting here going, “Just THINK your way out of cancer, you weakling!”)

That said, I’ve had the flu the last five days.

Granted, it’s the first flu I’ve had in several years, but flu nonetheless.

Much as I’d like to believe chanting I don’t get sick, I don’t get sick is some magical ward – it ain’t. Sometimes there are just fucker viruses you can’t meditate your way out of. But what you can do is choose how to respond to your illness. (And again for the cheap seats [ah hell, who am I kidding? allll the seats in here are cheap] – I’m specifically talking cold and flu viruses right now. You shouldn’t choose how to approach gangrene. Get that shit looked at by a professional, son.) This time, I chose to respond to the flu with a regimen: almost like building bigger muscles at the gym, I decided to build my immune system to drive out the invader. Rather than just “letting the flu take its course,” I decided to actively help my own body fight it.

And now, on Day 5, I’m already back at… I’d say 95%. Which is pretty fucking awesome, considering.

So here’s my regimen, take or leave as you will.

  • The suckiest part first: flu gives you fever. Fever is an increase in your body temperature that makes it less habitable for viruses and bacteria, which are temp-sensitive. Naturally, at the first sign of fever, you will be tempted to take something that reduces it, but for the first 24 hours – don’t. Endure your fever. It’s going to suck. Accept that. But let your body do the work it evolved to do. At hour 24:00:01, mainline the Tylenol or ibuprofen. You’ve earned it.
  • Drink water.
  • If your throat hurts, I highly recommend Cepacol lozenges. They don’t even pretend to be a cough suppressant; they’re called “oral pain relievers” because they numb your throat like a shot of Novocain, which is great when you feel like you’ve just swallowed a bunch of razors. If you have a cough, try cough drops (until Fever Marathon is over, then feel free to dose up on whatever cough/cold medicine you like).
  • Drink water.
  • Emergen-C: take it with a small amount of water (4 oz.) and shoot that shit down like tequila, twice a day. Once when you get up in the morning, and once around 4 in the afternoon. (The package says you should only take it once a day, but what can I say, I’m a rebel with no respect for authority.)
  • Drink water.
  • Get extra sleep. Sacrifice plans and obligations to ensure it. Not enough sleep – extra sleep. There’s all kind of research on the healing effects of sleep. Look it up. I’m not Google. *kiss emoji*
  • Drink water.
  • Flu Yoga! The main purpose here is to keep that lymphatic fluid (filled with those badass white blood cells, or lymphocytes) circulating around your entire body. Do this sequence of exercises three times a day:
legs-up-the-wall

 

Legs up the wall, to move lymphatic fluid into your torso.

downward-dog_0

 

Downward-facing dog, to move lymphatic fluid up to your chest and head, and to drain your sinuses

201506-yjmag-bridge-spinning

 

Bridge, to push those white cells into your throat, and stimulate your thymus – a very important lymph node in the center of your chest

92955135-add3-43a6-8411-f89370f85b29-2060x1236

 

Easy spinal twist, which tends to squeeze toxins out of your organs and tissues like wringing a dishcloth

  • Drink water.
  • You may feel like crap, but try to shower at least once a day. The steam will help with your sinuses, the heat will help your body aches, and you won’t feel like a disgusting slimy sick person, which can make the illness part feel even worse. Okay maybe that last one is just me.
  • Drink water.
  • Rest. This is different than sleep, because you’re awake (earth-shattering duh). Seek quiet, low-stimulus, low-responsibilty time, if you can get away with it. If not, you can try resting your mind while being active by inhaling and exhaling deep breaths whenever you can. Just, y’know, try not to deep breathe on anyone.
  • Drink water.

Doing all these things cut my recovery time by a lot. From a tickle in the throat on Thursday to sitting here at 95% on Monday. Quickest I’ve ever bounced back from the flu, and I believe it’s because I actively worked to help my immune system, rather than just sitting by passively and “getting through it.”

Okay, gotta go jump back into THE NOVEL now. Pretty stoked after being away from it for three days.  

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