How to get through a busy day with a cold

You've woken up with a miserable cold, but your day is booked solid. And if you're like many of us, you can't just clear your schedule for the day. Here's how you can make it through your busy day, even with a cold.

Reach for a cold remedy. Use an over-the-counter cold remedy to help manage your cold symptoms so you can get through your day. Choose a product that won't make you drowsy.

Pack a "cold survival kit." To make a cold survival kit, fill a small bag (such as a make-up bag) with your cold remedy, some cough drops, a few travel packs of tissues, hand sanitizer, and petroleum jelly to moisturize the tender area under your nose. Put the kit in your purse or briefcase and you'll have everything you need to fight your cold symptoms on the go.

Stay hydrated. Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of fluids such as water, clear broth, or juice. Hot fluids have been shown to help people feel better when they have a cold, so try some warm lemon water or decaffeinated tea. Just avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can be dehydrating. You'll know you are well hydrated if your urine is clear or light-coloured.

Eat well. Take the time to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try a bowl of chicken soup - it really does help with a cold. Experts think it works by reducing inflammation and thinning mucous.

Take it easy on yourself. Schedule a few "mini-escapes" throughout the day. These small breaks will help your body rest and replenish itself so you'll have more energy to tackle your day.

Don't share your cold. If you need to go out for work or errands when you have a cold, do your best to protect the people around you. Avoid close contact with others and wash your hands frequently. If you have to sneeze or cough, use your elbow or a tissue, and throw the tissue out right away.

Try to get to bed early. You may not be able to clear your schedule for the day, but try to clear it for the night. Go to bed early and try a product to relieve your cold symptoms so you can get a good night's rest. This will make it easier to get through the next day.