When you first move to Austin everything seems great: The weather is gorgeous and the rent is cheap. You find a job working in an antique doll repair shop. A couple years pass and your love for the city continues to grow.
Then, year three hits. Winter is approaching. You feel a cold coming on. Or maybe it's the flu? You go to the doctor, but the diagnosis is just allergies.
“But doctor, I'm coughing. I'm exhausted and achy,” you protest.
“Just a case of the ol’ mold headache,” he laughs.
Repeat this scenario for the next couple of years until you finally realize that Austin is a cesspool of pollen.
Fear not Austinites! I've got some tips from my from seven years of battling local allergies that will help you breathe easy (and you don’t even need health insurance or hookworms for). Here are five simple things you can do in order to live symptom-free:
1. Protect yourself
Sometimes it’s all about building a barrier. Layer your clothes so you can easily shed layers that have picked up allergens when you get inside. You can also wear a face mask to block allergens from being inhaled. But if it's war, full body protection is what you need to win the battle. Get your Walter White on and sport a hazmat suit. No more worrying about how your hair looks or if that stain on your shirt is visible. It’s all concealed. Plus, everyone will want to take his or her picture with you!
2. Shower multiple times a day
Those irritating allergens are everywhere. From your clothes and hair to your fragile, pale skin. Showering multiple times a day can wash it all right off your body. If your allergies are severe, you may need to shower every time you come inside. You can even install an outdoor shower right over your front door. For those on a budget, consider a Crocodile Mile leading to your home's entrance. No one says washing pollen off can’t be fun!
3. Move to another city
No one wants to leave Austin for good (I’m not even sure if it is physically possible). However, you can always skip town during the season your allergies are the worst. Do you suffer from cedar fever every year? Visit Alaska for the winter where the pollen is trapped under layer of snow and ice. You’ll soon be saying, “Thanks severe allergies for letting me experience some winter solstice sunshine.”
Whenever I start to feel an attack come on, I try to plow through and not think about how totally miserable I feel. It makes me wonder, can I be hypnotized to forget about my allergy pain? At the height of allergy season, I’ll try anything. Since a session of hypnosis can be expensive, I suggest cramming all your problems into one visit. Have the hypnotizer think of a solution that will cover everything that needs fixing. You’ll walk out believing you're a housecat and won’t think twice about allergies or drunk dialing your exes. What a deal!
5. Stay inside
Avoiding the outdoors when your allergies are at their worst is the easiest way to reduce your symptoms. Staying inside might seem boring, but it has its perks. You’ll finally have time to read a novel or watch all six seasons of the Sopranos. Food isn't a worry now that Dominos delivers artisan pizzas and bread bowl pastas (yum!). If you feel lonely you can always FaceTime into any birthday or social event. Is Chatroulette is still around? You could check out that. You might even end up meeting more people than if you went out in public. Being a hermit may become your "thing."
Kerri Lendo is not a doctor and none of her advice should necessarily be followed — except the Crocodile Mile part.