Cold and flu season is upon us, and it can knock even the healthy and strong down for a few days. Taking care of your body during the early signs of a cold or the flu is the best way to reduce your suffering with symptoms. Below are four ways to reduce symptoms if your cold or flu has already settled in.
Mindfulness meditation may not cure cold and flu symptoms, but it does reduce stress, helping you to better cope with symptoms. A July 2012 study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that those who meditated suffered less with the severity and duration of their cold symptoms. Those who meditated daily also showed improved immune function and were less likely to get sick.
Letting yourself rest can be challenging with a dozen balls up in the air. Yet taking the day off of work, having a nap and going to bed early can be an effective means of ridding your body of sickness. According to the HeartMD Institute, taking the time to revive by sleeping at least 7.5 to nine hours per night and going to bed before midnight can prevent and treat cold symptoms, while better supporting your immune system.
Chowing down on starchy foods or sweets may feel comforting but can actually compromise your immune system even further. Dr. Sears, an author and pediatrician, says to skip the teaspoon of sugar to help the medicine go down and consider some leafy greens instead. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, particularly those with vitamin C, is an effective way to support your immune system and fight cold symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic advises that drinking plenty of water is better for cold and flu symptoms than over-the-counter medicine. Drinking water, as well as juice and clear liquids, can help alleviate congestion and dehydration associated with colds. Gargling with salt water and using a saline nasal spray are other natural ways to reduce suffering with nasal congestion and a sore throat.