While it generally tends to only hang around for a week or so at most, a seasonal flu infection or virus can still leave you feeling pretty miserable. Between the coughs and sniffles and the sore muscles and chills, even a mild flu can put you in bed for several days. Unfortunately, seasonal colds and flu are a frustrating reality that many of us have to put up with in the colder months. That doesn’t mean it has to take you out completely, though. There are ways to tackle those symptoms and make yourself more comfortable while you ride the flu out.
- Get some medication to target your symptoms. Unless you’re very unwell and have to receive antiviral treatment, there aren’t many options available for outright curing your winter flu. Symptom reduction is usually the goal. Avoid spreading your germs around by staying home and ordering the medication you need from an online chemist. Choose paracetamol-based products to reduce fever and soothe that sore body feeling, as well as cough syrups and decongestants if the cold symptoms are preventing you from getting any rest.
- Dose up on healthy vitamins and minerals. Maintaining a healthy diet will help your immune system stay in good condition throughout the year, so use this illness-infected opportunity to start the new habit while it’s fresh in your mind. Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated while you recover. Chicken soup is a popular choice for good reason – it provides your body with the protein you may not be getting from solid sources, and soothes your throat with warm broth.
- Rest as much as possible. The best possible treatment for any cold or flu is restorative sleep. Don’t attempt to drag yourself into work if you’re running a fever and really suffering. Take time out to lie down, stay warm, and let your body fight the illness off in peace. Avoid any nagging guilt that tells you to be productive – it can wait until you’re better.
- Keep the flu to yourself. While you’re recovering from the flu, aim to avoid spreading it around to other people as much as possible. This means staying in the house as much as you can, washing your hands frequently to avoid contamination, and throwing away all of your used tissues and keeping surfaces clean. It may be tough to stay on top of these things when you feel awful, but your housemates or family will thank you for it when they stay flu-free.
- Go natural. There are plenty of safe, all-natural options out there for those who want to fight flu without drugs or unnecessary medical intervention. Loading up with zinc will give your immune system a boost, while zinc lozenges will also soothe your scratchy throat. Use hot steam showers and menthol rubs to help clear out those stuffed sinuses, and put ginger and honey in your tea to fight inflammation throughout your respiratory tract.
- Get help with the kids. If you’re a parent, now is the right time to call in for reinforcements. If possible, send your kids over to the nearest relative’s house, let other members of your family look after them, at least for the day. This will give you a chance to rest properly without being on parent duty.