Saturday, February 6, 2016

5 Ways to Keep Well During Cold/Flu Season

The weather outside is frightful (especially in the days following a blizzard), but the fire is so delightful (except how drying it is to the skin and sinuses), and since we've no place to go (no. I missed two days of work this week. I've got places to be!), Let it Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (Except, I'm over winter. Can it be spring yet?)

These last two weeks have been awful. The first week, I had this terrible cold, starting with exhaustion, then fever, then congestion (which, thankfully, my Chiropractor helped clear up), then cough and chest congestion. I've still got a bit of a cough, but thankfully, it's almost cleared up. Now it's just residual yuck that's still there. I think I caught it from someone at work (I have a pretty good idea who, too). A bunch of us had it, and as we passed each other in the hallway, we shared looks and words of sickie encouragement. Like we were all part of a team. Not a team I'd like to be a part of, honestly.

Begs the question, how can you stay well when you're stuck indoors, full of people who have fluey symptoms? It's easier said than done, but it's really just a matter of doing it.

1. Go to bed early

That entire week I was sick, I was in bed, lights out at 9:30 at the latest. I have to get up around 5:30, so that's a good time for me to get snuggled in. I usually read on my backlit phone (With the Twilight app, which takes the screen brightness down to the circadian rhythms of the sun) for about half an hour, but getting into bed early really helps to fall asleep faster.

2. Drink tons of water

And I mean TONS. When I was a freshman in college, I was a theater major, and one thing they warned us about at the start of cold/flu season was to wash your hands a lot and drink tons of water to flush any infection from your system. Since you're losing water due to congestion and fevered sweating anyway, it's good to keep hydrated. Also, Celestial Seasonings tea makes this amazing tea called Sleepytime Sinus Soother. I love all of the Cold Care teas from CS, but this one actually feels like it helps alleviate some symptoms. Plus, it's delicious and relaxing. Perfect for just before bed.

3. Get 5+ Servings of Fruit and veggies per day

Groundbreaking information, right? But making sure you eat fruits and veggies ensures that you get natural vitamins and minerals to help fight off infection. This leads me to...

4. Lay off the Junk Food

Even when you want to be lazy and do absolutely nothing, which is precisely what I want to do (and did) when I'm sick. I think it made it worse, because I wasn't really doing anything to help get rid of it faster, which is why I've still got residual grossness happening in my throat. Eat unprocessed, natural foods, and maybe hit up the spices, which can also help ward off infection. 

I once swallowed whole garlic cloves twice a day for two days to get rid of a cold. It worked. It was gross, but it worked. 

5. Stay Active

If you stay active, you're helping your body sweat out toxins and heating up your body to kill off infection. But, as always, listen to your body. If you physically can't work out, because you know you're sick, don't push it. Rest is key to get over the flu. 

So, that's it. Those are my tips to keep healthy. When I'm not lazy and follow this to a T, I don't get sick. Also, after this last bout of having the flu, I'm a tea fanatic. It won't remove coffee from my number 1 drink, but it's great at night!
  • How do you keep well during cold/flu season?
  • Any natural tips to help get your over a cold quickly?

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