Flu season is around the corner and unfortunately even ladies are not immune from the dreadful disease. Sometimes you become ill, there’s simply nothing that can be done. I’m sure the last thing you want to think about when your nose is running and your head feels like a bowling ball is flu etiquette but it’s the hard times when etiquette is most important and has the greatest effect. It’s prime opportunity to prove yourself as a lady of class. If you can maintain your grace through a terrible cold or flu then everything else should be a breeze.
Don’t attend any public or social events if it can be helped and limit your use of public transportation.
By putting yourself in a social situation you’re putting everyone you come into contact with at risk. You may not want to miss out on something but remember it’s not just about you. You may think you can handle something but it’s not kind to risk the health of others. If you do venture out refrain from shaking hands, hugging or kissing. Trust me if people see that you’re ill they’ll be grateful for you declining any attempts. It’s a kind thing to let someone off the hook. Simply say with an apologetic and compassionate smile “I’m sorry, I would say hello but I have a cold and don’t want to get too close.” It’s better to say “cold” as the word “flu” sounds more frightening.
If you must leave the privacy of your home always think of others first.
It’s easy to get swept up in your own misery but think about when you see someone coughing and wheezing in the market aisle. Not attractive. You want to distance yourself as much as possible. Of course you may sympathize with them but if they’re not behaving in a thoughtful manner it’s easy to loose your compassion. A thoughtful manner means covering one’s mouth when one coughs, carrying enough tissues and cough drops, using hand sanitizer, keeping you’re hands to yourself as much as possible. Try to only touch what is necessary. Of course you must continue on with your daily life just be considerate of the people and places around you.
Even when you’re in the confines of your home you should still follow a certain protocol, particularly if living with others.
Yes we know how quickly used tissues can accumulate. Instead of sprawling them out all over the bed or couch keep a bin next to you for their disposal. Still be sure to cover your mouth and wash your hands as often as possible especially when touching shared items such as the TV remote or telephone. Just because you feel like you only have hours to live doesn’t give you permission to order, yell or whine at others. Yes you are a helpless little lamb but you catch more flies with honey. If you can remain as gracious as possible your family will be more willing to help.
Sneezing and blowing one’s nose may seem very unladylike but sometimes can’t be helped.
If you have the sudden urge to sneeze and don’t have a tissue on hand turn your head away from whomever you’re with and sneeze into your hands or elbow. Same goes for coughing, you should always turn away from others so not to send germs in their direction. After a sneeze or cough it’s appropriate to say “excuse me.” If you have to blow your nose try to find a private area if possible. If in a restaurant go to the restroom. Blow hard and quick, trying to get it over with as quickly and efficiently as possible. You don’t won’t the uncouth sound to linger.
One tip that may sound vain or superfluous but can make such a difference; make an effort in your appearance.
You mustn’t wear your prettiest dress and highest heels but by putting some thought into your appearance it will not only make people less disgusted with you but it can actually make you feel better. There’s no excuse for leaving the house in baggy stained sweats. If you’re that ill better to remain hidden. By doing something as simple as pulling back your hair into a neat bun and slipping on some clean pressed clothing you will look and feel worlds better.
When you feel like you’re at death’s door it’s so easy to get caught up in your symtoms and act like a beastling but remember as soon you begin to recover you’ll wish you had maintained your grace under pressure.
HOMEWORK: What impolite habits do you tend to have when you have a cold? Or what naughty habits do you hate seeing? Let me know in the comments below!