There's nothing worse than waking up sniffling, blocked up and shivering from head to toe. Well, actually there is realising you don't have any of the essentials to get you through the dreaded cold that has just greeted you. As the last thing you'll want to do is get your aching bones out of bed and head to the chemist, why not get prepared this winter before you get struck down.
Here are some must-haves for your top-notch cold and flu survival kit:
Lemon and honey
The power combo every cold sufferer turns to. According to the Mayo Clinic, lemon water with honey helps with congestion, prevents dehydration and soothes your throat. Honey also acts as a cough suppressant. Simply add lemon juice and honey to a cup of boiling water and the drink will calm your throat, clear your nose and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Make sure you stock up on the high-quality kind. Who wants to blow their nose on scratchy toilet paper when there are four ply Aloe Vera-infused tissues sitting in the supermarket calling your name?
All warm liquids are soothing to the cold sufferer, but chicken soup has been a go-to cold remedy for centuries. Not only is it yummy, there's been talk that the celebrated soup actually has medicinal properties. The Mayo Clinic says chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory and can assist in the movement of mucus and congestion.
Cold and flu tablets
Rather than taking different medications for different symptoms, day and night cold and flu tablets have all you need in one capsule to help offer relief.
There are only so many cooking show repeats you can endure on your days off, so make sure you're stocked up with all your favourite movies to keep you sane.
Any clear fluid is essential when you're sick. If you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea, sports drinks and children's rehydrating liquids are particularly effective at replacing electrolytes and the fluids you have lost, according to WebMD.com. Stay away from highly acidic or milky drinks, they can cause nausea.
Hot water bottle or wheat pack
A microwaved wheat pack (especially an aromatherapy one) or a "hottie" can reduce the chills and aching joints, making you feel more comfortable in minutes.
Although it's better used as a preventative supplement, Vitamin C is still a beneficial antioxidant and commonly taken to strengthen and heal the immune system in times of cold and flu.
Colds and flu often come with a fever so it's important to keep tabs on your temperature. Remember anything above 100.4 degrees is fever territory.
Vapour rub or bath salts
Both products can do wonders for decongestion. While vapour rub is very effective for the chest area, bath salts give relief to mind and body. A hot bath will also raise your core temperature and soothe aches and pains. The steam can also provide relief from congestion. Remember to drink a glass of water or two after the bath.
It may seem blindingly obvious, but a good pair of warm socks is a must for the survival kit. Who doesn't get excited at the thought of those gorgeous fluffy things wrapped round your ice-cold tootsies?
We all need a bit of TLC when we're down in the dumps and can barely reach for the remote let alone shuffle to the fridge. If you don't have a partner to look after you while you're sick, have a friend on speed dial who can bring emergency supplies of tissues, chocolate and medicine.
While your immune system fights a cold virus, your body becomes exhausted. You need to recharge your body with at least eight hours of shut-eye a night. So get comfortable and rest up.
For centuries, people have harnessed the healing powers of green tea. Green tea antioxidants have been found to reduce the infection rate of healthy cells, that reduce cold-like symptoms and fever. A 2005 study found that each of the six antioxidants in green tea helped block a different phase of flu-like infection among healthy cells, thus weakening the virus.