Did you know that each year 5% to 20% of the U.S. population will get the flu? For some the infection is merely a week or so of symptoms while others face more dangerous risks, especially young children and the elderly.
Getting sick is never fun, but the flu seems to cause some of the most uncomfortable symptoms. Common symptoms include muscle aches, chills, cough, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, congestion, and swollen lymph nodes.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to alleviate severe cold and flu symptoms. While Tamiflu coupons are available for the prescribed treatment, here are 6 at-home treatments you can use to experience some relief.
1. Rest & Relax
If you’re a busy body, one of the worst parts of getting sick is forcing yourself to take it easy. But, resting and relaxing are two of the best things you can do for your body. When you’re sick, your body is in overdrive as it tries to fight off the infection. Since your body will be using more energy than usual, it’s important to rest as much as possible.
Take a day off of work and stay in bed. Skip your daily workout. And most importantly, get plenty of sleep! Staying up late and skimping on sleep only weakens your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight the infection.
2. Drink Plenty of Fluids
When you have a cold or the flu, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. Liquids thin mucus and breaks up congestion. Drinking is also important as it keeps you from getting dehydrated. Without enough water, you risk experiencing worsened symptoms like fatigue and headaches.
Keep a refillable bottle or a large cup nearby so that you can have easy access to water throughout the day and night. Herbal tea, such as peppermint and chamomile, are also great to drink when you’re sick. Adding honey and lemon can help soothe a sore throat and quell your cough.
3. Blow Your Nose
This one may seem obvious but if you’re like the majority of people, you more likely sniff mucus back into your head versus blowing it out. When you have a severe cold or the flu, it’s important to push out as much mucus as possible. This can keep you sicker for longer!
You’ll also want to ensure you’re blowing your nose properly. Most people blow hard in hopes of getting rid of as much mucus as possible. But, blowing too hard creates a lot of pressure that could drive phlegm into your ear passages.
The best way to blow your nose is to blow gently, and to blow one nostril at a time.
4. Warm Salt Water Rinse
Aside from blowing, the next best thing you can do to help break up nasal congestion is to use a warm salt water rinse. This not only clears mucus from your nasal passage, but it also removes bacteria and virus-causing particles.
To make a salt water rinse at home mix:
- 8 ounces of warm water
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Use a nasal irrigation kit or a bulb syringe to gently squirt water into the nose. Squirt the solution into one nostril at a time and allow it to drain.
5. Take a Steamy Shower
Steam works wonders when you’re suffering from the flu. A hot shower is ideal for introducing moisture into your airways, loosening congestion and making your throat and nose less itchy.
For added benefits, try adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil or menthol as you shower. This will open up your airways even more making it much easier to breathe. If you’re feeling too weak to stand, a warm bath is also helpful. Soaking in warm water can help to minimize achy muscles and joints.
6. Eat The Right Foods
While you may not have a huge appetite when you’re sick, it’s important to eat infection-fighting foods that can help you heal much quicker. Even if you’re not hungry, try eating small snacks throughout the day to get the nutrients you need to get better.
For example, if you have an upset stomach or diarrhea, eat a banana. You’ll also want to eat foods that are high in vitamins, especially Vitamin C, such as bell peppers, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables.
For body aches, eat blueberries, which contain natural aspirin. Onions, mustard, chili peppers, and horseradish are all helpful in breaking up mucus and making it easier to breathe.
Dealing with the flu can be tough. From the chills to the congestion, the symptoms are quite uncomfortable. If you’re suffering from the flu, be sure to keep these 6 methods in mind to ease symptoms and to heal a little quicker.
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