Are you always catching a cold in the cold season in Japan? Do you somehow feel you’re constantly sniffling or feeling sore in the throat? Being sick all the time is a miserable experience. As a person of tropical country descent, I sometimes wish the cold season never come in Japan. After experiencing the novelty of snow a few times, I realized Autumn and Winter are all about freezing winds, influenza and getting perpetually sick.
Nevertheless, the cold comes inevitably. Some people are resigned that no matter how healthy you eat, you are doomed to catch a cold. The reasons for catching a cold are pretty much these things:
you caught a virus, your body couldn’t adapt to the temperature, or you lack sleep and are over-exhausted. If you are always sick during the cold season or you never get any better, a simple change of your daily habits is likely the answer. These easy solutions were all “common sense” habits to the Japanese and those born in a cold climate, but if you never experienced winter, how do you know?
1. Wear clothing appropriate to the season. If you’re not sure of the day’s temperature, make use of several layers of thin clothing.
Not sure how to shop for cold weather clothing? What works best is wearing several thin shirts layered on top of one another. Put on 5 or 6 to fight the freezing mornings. When the weather turns hot, take off several layers of shirts to keep from sweating. It’s much warmer than it looks, compared to a puffy woolen overcoat, and easier to move freely. Adjusting your clothing to the temperature is important because if you start sweating with over warm clothing, you are also likely to catch a cold, Wearing several layers works inside the home just as well.
2. Watch the humidity of your bedroom.
If you constantly feel an itchiness or pain deep in your throat the air might be too dry. If the air is dry, and you can’t afford a humidifier simply hanging a wet towel somewhere in the room works wonders. Some people hang their laundry in front of the air conditioner during the winter season.
3. Do you know all your allergies? You might be reacting to pollen in the air.
Some people are surprised to find out Hay Fever happens not just in spring, but any time the whole year. Mugwort and ragweed fly in the air from the Autumn season. If your nose keeps running and you sneeze violently many times it could be a sign of an allergy. Try wearing a mask. If you somehow breathe easier it could be time to take an allergy test. You can get an allergy reaction test at the jibika, the ear, nose, and throat specialist doctor. Once you know your allergies you can drink the proper medicine that stifles your allergic reactions and you will be breathing easier.
4. Warm up your body with a bath every night, as much as you can.
People who take a warm bath frequently are less likely to catch colds. But be careful! Do NOT let your body cool down suddenly right after your bath or you will get sick. Dry your hair quickly and dress
5. Wash your hands frequently and gargle.
Take a whole minute when washing your hands and don’t forget to wash your wrists as well. An alternative to gargling is drinking hot green tea. The catechin in green tea helps disinfect the inside of your mouth and kills germs even as you take in the tea into your body.
6. Wear a mask and wear it properly.
The mask must completely cover your nose and mouth without any gaps to the sides and around the nose. To wear a mask properly you must bend the wire part at the top to mold on your nose perfectly, stretch the mask vertically to cover down to the chin. If you are wearing glasses and the mask makes your glasses fog, fold down the wired side once so that it shuts your breath from leaking upwards from the mask.
7. Do you sometimes wake up with your stomach exposed?
You may be lifting your shirt unconsciously while sleeping. Get yourself a haramaki, a stomach wrap, and put it on right before going to bed. Just one haramaki can make you really feel warm, along with your back. The only problem is that it won’t look pretty with your negligee.
So there it is, the habits that the Japanese know and that will keep you from always catching a cold. Because you don’t want to always turn up at work sniffling or coughing all the time. Don’t let that cold virus beat you! Follow the right habits and be at your 100% throughout the year! Because you want to enjoy your time in Japan healthy and happy throughout the year.