Illness Anxiety – The Fear Of Getting Ill
You know what I’m talking about. When you first start to notice a little tickle in your throat, a tightness in your chest or your nose begins to run. #panicstations Yep, the illness anxiety or fear of being ill kicks in.
If I’ve got something I need to well for, or I think I’m getting a cough – I start freaking the hell out. My mind jumps to the worst conclusion and I preempt being horrendously ill. I’m pretty sure there’s got to be some science out there that says if you worry about getting ill this much, you will probably make yourself sick.
As soon as I start feeling any signs of getting ill, I reach for as many natural remedies and vitamins as possible. All in the hope that by some miracle, they might prevent me from getting sick.
I can deal with a standard cold. But the trouble is, when I get a cold, I’m always terrified it’s going to turn into a cough. And the coughs I get are harsh. Not those little pathetic coughs, no, when I get a cough I sound like a dog that’s got a massive furball caught deep in their throat. Or like a walrus.
If you imagine what a walrus sounds like coughing, that’s close to the noise I make. The devil cough keeps me up all night for a good few weeks. I cough so hard I almost vomit from the sheer force.
My face goes bright pink and my head feels like it’s going to explode. And nothing, and I mean nothing cures a cough. The doctors always tell me they can’t help me, and I just have to wait it out. Cheers for that sound advice.
When I get illness anxiety or cold fear, this is often what goes through my head:
- I’m going to be ill for weeks
- How am I going to do my work
- I really hope this doesn’t turn into a cough
- I’m going to get fat because I can’t exercise (yes, really)
- I can’t take a sick day from work because I’m bloomin self-employed
- How quickly can I get to Boots to buy ALL the cold remedies and drugs?
- How much is too much to spend on cold prevention?
- No matter how ill I am I’m not going to the doctor because I hate the doctors (not wise)
- Why isn’t there a magic pill to nip this one in the bud?
- I’m probably going to live in my sweatpants, tie my hair in a bun, turn into an ugly ogre and not wash properly for a few days because I’m ill
- Worry about the important events/social life/fun weekend stuff I might miss if I get properly ill. Like my upcoming hen do and wedding for example – I’m TERRIFIED of getting ill beforehand
I think the reason why I get so worried about being ill is linked to my competitiveness. I don’t want to have to stop working out, doing sport and running my business like an absolute #girlboss because of an illness.
Anyways, rather than continuously moan about how getting ill sucks and how much I freak out when I do. I thought I’d post something useful.
Because I’m so paranoid about getting sick, when I first start to feel the beginnings of a cold, I reach for a whole bunch of natural/herbal remedies. Here are some things that often help me to beat a cold, or at least recover quicker….
Try lemon, ginger, tumeric and honey tea
Yeah, get this bad boy in your tummy and I guarantee, even if it doesn’t cure you, you will at least feel a little better. Plus that ginger is good for your digestion, honey has antibacterial properties and the lemon gives you Vitamin C.
I find that honey helps my cough and literally soothes my throat as it goes down. And, if I’m feeling really bad, I will add a splash of Whisky to my tea. What?! It’s Grandma’s recipe – she absolutely swears by it! It helps to numb your throat and warm your chest. It won’t cure you, but it will ease the symptoms. Go easy on the whisky though folks.
Drink all the herbal teas
Coz your everyday brew isn’t going to give you any added goodness. Swap your daily cuppa for a herbal tea, which will help you to stay hydrated. I’ve been using the new Tetley Sunshine Tea which contains Vitamin D.
It’s especially handy when the days get darker and colder and your body starts to miss that daily dose of Vitamin D you usually get from the sun, which has all but disappeared. This amazeballs tea contains 23% of your daily NRV of Vitamin D.
Research has shown that sunny times of year are associated with a boost motivation and energy. So, when I need a boost in the winter months, I take a Vit D supplement or have Tetley Sunshine Tea.
I’d order boat loads of this stuff if I had the £££. It’s supposed to help improve your mood but it also contains Baobab fruit which helps reduce tiredness and supports your immune system. Plus, it contains a ton of beneficial Vitamins and actually tastes nice. Give it a try.
I’ve heard good things about this baby. It’s my go to vitamin tablet when I’m starting to feel ill. Research shows it increases the number of white blood cells, which fight infections.
A review of more than a dozen studies, published in 2014, found the herbal remedy had a very slight benefit in preventing colds. Whether it helps or not, I pretend it does when I take it. A gal can dream can’t she??
What’s that? Drink water you say? YES. So simple but so many of us fail to do it, especially when we’re ill. Drink lots of water and hopefully it might help to flush all of the nasties out of your system. And I find if I have a cough, the more liquid I get down me, the less dry and painful and irritated my chest and throat is.
If you can’t drink much water then mix it up with loads of herbal tea and maybe some coconut water which is ultra hydrating (and I bloody love it). And it has to be Vita Cocoa because it tastes the best.
I swear by reflexology. It’s literally the best thing ever. It might not cure whatever illness I have but what it does do is help me relax, which means I will be less stressed and in a better mindset to recover. Or if you’ve got a head cold maybe an Indian Head Massage would help. I get it when I have tension in my head from stressing too much. What better time to have a relaxing treatment than when you’re a little under the weather???