Nose raw from a winter full of nose blowing? Got a double red stripe on your RAT test? We're astounded by how much illness there has been this winter - all those months away from the world have really caught up with us!
In these virulent times, it really can't be helped. But having to wear a red stripe under your upper lip as well just seems unfair.
A streaming nose is a common symptom of Omicron and many flus, and it doesn't take many boxes of tissues to inflame the sensitive patch of skin beneath your nostrils.
Kawakawa Balm to the Rescue
If your nose continues to stream and drip, you'll soon become uncomfortably aware of the raw mess all that blowing and wiping has left of your face. A runny nose and sneeze forces you to blow and wipe so often it can painfully irritate the delicate tissues around and under your nose.
There's even a name for it - micro-trauma. The same box of tissues that felt so silken earlier in the week now feels like a facial assault weapon.
Omicron may be new, but native New Zealand Kawakawa has been used for centuries for its amazing healing properties, especially for sensitive or irritated skin.
Using a teaspoon, take a spoonful of our skin repairing Kawakawa Balm and place it in a separate clean jar. This will become your covid-relief pot. The rest of your Kawakawa Balm will remain safe from bugs, ready to use in the future.
Using your covid-relief pot, dab the balm gently on the tender area once every 2-3 hours and then daily as your skin begins to heal. You'll soon notice it stopping the micro-trauma rash in its tracks. Relief is sweet as the Kawakawa Balm creates a protective barrier that soothes irritation and allows your skin to heal.
Enlist our natural decongestant
If you're at the other end of the spectrum and finding your nose blocked with the flu, keep a bottle of Breathe Roll On handy.
Its ancient remedies in the form of essential oils of lemon, eucalyptus, marjoram, cypress and kanuka will help support you through periods of congestion, and clear your mind too.
Kūmarahou & Kawakawa
In our household we've been hitting the Kūmarahau wairākau - half a cup with warm water three times a day.
Both Kūmarahou & Kawakawa have a long history helping to soothe respiratory symptoms like colds and flu and we've definitely noticed the difference in our whare since taking them regularly.
If you don't have any rongoā to hand, lemon juice, ginger and honey steeped in boiling water can work wonders too. The steam that rises from a hot cup will help moisturise dry skin and parched nasal passages. It also loosens the mucus deeper in your nose to help you breathe.
Take care of you
Another symptom of Omicron and the flu is fever; you can lose a lot of water through sweating. Keep filling up your drink bottle because fever can easily skip past dizziness to heat exhaustion and collapse, so keep up the water intake.
If you're already dizzy, switch to a sports drinks with electrolytes for a day or so. Pharmacies also have powdered electrolytes that you can add to your water. The electrolytes help your body hydrate more efficiently.
Fatigue can be expected. Your body is fighting some hefty viruses this winter. So be prepared to feel dog-tired. As much as you can, use the isolation period to rest and be good to your body. That means avoiding takeaways, instead eating foods that are whole and nourishing, like homemade soup.
Soup's a winner because it's easy on a sore throat, helps with hydration and somehow it just makes you feel like someone is taking care of you. Even if that someone is you.
Finally, if you need support, please do reach out to friends and family. We all need to be there for each other as we adjust and work through this new challenge!
* The Frankie Apothecary Kawakawa Balm won the Editor's Choice in the Beauty Shortlist Mama & Baby Awards 2022 and was a Top 10 Most Recommended Product in the 2016 OHbaby! Awards.