When I am taking pretty good care of myself, I can usually survive the cold & flu season using herbal remedies. My favorites are New Chapter’s “Sinus & Respiratory” and “Host Defense” plus Airborne when I’m feeling run down. When a bug got the best of me, I would usually take Nature’s Way’s “Sinustop” but I couldn’t find it this year and tried their “Umcka ColdCare” instead. (No verdict on Umcka yet.) Unfortunately, my symptoms got severe enough that I sent my husband out for some standard expectorant and cough suppressant at the drug store. Those nasty bugs are in full effect every year, but I find that how well I’m taking care of myself is an important part of how vulnerable I am to them. This year I’ve been spotty on self-care and the two weeks before I became sick were especially stressful. I remember from a college class on stress management that our immune systems tend to be vulnerable after stress. During these recent miserable days, I’ve been contemplating the consequences of not putting my health first. I’m not getting any younger either! The days of infinite energy are gone and I’m hoping the grip this bug had on me will be a catalyst to make self-care more consistently a priority. Improving my self-care is a refrain I keep repeating, but I find that repeating it is necessary as there are so many messages in my head to contrary. Both in terms of my individual personality and as a woman, I am fighting programming that puts my own care last – after work, after family, and after the latest techno-geek distractions 😉