Like most people in their mid 20s, my health isn’t something that I worry about too often. I try to eat healthy foods, exercise and get enough sleep and that usually keeps me in pretty good shape. But with cold and flu season upon us, I wasn’t much surprised when I began to feel unwell last weekend.

As my symptoms slowly began to worsen, I knew by Sunday night that I was in for a rough week. And on Monday morning I found myself standing on the cold medicine aisle of the grocery store staring blankly at the options before me. “Fast-acting,” “maximum-strength” and “blast of Vitamin C” all sounded great, but I knew not to expect a miraculous and sudden recovery.

Cruel as it may sound, it wasn’t the medicine that made me feel better, but rather the poor souls who stood to my left and right, sniffling, sneezing and browsing just as I was. To be clear, I don’t wish poor health on anyone. It was simply nice to know that I wasn’t suffering alone.

As the day progressed, I continued to feel worse and eventually sent a text to my boss to let him know that I would likely need to take Tuesday off as well. He responded promptly and said “The power of positive thinking goes a long way.”

It was hard not to laugh at that text while I laid on the couch, shivering and aching from fever. Whether my boss’ text was meant to make me laugh or not, I have to admit that it marked a turning point in my cold. I managed to spend a few hours in the office over the next two days and by Thursday, I nearly felt like my old self again.

For those looking to stay well this cold and flu season, I hope you do. Eat well, stay hydrated, wash your hands often and be sure to get plenty of rest. There’s no guarantee you’ll stave off illness, but those habits can be helpful.

I suppose I could offer the same advice to those who already find themselves under the weather, but I’ll add to it. Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone and remember that positive thinking goes a long way.

Happy birthday to Larry Ewing of Sherman; Garry Neal of Bells; Michaels Claud Robbins of Collinsville; and Devon Johnson of Fort Washington.