Surviving Cold and Flu Season

It’s that time of year again: cold and flu season. It seems that no matter where you look these days, everyone is coughing and sneezing. Runny noses, congestion and sinus pressure are just added stress to your life, but not to worry, I’ve created the perfect list of remedies to bring you relief and comfort as your body works to kick this illness to the curb.

Go to the doctor

This is a no-brainer, but if you’re stubborn and think that your sickness will go away on its own, you should still get yourself checked out, especially if your symptoms start to get worse rather than better. You may need some antibiotics if it turns out to be a bacterial infection (gross, I know).

Drink tea with lemon

Growing up, this was the first thing my grandmother would give to me if I had even the slightest of sore throats. Lemon tea works wonders for soothing sore throats, but if lemon isn’t your favorite flavor, you can substitute for chamomile or any taste you’d like. The point is to drink lots of fluids and the warmer they are the more they help the pain.

Vicks Vapor Rub

In my Dominican household, this is the holy grail of all remedies. Anytime I was sick or had a stuffy nose, I can recall my mom spreading this stuff across my chest, back and nose like butter on toast. This will allow you to breathe easy and peacefully at night when you go to sleep to give your body the rest it needs

Lots of rest

If there is any upside to being sick, it’s being able to do some well-needed lounging while you let your immune system do its thing. Unfortunately, as tempting as it is to just watch Netflix all day and night, you should use this time to sleep. Staying up all day and night drains your body of energy. Taking naps and getting to bed early will help ensure a quicker recovery. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try adding an extra pillow to elevate your head. This will help reduce the feeling of sinus pressure and help you breathe easier.

Water, water and more water

It is imperative that you drink lots of fluids while you’re sick. This will help thin mucus and break up congestion, helping to flush out the nasty sickness altogether. Having lots of water will also help prevent further headaches or fatigue that dehydration can bring. Try to avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol, which can dry you out.

Take hot showers

Not only will the steam help open your sinuses and relieve the pressure, but it also can moisten a scratchy throat and nose, along with loosening your congestion. The steam may also help to relax any aching muscles. 

Have soup

If your mom just so happens to have a great chicken soup recipe, now may be the time to bust it out. If you’re vegetarian or vegan (like me), a nice vegetable soup will help just the same. Not only will this help calm inflammation in your body, but it may also help ease some of your symptoms like stuffiness and aches. As an added bonus, this meal also has liquid and calories, which will give your body energy to fight off your illness.

Every family has secret remedies that they practice helping to ease the pain of sickness, so call up your mom or grandmother and do what makes you feel better. Take this time to relax and let your body heal itself. I hope that if you do get sick this cold and flu season, these remedies will help make things easier for you.

All images courtesy of Unsplash.