Feb 7, 2018

Staying healthy in winter - the convenience store way!

If you're anything like me and my family, winter is equivalent to the apocalypse when it comes to illness. Small children, as lovable as they can be, are giant germ vectors - and we've all been sick multiple times this season. The combination of being stuck indoors because the weather is too dreary to be outside, plus being around many people in school environments seems to create the perfect storm for those sicknesses to breed and thrive.

Everyone deals with illness a different way, but convenience stores have a few things that we love when we're feeling under the weather - plus, the nice fact that they're open 24/7 means that if you're feeling like death after hours, you can still grab something to hopefully make you feel a little less terrible.

Vitamin Drinks

You'll find cabinets of these at just about every convenience store, with a range of different drinks available. There are collagen infused ones to apparently make you look more beautiful, and ones designed to assist with the after effects of a big night of drinking. When I'm feeling like death warmed up, however, my go to at convenience stores is Oranamin C. Everyone knows how well Vitamin C is touted as a cold-cure, and this is basically vitamin C in beverage form. Even if it's just a placebo, it tends to make me feel at least a little bit better.

Staying healthy in winter - the convenience store way! photo


Another one of my cravings when I feel sick is soup - as I'm sure is the case for many people. And whilst soup out of a can might not be quite like what your mama used to make, it does the job in a pinch -- and as an added bonus you don't need to worry about cleaning up, which is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you're under the weather.

Staying healthy in winter - the convenience store way! photo

Warm tea or other warm beverages

Ask 100 grandmothers what their cold-cure is, and at least 90% will probably tell you to have some honey and lemon tea - the other 10% would likely tell you that back in their day, they didn't have time for colds (and they also walked 5 miles to and from school, uphill both ways).

Japan has tea by the bucketload (or bottle-load, perhaps), and you'll find a bunch of varieties warmed up for you at the convenience store. Alternatively, you can always check the hot drink section of a vending machine in a pinch, and they usually have a few tea varieties in there too. My favorite warm drink this season is this apple and honey drink - it's been handy when I've had a sore throat!

Staying healthy in winter - the convenience store way! photo

Warm weather clothing

Part of mitigating a cold can be dressing for the conditions - and if you've forgotten a scarf, hat, or gloves somewhere then you're going to probably catch a chill and not be feeling so great afterwards. I love that convenience stores also have a host of cold weather supplies at this time of the year in case you've forgotten something while you're out and about.

Staying healthy in winter - the convenience store way! photo

Then, there's the fact that these stores also have a ton of ice cream if you need something to soothe that burning sore throat that you're experiencing. When you're sick calories don't count...right?!



After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!

1 Comment

  • helloalissa

    on Feb 11

    I've never seen that ilohas warm apple and honey here! Looks yummy. I always go with a hot lemon or yuzu tea if it's while I'm out. You mentioned an apple ginger drink from conbini before too, and that looked really good but I haven't tried it yet. I'm in the habit of making a simple ginger syrup to keep in the fridge so we can add it to hot water or tea. It's so good for keeping you warm when you have a fever too.