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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, except when the flu crashes the party. If you’re starting to notice everyone sniffling and sneezing around you, now is the time to start combatting the sickness before you get it. There are some great home remedies for the cold and flu that you need to keep in your arsenal for when the worst hits.
This year’s strain of flu is particularly tough to beat. So, whether you or your family are already experiencing symptoms, or want to learn how to prevent them in the future, practicing these simple healthy tips will get you back up and running in no time!
Duration of the Cold and Flu
You’re most contagious 1 day before you start exhibiting symptoms and can continue for up to 7 days after getting sick. Getting entirely over a cold or flu can take 2 weeks! And for those that have compromised immune systems, it could take even longer.
While there is no way to 100% avoid coming down with a cold or flu, there are some steps you can take to prevent getting stuck in bed for weeks.
Wash your hands with warm water and soap for several minutes. This kills bacteria and viruses lingering on your hands better than cold water. If you can’t get to a sink, keep hand sanitizer around. Remember to use sanitizer sparingly, as the common bacterias you get exposed to could build a resistance to it.
Avoid common use areas around the office if you can. If you must touch communal areas like handrails or the office coffee pot, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before you can wash your hands with warm water and soap.
By far the easiest way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. While it still won’t 100% prevent you from getting the flu, if you do end up getting sick, the symptoms will be shortened and far less severe.
Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
Remedy 1: Hydration
First thing, you should make sure your fluid intake is high. Dehydration is the reason many of us get sick in the first place!
If you feel up to it, take a warm shower when you have a fever. Warm showers have been proven to reduce fever, even break them. They also open your sinuses, pores, and relax your muscles.
Make a hot cup of herbal tea with a squeeze of lemon, honey, and ginger to take to work. This mix will ease a sore throat because of its antioxidant properties so you can feel better.
Make yourself plenty of homemade soup fixed with garlic and onion, and drink lots of water. Keeping your fluid intake high will help your body will flush out those nasty toxins and germs!
Remedy 2: Supplements
Vitamins and Omega 3 supplements should already be a regular part of you or your family’s daily intake as supplements if you don’t consume enough fruits and veggies. Your immune system may not be working at its full potential to keep your safe from the cold and flu if you are not including enough nutritious foods in your diet.
Fish oils are an important part of health too because they provide fatty acids to improve skin and hair health, cholesterol levels, concentration, and overall health.
Tip 3: Medication
There are plenty of medications on the market today, to relieve a cough, sore throat, congestion, nasal, cold & flu.
If you’re in the earlier stages of the nasty bug, try natural home remedies before taking cold & flu medications as some can make you drowsy. A great alternative to decongestant medication is Neti Pots. They are a natural and effective way to relieve symptoms associated with the flu, colds, post nasal drip, allergies, nasal congestion, nasal irritation from common house dust, fumes, grass, smoke, animal dander, environmental pollution, and pollen.
Though they sometimes feel the same, the flu is more serious than a cold. Depending on your symptoms, over the counter products may offer relief. Acetaminophen is a great pain reliever that will also reduce fever.
If it’s been several days and you’re experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, and fever you should see a doctor as a precaution to stop the flu in its tracks.
As always, recognize your symptoms before taking any type of over the counter medications and act accordingly.
Tip 4: Clothing
Whether you’re going out with friends or staying at home wear warm clothing from head to toe. Wear comfortable socks, stockings, beanies, and scarves. You can also get cozy warmth from heated blankets at home and instant heat packs are an excellent way to warm your hands on a cold winter day.
Some parts of the country may be colder than others. If you’re new to your town or you are traveling, ask locals about the everyday weather or do a bit of research on the regional climate and seasons.
It is always a good idea to check the weather periodically, especially if the seasons are changing in your area.
Tip 5: On the Go
If you know you have the flu, you should be following the steps above and getting plenty of fluids and rest.
The holiday season can be difficult to enjoy when you have symptoms of cold and flu. Taking preventative measures such as getting plenty of rest, washing your hands frequently, taking vitamins, exercising right, and eating a well-balanced diet can help you fight off the flu.