Everything is going fine when suddenly, you feel a chill. A hour later, a headache begins to pound behind your eye. Then your throat feels like sandpaper. You do the right thing and go to sleep early … only to wake up with a face that feels stuffed like a pinata and that someone has been whacking at you all night with a stick. Everything hurts.Congratulations, you’ve got a really bad cold or theflu.The flu is horrible, but even a bad cold can set you back a few days. Flu shots might not work so well this year, so there’s a distinct possibility you can get sick before winter is over. If you’ve escaped illness thus far, we are envious. But it couldn’t hurt to stock up on some essential supplies for when a demon bug hits. When you are really, truly bedridden, a trip to the pharmacy will be out of the question.Here’s how to stock up your medicine chest for the big event:

  1. Aquaphor or Vaseline: Too much nose blowing will irritate your nose and upper lip, leaving them raw and chapped. Not even Puffs Plus with Lotion can soothe a bright red nose. A little dab of goo will prevent cracking and flaking. (Just make sure to use clean fingers/Q-tips each use.)
  2. Heating pad or hot patches: The worst part of the flu might be when parts of your body are in pain. A heating pad is good for achy back and shoulder muscles — or to help with the chills.
  3. Ice pack: Keep one in the fridge to sooth throbbing head and sinus pain. A freezable eye mask also soothes watery, overrrubbed eyes.
  4. Eucalyptus oil: This essential oil will clear your sinuses and help a hacking cough. Add the power of steam and you’ll actually start to feel human. Throw one of these tablets on your shower floor for quick relief.
  5. Tricks to drink more fluids: Don’t get dehydrated! You need to drink fluids when you’re sick. Squeeze a lemon, add some cucumber or even a few drops of Crystal Light to your water to help you keep sipping throughout the day.
  6. Tea: Make like a Brit and soothe yourself with a hot cup of tea. Celestial Seasonings Cranberry Apple Zinger Tea a nice soothing tea for people that don’t really like tea. It tastes good with honey, too, which incidentally will be good on your scratchy throat.
  7. Extra toilet paper: Treat yourself to a few rolls of the softest kind for nose blowing and/or stomach upset. You deserve that three-ply softness!