Tis the season to be exposed to germs and sick people. At the grocery, the mall, the post office, office parties and more. Even with the best intentions and strongest will, we can fall prey to illness. An average adult gets three colds per year, each lasting an average of nine days - yikes!
You do NOT have to surrender – here is a step by step guide to your best plan of attack:
Start drinking water or juice – see post on hydration to determine your intake needs
Gargle with salt water. Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. The salt draws out excess water in your throat tissues, reducing the inflammation, and clears mucus and irritants from the back of the throat. The rinse also flushes out bacteria and viruses
Clean your nose. Use a saline nasal spray and consider a hot shower to clear nasal passages
Take a pain reliever like acetaminophen to combat the aches. Over-the-counter allergy medications like Zyrtec and Benadryl help with symptoms like a runny nose and watery eyes
To soothe your sore throat, take one to two tablespoons of honey straight up or in hot tea. Many physicians recommend honey instead of cough syrup, and there also doesn’t seem to be conclusive proof on the effectiveness of zinc lozenges or sprays, so stick with the honey
Clear your calendar and rest if at all possible. Your body can fight off the virus better if you’re well-rested. If you have to go to work, try to avoid co-workers since you are likely to be contagious and religiously wash your hands
Keep drinking plenty of water, juice, or tea
Move around a bit. Light activity can actually improve symptoms. Do this only if you are feeling up to it, and keep your heart rate below 100
When I don't feel 100% I always get cold and cannot warm up - if you can relate listen up! The fastest way I've found to warm up is a neck wrap. I started using the Huggaroo Neck Wrap after trying several other microwavable pads. This one does not smell bad and is designed to hit all the right places while staying in place. I love it and have included the link so you can check out the reviews for yourself. Highly recommend if you are sick of being cold even though you are wearing a lot of layers!
Last chance for germ-fighting!
A healthy diet can help fuel the immune system, so choose a meal that includes protein-packed foods like rice, beans and nuts, with a whole-grain side like brown rice and plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables
Take a hot shower before bed if you’re still feeling stuffy. Then get a good night’s sleep. You can wear your neck wrap to bed too if you'd like, or use a heating pad
If you feel worse or have a fever, start vomiting, or develop a bad headache, call your doctor—these may be signs you’ve got something other than the common cold (such as flu, strep throat or an infection), and you may need antiviral medication, antibiotics, or other treatment. Otherwise, keep up the routine for the next few days, just to be sure you kick that cold for good.
Hope you feel better soon!