5 Tricks to Beat a Cold

At this point, a cold at the beginning of a new semester just seems like an inevitable part of university. While it might be difficult to entirely avoid getting sick, here are 5 tricks I use to drastically drop the amount of time I spend stuck in bed, sick. However, being there voluntarily is a completely different thing entirely!


1. Take Supplements and Drink Water

Despite the odd late-night McDonald’s run, I’m a big believer in putting good things in my body so it will cooperate and function properly. As soon as I notice I have a sore throat or a sinus headache coming on, I take Echinacea and Oregano oil supplements.  Both are herbal remedies that help boost your immune system and lessen the typical cold and flu symptoms. I seriously recommend finding capsules of oregano oil instead of in liquid form as it tastes worse than anything I’ve ever had to take before. And of course, overload on drinking water, tea etc. If you’re on the verge of getting sick your body needs all the help and hydration it can get.

2. Sweat

I know, working out when you’re rundown, achy and exhausted seems like a miserable idea… it is. But in the early stages of a cold, even if you can get your heart rate up and do something active for 20 to 30 minutes, that endorphin boost will help your body fight off whatever you might’ve caught in that huge lecture hall surrounded by hundreds of other students. However, once you are reasonably sick, rest is the best option for your overall health.


3. Steam

This is one of the best tricks I’ve picked up. If you’re extremely congested or have a bad cough – this works wonders! Put about a cup of water in a pot and turn the stove on to about medium heat. Not hot enough for it to really boil but enough to have steam come up. Put about a teaspoon of Vicks® VapoRub™ rub in the hot water. Put a towel or t-shirt over your head to help capture the steam and lean over the hot water and try to take deep, steady breaths. Do so for 5-10 minutes at a time and be sure to take breaks to blow your nose/cough up the nastiness as needed.

4. Sinus Rinse

A sinus rinse definitely isn’t for the faint of heart, but the result is really great. Neti Pot or Hydrasense are both brands that carry this kind of product. Instructions come with the contraption when you buy it, but what you essentially have to do is mix a pre-measured saline pack with lukewarm water and send it in one nostril. It will come out the other, along with all the mucus and junk that has you congested. It’s not a pleasant process, but the antibacterial and disinfectant qualities of the salt water will reduce the inflammation in your sinuses, making it easier to breathe again.


5. Rest

It’s something we’ve been doing all our lives. But it is truly what I’ve found to be the most effective in helping someone get over their cold once the symptoms have fully set in. We’re talking full social-shut down. Just say in bed. Be that person to send a mass email asking for notes from a missed class, say no to the bar, say no to DD-ing. And once you are noticeably feeling better, continue to prioritize rest and sleep for another 2-3 days. Overexerting yourself will only set you back, in the long run, leaving you feeling like s**t even longer.


Get well soon!