Are you sick of being sick? Tired of feeling under the weather? Being ill is never fun, but one of the best ways to beat a cold is by taking care of yourself first.
Our Top Tips For Beating a Cold, Naturally
✔ Wash hands regularly and sneeze or cough into tissues – then throw them straight in the bin
We all know that sneezing and coughing spread germs, but it can be easy to forget to practice germ control when you’re feeling under the weather. When you feel a tickle in your throat, go ahead and make it easy to keep your cold to yourself with these tips:
Buy tissues you want to use. Tissues with Vitamin E, Aloe, or lotion may be softer on your delicate nasal skin and may help prevent a raw, red nose. If you prefer avoiding disposable tissues, try soft cotton or microfiber cloths instead. Just make sure to wash them in hot water with a good detergent afterward.
Keep a bin close by. When you’re feeling poorly, the last thing you want to do is get up to throw things away. With a bin at hand, you won’t be tempted to shove your used tissues into a pocket or pile them up on a table.
Teach your little ones to cough and sneeze into the bend of their elbows instead of hands. While you may look a bit like Dracula doing it, this method may help to avoid the spread of germs, rather than sneezing into your hands.
Take every opportunity to wash your hands. Use hot water and plenty of soap, and don’t forget to wash in between your fingers and up over the wrist bone. Lathering up should take at least twenty seconds or about two go’s of the song “Happy Birthday.” Afterward, dry thoroughly with a clean towel. If you’re at home, consider drying your hands with a separate towel than the rest of the household.
Disinfect everything you touch. Keep a roll of disinfecting wipes handy and wipe down things like door handles, sink taps, and toilet buttons. Items like cell phones, tablets, and keys may also be major germ-strongholds. Make sure to wipe down their surfaces with a slightly damp rag moistened with an anti-bacterial solution.
Staying hydrated when you’re feeling crook is critical. Whether you’re running a fever or just battling a persistent snuffly nose, water plays an important role in supporting your immune system. Water may help to thin down your mucus, which may help prevent clogged sinuses and makes it easier to cough up.
Keep a water bottle filled and at hand so it’s easy to stay hydrated. A bottle with a narrow nozzle makes it easy to drink from, even when you’re lying in bed. Just make sure to choose one that’s dishwasher safe or easy to clean out, as you’ll want to thoroughly wash and dry it every day.
✔ Drink herbal tea and clear soup to stay well hydrated and to help lubricate a dry, scratchy throat
Tired of drinking plain water? Warm food and drinks like herbal tea and clear soups may help you stay hydrated. The warm liquid may also help to soothe and lubricate a dry, scratchy throat.
Broth-based soups double as a great way to eat up even when your appetite is down. Try beautifully flavoured soups like meat broths or Asian soups to tantalise the taste buds even when your senses may be dulled.
Adding lemon and honey, or cinnamon and honey to hot water is a time-honoured way to help soothe your throat.
✔ A steam vaporiser may help to keep air warm and increase moisture in the air, which may help to relieve coughing, especially at night
Try using a steam vaporiser to humidify your bedroom when you have a cold. Not only may it help keep your chilly bedroom warm, the humidifier may help to add much-needed moisture back into your environment. All that moisture in the air may help relieve coughing and congested lungs, which may help you sleep better at night.
✔ Try a steam inhalation with a few drops of eucalyptus or tea tree oil added
Have you ever taken a hot shower when your nose was plugged up only to have it all loosen? It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Instead of taking several showers a day, though, try steam inhalation.
Boil water and get ready. Be sure to keep the hot dish or pan on a sturdy, heat-safe surface like a countertop so you don’t hurt yourself or your furniture. Lean over the pan with a towel over your head to trap the steam, and if your are comfortable, stay that way for a couple minutes. You may start to feel your congestion loosen up, making it easier to clear.
Try adding a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or tea tree to your hot water. The resulting fragrant steam may help thin the mucus even further. You may finish clear-headed, and with soft skin to boot.
✔ Rest while the immune system fights the cold virus
One of the most important things your body needs while you’re fighting a cold (after water) is rest, rest, rest. Instead of trying to carry on when you feel a cold coming on, seriously consider taking a day off and stay in bed. Rest may help to allow your body and your immune system to fight with extra resources, which may help you recover faster and avoid worsening your symptoms.
Make your bed a sickbay sanctuary by bringing in everything you’ll need to snuggle down. Entertainment like movies or books are a great way to help keep the mind busy when you can’t sleep but still want to rest. Keep that bin and tissues handy, too, along with a pitcher of water, or your water bottle. Turn your vaporiser on to bring moisture back into the air, and let your body take care of you.
If you still have to soldier on through your day, make sure to take every opportunity to support yourself through it. Avoid stressing yourself out about the things you’re unable to do because you’re ill, and try to take it easy. If you have concerns about your health or are not sure about products that could help you, talk it over with a healthcare professional first.
Remember: most times, feeling poorly isn’t an emergency and you’ll be feeling tip-top in no time. But if you have a sustained fever or unusual symptoms, it’s never a bad idea to talk to your doctor.
So there you have it. Brauer’s top tips for helping yourself through a common cold. Do you have any great tips for feeling better even when you’re sick? Share your thoughts with us on social media by sharing this article and including your own remedies.
And, before we forget, feel better!