It's that lovely time of year where runny noses and stubborn coughs abound... and there is a good chance your significant other could fall victim to "The Cold." It's that awkward "in between" illness: it's not as major as the flu but it's not a mere tickle in the throat either.
Option one: you can go full ice mode and avoid them until the sickness has officially passed. Oftentimes, this is pretty much impossible, especially if you live together or share a bed--not to mention the fact that most everyone wants at least a little TLC when under the weather.
On the other hand, being all up in your partner's business can make them feel smothered and will most likely just get you sick faster.
So what's a person to do?
Here are some tips on how to toe the line between caring for your sick partner and protecting your own health:
1) Hand soap and sanitizing wipes are your best friends. One of the easiest way to prevent the spread of germs is to regularly wash your hands and to give your living space a good wipe down with disinfecting wipes--be sure to get all remote controls, light switches and door handles. Also, keep a trashcan nearby so no used tissues accumulate--yuck!
2) Bust out the chicken noodle soup and lots of fluids. Beyond pure nostalgic comfort, chicken noodle soup can help improve congestion and offers a sick body some much needed hydration. And speaking of hydration--be sure to give your S.O. lots of water or tea. Tip: echinacea tea is amazing for colds!
3) Skip the kissing for other forms of affection. Kissing on the lips is a pretty surefire way to spread germs (obviously). Instead, opt for a sweet forehead kiss or ask if your partner would like a head massage or foot rub.
4) Use a pillow partition to prevent the spread of germs while you sleep. There is nothing like waking up to your partner coughing or sneezing in your face, right? One way to stop the ickiness is to use a Snoozeenie during bouts of illness: it will block germs without interfering with your normal sleeping position and (bonus!) you can take throw the case in the washing machine afterwards.
5) Listen to what your partner needs. Some sick people want to be holed up in their room all day sleeping and others want to watch movies with their boo; listen to their needs and don't feel bad if they just want to be left alone. In the same vein, don't get huffy when they ask for a cup of tea or soup--being sick is no fun!
6) Don't get mad if you get sick anyway. At the end of the day, the best defenses might just not be enough. It can be tempting to play the blame game, but we're willing to bet that your partner already feels awful for getting you sick. And, given all the care you offered them, they'll be sure to return the favor!