With the weather beginning to cool down and winter approaching, we face the inevitable: flu season. Coughing everywhere, snot and tissues flying, class and work absence numbers rising, it’s everyone’s nightmare. As someone who has a weak immune system, I have become the master of overcoming illness in very short periods of time. Here are my tips for being the best sick person you can be.
- HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE! The most important part of recovery is making sure your body is hydrated. Hydrating helps flush the germs out of the immune system along with harmful toxins. While there is no cure for the flu or common cold, drinking copious amounts of water comes pretty close to keeping your body healthy. Other options for fluids include gatorade, juice, or tea. Having a cup of tea with lemon or ginger can help with sleep as well, and add a dollop of honey in there if you want to be as snug as a bug in a rug.
- Resting is necessary for the body’s recovery. Make sure to take the day off and feel free to spend your time snoozing or binge watching your Netflix vice. No one will miss you that much because they’ll be happy you aren’t getting your germs all over them.
- One aid that I have found to work very well for me is steaming the body, or detox bathing with epsom salts. Draw a bath with steaming hot water (you can add your own amount of bubble bath) and add 2 cups of epsom salt. Sit in the bath for as long as you can handle it, and then shower off the excess sweat. The steam will help you sweat out all the bad toxins and clean the sinus of any clogged snot. The epsom salt will help soothe any of the body’s aches and pains. Make sure to keep a cold washcloth and a glass of water next to the bath to stay hydrated, and to keep the sweat out of your eyes. This also works by taking a long, hot shower.
- As far as meals go, try to stick to what my mom likes to call the B.R.A.T diet. This consists of bananas, rice, apples, and toast. Really simple foods like these are perfect for not overwhelming your body. Try to stay away from dairy as it can create mucus in the throat. The most obvious staple for sick days is chicken noodle soup. There is no other way to feel better than by digging into a big bowl of the soup.
The last tip I have is to always be prepared and take precaution when heading into the winter season. Make sure to wash hands consistently and use hand sanitizer. School and work are common places to catch a cold, so never share drinks or utensils with peers or work pals. Sneeze and cough into the appropriate places (meaning elbow or tissue). Drinking precautionary drinks like Airborne or Emergen-C can always help as well. Getting through the flu season is going to be tough, but can be manageable when handled properly.