Italy is a beautiful place. There are many good reasons you can think of to live in this country. I am happy that I have the chance to move here and be part of the “dolce vita (sweet life)”. However nothing is perfect, so as a Chinese expat starting a new life in Florence.
Ever since I moved to Florence, I was challenged in many ways: getting familiar to this new city, new friends, new lifestyle, new language, etc. And now to my holly surprise, another fact of mine is also under big challenge: my capability of surviving in a certain environment, aka my immune system!
Recently I’ve been through a battle with the super annoying sickness: chickenpox. Yes, chickenpox! The illness, which I managed to stay away from during childhood, I got now here in Florence! After a two-week sentence in “jail”, I am finally feeling like myself again. Now looking back at the past two weeks, I do have some tips that helped me get through the process. I hope nobody would ever experience such thing as I just did, however just in case the virus finds you one day (cause reality is we are living in an environment with germs), here are some of my advises, which probably will not shorten the cycle of sickness but will help to distract you from the uncomfortable feeling and make the whole thing easier to get over with.
🗣 Try to avoid Facebook
We know that among all the social media platforms, Facebook is the most personal one. Friends update what they do, where they go, who they go out with, etc. When I was sick in bed, and felt miserable about not being able to go out, seeing my Facebook wall with newsfeed of my friends enjoying the outside world was not helpful at all. Of course I am jealous! I wanted to be part of it!!!
At the beginning of the illness, I was on Facebook as usual, and I saw my friends in Italy either went out for some hang-outs, or checked-in a restaurant for lunch/ dinner/ coffee. Also my friends far away in Asia seemed to have particular fun time as well: hens party (by the way, I am still hoping I could make it to her wedding! Finger cross for a healthy me, please!), hot-pot gathering, a family day at the park…… I couldn’t be more upset to see myself grounded in my bedroom. That’s how I decided to avoid Facebook during my sick period, and stop thinking about neither my social life, nor my friends’! (while maybe a little bit of Instagram though~)
📞 Chat with friends
Just because I try to avoid seeing my friends’ fabulous social life on Facebook, it doesn’t mean I have to cut off all communications with them. In fact while I was sick and laying on bed, WhatsApp with my friends was one important way to distract myself. Friendship is important in this occasion, especially for us expats! In reality, I felt better by chatting online with my friends. I found out that many of them had actually been through the same illness, and their encouragement made me feel that I am not alone, and the sickness is just temporary stuff.
📺 Distract myself by reading a book, or watching TV drama
Since I got a lot of time to myself, one of my missions was to find some recreation that can distract me from feeling like an useless person. Reading was one! I spent time reading the book of my favorite author, Jung Chang, EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI: The concubine who launched modern China.
To me, this is a book that gives an explosion to those communist China educated brains, including mine! Cixi was a concubine in the Qing Dynasty, who ruled China in the modern history although she had never come to the throne. We were taught in school that Cixi was a negative character, who contributed to almost perish the country in the early 20th century. However this book of Jung Chang presents quite different views on her, listing many solid stories proving that Cixi was actually the one who started the modern China! If you are also interested to know more about this controversial female character in China history, find Jung’s book on amazon here:
Besides reading, watching TV drama was also a top choice in my recreation list. Who am I kidding? I NEEDED those entertainments, which required zero-brain activity! That’s why I re-watched the whole Sex and the City. Yeah, I know, feel free to judge me! But it did really stop me paying too much attention on those ugly and itchy spots on my face and allow me to take this whole chickenpox thing less serious.
💆 Get a dry shampoo
This stupid chickenpox challenged me in many ways, and one of the biggest being not able to shower as much as usual. But it doesn’t mean I have to give up too much of my personal hygiene. I used dry shampoo to keep me from greasy hair.
I bought this batiste brand from Hong Kong, and it worked perfect on me. Shake it and then use it! Just spray it to the root of the hair, and then massage the scalp. After a few seconds, all those greasy stuff on the hair would be all absorbed. I am sure in Italy they also exist, but I haven’t pay too much attentions on product like this yet, simply because I still got my stock. But I will be start my research in the pharmacies in Florence now, and hopefully will soon find things similar. If any of you know where to buy, please let me know!
🍋 Hot water with lemon, and drink drink drink!!!
I can’t emphasize enough on this point! It is good for everybody, even a person in perfect shape.
It says the more alkaline we eat, the more we are fighting with disease. Vegetables and fruits contains the alkaline our bodies need, and among them lemon being the top alkaline carrier. It has become my routine that every morning before eating anything, a cup of hot water with two slides of lemon and some honey. Here another important point is the HOT water! The room temperature water only makes it a cup of vitamin C drink, however while the lemon meets the hot water, the bitterness released is the best substance to kill those bad cells in our body!
Finally as we should do always, no matter sick or not, be positive and having an uplifting mind! Stay happy, stay healthy!
A special THANKS to my in-laws, who helped me in countless way during this fight. It wouldn’t be home for me, without your caring and love.