You've been sick in bed for long enough and leaping back to your typical lifestyle is tempting. According to a study published in Annals of Family Medicine, coughs last an average of 17.8 days in otherwise healthy adults. That's plenty of time to feel eager or obligated to get back to work immediately. But how should you go about it? Checking in with yourself, staying on top of your wellness needs and avoiding any urge to rush things can go a long way toward enhancing the process – while keeping you and others healthy at the same time.
You may think you’re ready and rearing to work again, but just because your symptoms have improved doesn’t mean you’re fully recovered. When your cough has eased but hasn’t disappeared, rest a bit longer if possible. Struggling through work isn’t smart and could lead to spreading the bug to others. If you have to work regardless while your symptoms linger, do your best to keep a distance from others and wash your hands well and often. If possible, request to work remotely from home. For relief in the meantime, consider taking Delsym® 12 Hour cough medicine. It is designed to work fast and for up to 12 hours, meaning lasting comfort during the day or night.
Ease Back In
Once you are ready to return to your usual lifestyle, don't rush it. It can be easy to dive back in full force, especially if you feel you've fallen behind or have a touch of cabin fever. Doing so could lead to exhaustion, and it may take a bit of time to return to your full level of energy and strength. If possible, consider a staged return to work in which you gradually increase your hours and workload. Avoid saying yes to every social gathering and favor others ask of you. Sometimes saying no to perceived obligations means saying yes to health and vitality.
Take Steps to Stay Healthy
Whether you’re fully past your lingering cough or at the tail-end of symptoms, it’s important to stay healthy. To keep from getting or spreading germs from person to person wash your hands well with soap and water often. Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands. Keep a distance from others who are sick to avoid catching a new virus or infection. Sleeping well and eating nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly when you're not sick can help keep you and your immune system healthy and strong. Lastly, remember to continue to drink enough water and stay hydrated. When you are trying to bring your routine back to normal, staying hydrated is key.
Taking your time to ease back into work after a lingering cough and taking care of your wellness needs can help ensure a strong transition.
- Annals of Family Medicine; How Long Does a Cough Last? Comparing Patients’ Expectations With Data From a Systematic Review of the Literature
- Delays: Delsym Cough
- Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland: Returning to Work After Sickness Absence
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others
- Harvard Health Publications: How to Boost your Immune System
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