Tuesday, 25 October 2016
HOW TO GET OVER A COLD FAST
Sorry it's been a while, I've had a busy few weeks and for the past few days, have been a little under the weather. However, that is what has led me to write this post. Today, I wanted to share with you a few ways that I personally make myself feel better and some of my personal tips to get through the dreaded cold and flu season!
1. Rest Up.
This one is sometimes easier said that done and I am definitely one to work through an illness (unless I'm super contagious and putting others at risk of course!) and I do know that sometimes, it's just not an option to take a day off work. Colds can hit several times over the winter and when you've got a job to go to, I would never recommend taking time off every single time, firstly because you just can't do that and also because I personally think if you don't (gently!) force your body to get up and get through being under the weather, you'll struggle more and more to cope each time. That said, when you have been out to work, or out running whatever errands you need to do, come home and put your feet up. Maybe leave the housework for an extra day or so, get to bed early and just chill out when you can. I find getting to bed early and getting plenty of sleep helps me get better so much faster without the need to take several days off.
2. Stay hydrated!
Another quite obvious tip is to stay hydrated! By this, I do not mean endless cups of coffee or bottles of Diet Coke to keep you awake, I mean water. I tend to avoid anything else at all when I'm unwell, as even fruit juices can be packed with additional sugar and other additives that aren't going to help you recover at all. Adding lemon or ginger to hot water can improve taste and sometimes help to soothe a sore throat. The reason I stick to water is because we all know both sugar and caffeine cause your energy levels to rise and fall very quickly, which may initially help you through the day when you're sick, but putting your body through the extra stress of sugar highs and caffeine crashes will only slow down the recovery process.
3. Season your food!
Of course what I definitely don't mean is adding a ton of salt to every meal, but some seasonings can be massively helpful in kicking a cold. A few examples include: Turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants, Ginger, which can help to fight nausea and aid digestion, Chilli, which, again, has anti oxidants and can help to spice up your food which can help to clear sinuses and Garlic, which contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs. These are just a few examples though, there's a whole host of benefits to adding seasonings to your food, which is definitely worth looking into, especially when you're unwell.
4. Eat up.
Again, this may be another quite obvious one, but it is super important to actually eat when you're unwell. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is get out of bed and cook for yourself, but food is fuel. Think about how rubbish you feel when you're super hungry, perhaps you had a super busy day and skipped breakfast and lunch, you feel pretty weak and crappy come dinner time right? When you're sick, your body is already having to work super hard to fight infection, so when you don't give it the fuel it needs to even just get through a regular day, you're not giving yourself much hope for a quick recovery! Eating plenty of healthy food, including lots of fresh fruit and veg will seriously speed up your recovery time.
I am definitely not one for dosing up on lots of pills and medicines when I'm sick, however, sometimes it is necessary. For me, I do like to find remedies that are a little more natural than just popping pills every four hours. A couple of things that really work for me are Echinacea drops or capsules and Menthol Crystals. Echinacea is a herb that is believed to relieve cold and flu symptoms. I find this works best if taken as soon as you feel a cold coming on, but it does help to lessen the symptoms throughout. Menthol Crystals are used to help clear sinuses. I've used them this year while I had a cold, but I also used them last year when I had a seriously bad sinus infection and they were amazing for helping to clear my sinuses and in turn, relieving the splitting headaches that came with it! You dissolve the crystals in hot water and inhale the vapours and they are incredible. Top tip though, do not use too many crystals as the vapours will blow your head off!
Luckily for me, I don't get ill very often at all. Even less so since going vegan, as I'm much more conscious and aware of what I'm eating and getting the correct nutrients. So, when I do come down with the common cold, I'm definitely not so used to it any more and I'm going to do whatever I can to fight it! Of course, as with every post, these are all my own opinions, I am not a doctor or nutritionist, but these tips definitely won't hurt if you try them and they absolutely work for me.
Hope this was somewhat helpful! Let me know if you have any tips for beating the dreaded winter cold!