We’re all well aware that with the arrival of the cold weather comes cold and flu season. Nobody enjoys being sick, especially during busy times of the year. Here are my top six remedies for avoiding illness or getting rid of it fast!
1. Peppermint Oil Face Steam
This one is number one for a reason, because it’s an absolutely life-changing remedy. Without fail, I always get a cold at some point during the winter. When I get a cold, it usually involves not being able to breathe properly for about a month. Last winter while staying with my grandparents, I caught a bad cold and my grandma actually suggested using peppermint oil in a face steam. Let me tell you, it was life-changing!
Essentially all I did was fill up a large bowl with hot water, add a couple drops of peppermint to the water, and sit with my face hovering above the water (at a safe distance) with a towel over my head for 10-20 minutes. Not only was this the only immediate relief I could get from my inflamed sinuses, but it helped throughout the entire duration of the cold. It helped unclog my stuffy nose and helped open up the airways in my lungs when my cold inevitably moved from head to chest. Did it speed up the process and help me to feel better faster? Absolutely!
2. Lemon-Ginger Tea
Another home remedy brought to you by my grandma! This is one I’ve been using for years because it helps me feel better no matter what the situation. The lemon is great because it provides you with the vitamin C you need to fight illness while the ginger provides an incredibly soothing property. I couldn’t explain the science behind it by any means, but it’s a hot drink with incredible benefits for fighting off sickness that will help you feel a little bit better almost immediately. Just boil water, add about half a lemon and a few pieces of ginger root to the boiling pot, simmer for a couple of minutes, and enjoy! You can also add sugar/honey to taste if you find the flavours too overwhelming.
3. Eucalyptus Oil
We’ve all heard about the benefits of eucalyptus oil in dealing with illness. I know there are a lot of people who can’t stand the smell of it, but for those who aren’t sensitive to it eucalyptus oil really is amazing at helping you feel better fast when you have a cold or the flu. Whether you use a few splashes in a bath or dab a small amount on your sinuses to help clear them up, it will only make you feel better in the long run!
4. Neti Pot
Fun fact, I’m terrified of any type of liquid going in my eyes, nose, or ears. It freaks me out just thinking about it. For that reason, I have been terrified to try the Neti Pot for years. When I was in university for music, my voice coach would constantly tell us to use it every time we got sick to help us feel better faster. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, and my grades suffered because of it.
Last year, I finally decided to try it after a long-haul with a cold. And do you know what? It worked! It helped clear up the cold so quickly and I felt like I could breathe again every time I used it. If your nose is completely blocked, it doesn’t really work because the water can’t get through to the other nostril and just goes down your throat (gross, I know). I recommend blowing your nose first and then using it a few times. Just put a pinch of natural salt (I used Himalayan pink salt) and some warm (not hot, not cold) water in the pot and make sure you keep your mouth open and don’t block off your sinuses! Tilt your head to the side you want the water to flow and it should go in one nostril and out the other. Then blow your nose a bunch of times to get the excess mucus out.
It’s gross and uncomfortable, but it’s actually the best thing you can do for yourself when you’re sick. Get as warm as possible. Bundle up in layers, use three blankets, have a cup of tea or soup, whatever you need to do. All of the above, even. This is an especially important step if you have a fever. By forcing heat externally, you’re actually forcing your body to cool itself down and break the fever. I’ve found this works amazing and helps me feel better after even the highest of fevers. It does take some time for the sweating to work though, so allow yourself an hour or two for this process. Sleep, watch a show, read a book, just as long as you’re staying as warm as possible!
6. Lots of Rest
There really is no replacement for getting much-needed rest when you’re sick. Try to take every possible opportunity to get a quick (or long) nap in, and make sure you’re getting a proper night’s sleep in, especially when you’re sick. By ensuring a proper night’s sleep, you can actually prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place, as you’re much more likely to catch something when your body is run down from lack of rest.
The bottom line is that being sick is the worst. Even though it’s sick season, that doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to it! These are just a few of my favourite ways to survive sick season.
What did I miss? Do you have a go-to sick remedy that works for you? I’d love to hear about it!