Recently I had a terrible flu/cold. (Who knows what it really is? Even when you go to the doctor they give you some vague virus/viral diagnosis, charge you a copay and tell you to take Tylenol.) I felt awful, and none of my old stand-by treatments were applicable because now I have an "adult" job and a child. I couldn't call in sick and sleep all day, and my early-twenties cure of alternating Dayquil and Nyquil made me too groggy to function as either an employee or a parent. So, I had to get creative.
2. Chloraseptic. If you have a job that primarily consists of talking, cough drops don't cut it. When your cough is in those early dry, hacking stages that hurt so much but don't even sound bad enough to get any sympathy (the way the late-stage, rumbly cough does), Chloraseptic numbs your throat. It helps with the tickle that makes you cough, and makes it hurt less when you have to cough.
3. Chamomile Tea. This stuff soothed me when I was pregnant and needed to unwind. The steam and mild flavor make it go down easy, soothe your sore throat, and kinda clear up your sinuses.
4. Vicks Vapor Inhaler. Old-fashioned Vicks is great, but this thing provides instant relief. When you're awakened in the middle of the night because you can't breathe through you nose at all, it gives you a shot (literally and figuratively) at a deep breath. It also works when you first wake up in the morning and everything up there is so solidified, blowing your nose is an optimistic endeavor.
5. Matt's Miracle Cure. This has long been a marital secret because... well, because I never had a blog before. When I first began dating my husband and got sick, he came over and ordered me to drink his "miracle cure." I did, and everything cleared up instantly. All he does is buy a shooter of "good" vodka (Grey Goose is his go-to), pour it into a glass of orange juice, and... maybe it's psychological, but it works for me. You aren't drinking enough alcohol to make you impaired - just enough to relax your entire body - and it clears your sinuses, soothes your throat, and of course is made up primarily of orange juice (vitamin C!).
This cold was particularly heinous, so he tinkered with his miracle cure and poured brandy into a cup of hot chamomile tea. This is, of course, the age-old cure known as the hot toddy. My blue-collar husband, however, told me if I called his miracle cure a hot toddy he would stop making it for me.
In time, my flu/cold/virus/viral nightmare ended, and yours will too. I hope some of these small comforts help you through it in the meantime! Stay healthy, and for the love of your coworkers, take your Zicam :)
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor am I giving out medical advice. This is just personal opinion and based on my own experiences. Always consult a physician.
*Note: Zicam is zinc, pure and simple, and it tastes terrible, which is why I recommend the spray as opposed to the rapid melts, which have to linger in your mouth until they dissolve.