Medical science hasn’t progressed much in the last few centuries. Sure, if you have enough money, you can afford a cure for anything… but you can’t avoid a runny nose.

Learning how to stop a runny nose is an important skill everyone should have because you can’t outrun your nose. The first thing you want to do is clean up the initial mess. After that, you’ll work your way back to the cause.

1 – Find a napkin, tissue, toilet paper, or rag.

You need to clear your nose and clean your hands (and clothes if you’re cleaning a child or unsanitary adult). Find something clean that you don’t mind getting snot all over.

2 –Verify if it’s snot or blood.

You have one of two major problems right off the bat. People can politely overlook someone with a little snot on them, but blood is not looked upon too kindly in public. People are less likely to help bloody strangers.

3 – If weather is extremely windy or dusty, seek a temporary shelter from the elements.

If you’re indoors or the weather is fine, you can blow your nose and clean up wherever you are. Dispose of snotty materials in a trash can, sink, or your pocket or diaper bag, whatever you have handy.

4 – Clean and sanitize your hands.

Whatever is causing your runny nose is best dealt with by clean hands. Even if you’re not sick, you don’t want to spread your germs onto every public surface.

5 – Assess whether or not you need to sneeze.

If you need to sneeze, keep a fresh tissue handy to cover your mouth. If you don’t feel like sneezing, rip a clean tissue in half and roll each half into a ball. Stick a ball in each nostril until you’re sure your nose has stopped running.

6 – Figure out why you have a runny nose.

Whether it’s from a cold, allergies, smoke, or whatever, you should have a general idea (at least one or two) about what may be causing the issue. Most issues are nothing to worry about, but a few may need over the counter medication or even a visit to the doctor.

7 – Keep calm and remain clean.

If you’re in public, you don’t want to start an epidemic, nor have everyone think you’re just some snot-nosed kid. If you stay clean, you can stealthily finish your errands, work, or social obligations. In some situations, it may be best to just leave.

8 – Come up with a plan.

If you’re at a friend’s house that has a cat, you may need to leave the house. If you’re outdoors and experiencing allergies, figure out how to get back to fresh air. If someone is wearing something at work, decide if you can deal with it or have to speak to them. Whatever your individual situation is, figure out what to do.

9 – Keep Hydrated.

No matter what is causing the runny nose, hydration is never a bad thing. Drink water, juices, and tea or eat soups and stews. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and any activities that may dry you out. Hydration is important.

10 – Get some rest.

As soon as you can, get some rest — maybe just adding a 15-minute nap to your daily routine or an extra hour between the night and morning schedules, allowing you to sleep longer. A couple Z’s a day keeps the snot and sneeze away.

11 – Hygiene is key.

Make sure you’re keeping at least daily schedules of showers, shaving, brushing your teeth, flossing, and other grooming habits. Keep your hair either clean, short, or both.

The runny nose can be a sign of several more serious conditions. Many of them can be proactively combated through meditation.: Lifehack Presents: The Mindfulness Meditation Mini Guide

Featured photo credit: Closeup of golden retriever, DOF focus on eyes via Shutterstock

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