I don’t know about you and your family, but we’ve been hit pretty hard with cold and flu bugs this past month despite flu shots and frequent hand washings. I came down with a bad cold on Christmas day and I was pretty hard on myself for getting sick – trying to figure out what I could have possibly touched, where I was, etc., and then my husband pointed out that it could’ve been airborne, that colds happen, and I should just get over it. And then last week my mom got sick while I was out of town and I wished I could take her some of the cold and flu care essentials: chicken noodle soup, warm fuzzy socks, throat losenges, facial tissues, and tea and honey … and that’s when I came up with the idea to make a Cold & Flu Care Package ahead of time. If I had this gift basket already made up and ready to go, then I could have called my husband to have him drop this care package off at my mom’s house. Although, I still would have wanted to personalize it a bit more with my mom’s favorite cookies, her favorite magazines, and her favorite movie, etc. If you would like to make your own DIY Cold & Flu Care Package to send to a sick friend or family member, I’ve got all the details and more ideas for you below. Just keep reading!
First, the box or basket. Make sure it’s big enough for everything. A tissue box is pretty large, so if it doesn’t fit, you can always try using a few packages of the travel size kleenex. The basket I used is discontinued, but here’s a cute one of similar size/shape and it comes in a few colors. If you’re making a Cold & Flu Care Package Basket to give in person, you can always include pajamas in the bottom of the basket to give everything some extra height, like I did for mine. Then I filled the basket with what I think are all the essentials:
Cute Coffee Mug, Tea, and Honey: Make it easy so all they need to add is hot water! (Like my cute cat mug? You can purchase it here.It’s also available in black.)Medication: Something for a headache, chest cold, or a sore throat.
Lots of Tissues: Because when you’re sick and your nose is running like a faucet, it’s inevitable that you’ll run out of tissues and then have to resort to using toilet paper which is so rough on your nose. New Toothbrush, Chapstick, and Hand Sanitizer: This one is preventative. Have them throw out their old toothbrush and chapstick after they’re no longer symptomatic and replace with these new ones.
Also, remind them to use hand sanitizer! I’m not a huge hand sanitizer person – I’ve simply stopped touching my face when I’m out in public after I’ve touched things like door knobs, shopping cart handles, etc. I wash my hands before I eat. And when I get home, the first thing I do is wash my hands. I only use the hand sanitzer when I’ve been out for hours and hours or I absolutely can’t wash my hands before I eat. I use the Honest Co. Hand Sanitizer spray. Warm Fuzzy Socks or Slippers and a Blanket: Got to keep those little piggies warm! Target always seems to have cute slippers and I own not one but two of these super (duper!) soft microplush blankets (not pictured). Other items to include? Soup. It’s an easy to make dinner that even someone who has the flu can prepare. It doesn’t need to be chicken noodle, you can totally customize it for the individual’s tastes. Also, a new book, DVDs, their favorite magazine (fashion, home decor, or the latest recipe magazine), cookies, or treats.
This care package is also great if you live in the same town as your friend or family member, but don’t want to disturb them (or get sick, let’s be honest!) Just leave it on the doorstep and run!
But the best thing to do is to prevent getting a cold or the flu in the first place, so here are a few tips:
- Wash your hands often. Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent the spread of the common cold.
- Prevent illness by practicing healthy habits. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a balanced, nutritious diet, exercise, and minimize stress.
- Get your flu shot! The CDC recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months. It is easy to get – just talk to your pharmacist. It the BEST way to prevent the spread of the flu. It does NOT prevent the common cold, but the flu is a devastating, serious illness that could put you out of commission for a week or more, or even worse, land you in the hospital with pneumonia or infect someone you love with a weaker immune system – like babies, the elderly, or those undergoing chemotherapy.
And let me know in the comments what else you would add to your Cold & Flu Care Package! I’m always looking for more ideas.