Practical reminders, common sense approaches and clever solutions to avoid everyday challenges and live your best life.
When we enjoy good health, picking up a virus that knocks us flat is likely to catch us unprepared. Get ready for cold and flu season by having these sick day survival items close at hand so you don't have to leave the house when you're not feeling 100 percent.
Treat the Symptoms; Don't Spread the Germs
Assemble your arsenal of home and over-the-counter remedies to ease your symptoms and keep your germs from spreading.
- Because your nose is going to get sore from all the blowing and wiping, treat it gently with facial tissues that contain lotion. Most brands use skin-soothing ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E.
- Apply lip balm liberally to your lips, and even around your nose, to help prevent chapping.
- If you ache all over, a heating pad or hot water bottle can provide comfort and relief.
- Gargling with salt water soothes a sore throat, and also kills germs and dries mucous.
- Of course, there's a huge variety of OTC medications to treat the symptoms of a cold and flu. Consider targeting specific symptoms rather than using a multi-symptom product that may contain medicine you don't need. Most of us probably already know which meds work best for us, so be sure to have some on hand for the day when the cold or flu strikes.
- Even if you live alone, friends or family will likely want to nurse you back to health. Help them avoid picking up your illness by keeping your hands clean with a hand sanitizer.
Food and Drink for Sustenance and Healing
Even though you have no energy, you still need to feed your body to help it fight off infection. Small amounts of food and liquids throughout the day are generally easier to manage than a whole lot all at once.
You may not feel like eating, but you should absolutely drink lots of fluids. Colds cause mucus to run from your nose, and the flu may be accompanied by sweats that leave you dehydrated. Replenish your body fluids with water, or drink tea with ginger, lemon or honey to soothe your throat and tummy. Warm drinks also help to relieve congestion.
Although the thought of a meal may not be appealing, try to at least eat some chicken soup, or just drink the broth if you're having difficulty swallowing. Chicken soup really does help ease cold and flu symptoms.
Other things you can eat to keep up your strength:
- Crackers may help calm an upset stomach, while bland foods like toast or bananas won't likely upset it.
- Yogurt may help reduce your body's inflammatory response and relieve congestion.
You need plenty of rest to help your immune system restore you to good health. Make yourself a comfy nest with soft blankets and pillows to burrow into, put on your comfiest pajamas or sweats, and then sleep as much as you can.
When you wake from your nap, stay in your cozy spot and indulge in a video binge or flip through a pile of magazines. Snooze off and on as the day goes by.
Once you start feeling better, a long soak in a nice hot bubble bath will lift your spirits. After your bath, moisturize all over; you might even want to indulge in a facial mask or some other beauty treatment you normally don't have time for.
Don't be that person who goes to work sick and spreads germs to everyone around you. Stay home, rest and restore your health. We don't get much of a chance to pamper ourselves in our busy lives, so take advantage of your sick day and indulge in the little things that make you feel better.