I’m generally a modest person, but there are a couple of areas of good fortune that I enjoy boasting about. I never get parking fines, even though I regularly park where I shouldn’t. And I never get a cold.
I haven’t even had a sniffle in five years.
I’d love to tell you that I’ve managed to avoid a cold because I exercise regularly (or at all), eat a carefully balanced diet, and get the flu shot every year. But only one of those things is true. I get my flu shot each April, religiously, because I’m a sole parent with a full-time job, and an 11-year-old son, so our life doesn’t have a lot of room for days in bed (I don’t know many parents that do!).
But funnily enough, I do credit the time I spend in bed with being part of the reason why I haven’t been ill with a winter ailment for five years.
And no, I don’t mean ‘time in bed’ as a euphemism.
I mean that I look after myself in a very non-Instagram-worthy way. It’s not exciting or glamorous, and it certainly wouldn’t get me on Oprah.
One of the ways I do that is I get the sleep I need, the majority of the time. Some may call it lazy, but I’ve always appreciated any time I can spend with my eyes closed. I always slept when the baby was sleeping. And I never felt bad about it.
Sleep is a priority for me because I know I’m a terrible mother, maybe even a terrible person, when I don’t get enough.
The other thing I think contributes to my stroke of cold-free luck is that I’m not remotely into the ‘cult of busy’. I don’t wear the all-too-common “I’m sooo busy” badge of honour. I do a lot of stuff, but I also say no to a lot of social things. I love my little peaceful home; it’s my favourite place to be, with my favourite person – my son.
The fact that we’re somewhat germ-conscious also definitely helps. We’re hand-washers. We’re baby wipe users. We take care touching surfaces when we (are forced in emergency situations to) use public bathrooms.
We’re not totally crazy that everything’s about bacteria, we’re simply aware. You can’t deny that especially during winter, when cold and virus germs abound, that’s got something to do with it.