Holy moly let me be the first to tell you that the flu this season is a rough one. I was recently taken down by the flu so I thought I would share with you how I eased the pain of the symptoms and shorten the length of time being out of commission with some wonderfully helpful natural products.
Be on the look out for a mild dry or scratchy throat. That’s how mine started in the late afternoon, I decided to just drink lots of water and still go to Pilates after work, not so smart. I woke up the next morning with a sore throat and feeling like a car had hit me. I went to work for about two hours which, was a bad idea, and ended up heading home and straight to bed. Now that I was home it was time to heal! The ways I took care of myself (with the help of my loving husband) made a huge difference. In 3 days I went from so sick I couldn’t even watch Netflix’s to being able to board an airplane and have a great weekend with friends on an organic farm.
1. Get Heaps of Rest!
It’s not a saying for nothin’. Listen to your body and get lots of rest. I slept 10+ hours a night and still took naps throughout the day. If you don’t want the flu to linger making you feel crappy for a week or longer, the number one thing to do is get rest…lots of it!
2. Drink a Ton of Fluids
Room temperature water and I were best friends. Cold water will irritate a sore throat and make it worse so stay away. Your body needs at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day if not more so that it can flush your system. I had so many cups of lemon tea with honey, it’s a double whammy. The lemon helps detoxify your system, the honey coats the sore throat, and if you want to go for the triple add a bit of whisky to make a hot toddy. The whisky will help numb the sore throat, help with the aches and pains and let you get good rest. Plus sippin’ on a hot toddy makes dealing with being sick just a bit easier.
3. Easing the Aches and Pains (trust me you’re going to need this)
The aches and pains were brutal, worse than I had ever experienced. During the first two days it was so hard to get comfortable enough to even sleep. Epsom salt baths (1 to 2 cups of the salt) with some lavender essential oil (4 to 6 drops) was a God send. The epsom salt absorbs into your muscles and helps relieve the aching feeling. The warm bath water helps soothe your sore muscles and the lavender essential oil not only smells amazing but it also helps calm and relax your nervous system. I love natural remedies but I don’t hold myself to some unachievable “natural” standard. I keep a balance of both natural and modern approaches and I don’t feel guilty for using modern remedies (this is the key part of maintaining a balance). With that said during those first two days I was definitely taking over the counter pain pills that were acetaminophen based (I found they worked better on the aches and pains than ibuprofen) and boy did they make a difference, plus it helped ease the pain of the sore throat.
One of the main ways I was able to in three days go from feeling absolutely horrible to being able to get on that plane and feel excited and ready for my 4 day vacation was because of my secret weapon; supplements. Elderberry, Zinc and Vitamin C to be exact. Zinc is a miracle supplement that has been proven to less the length and severity of a cold or flu. When you get that first sign your coming down with something start taking Zinc right away. Vitamin C as most everyone knows is great for boosting the immune system which is exactly what you need when you have the flu. Elderberry is mother nature’s gift to us when we feel like crap so be sure to start taking some with your zinc right at the onset of the flu or a cold. Elderberry is a great antioxidant that enhances immune function, lessens the severity of symptoms and will help you feel better faster; told you it’s mother nature’s gift.
5. Hoodie with a Zipper
I know this one might sound a little strange but when you’re battling a fever having a hoodie with a zipper is the best! When your temperature starts to rise and you feel like your cooking all of a sudden, you can quickly take it off. What goes up must come down and when you start to get cold again you have your easy on hoodie right there waiting to help you stay nice, warm and cozy.
I hope none of you get the flu this season but if you do I hope that these useful tips will ease the pain of it. If you have some favorite tips that you use to get through the flu season I’d love to hear about them below. Here’s to our health!