As temperatures continue to drop, cold and flu season will creep its way into our lives and wreak havoc on our minds, bodies, and moods. And you know what’s even worse than being sick? Having to see a doctor. How do adults even do that? I still have no idea. Using sick days is bad enough, but using sick days to sit in a doctor’s office surrounded by equally sick people is the absolute worst.
So if you have to use a sick day or two, you should at least be able to convalesce in the comfort of your own home. Luckily for us, there’s a whole host of at-home remedies out there that will help you kick those cold and flu symptoms in no time flat!
1. Whip up a hot toddy.
If you’re part of the over-21 crowd, this piping-hot mixture of tea, honey, and a little bit of booze can work wonders. Brew your favorite herbal tea, add a teaspoon of honey to the mix, and throw in a shot of your favorite whiskey or bourbon. Beyond that, all you’ll need to do is hunker down on the couch, turn yourself into a blanket burrito, and binge-watch your life away. This concoction will take care of any soothing or decongesting that you might need.
2. Sleep with wet socks on.
This might seem like a comically bad idea, but sleeping with wet socks on can actually help ease fevers and relieve decongestion by drawing blood to the feet. First, warm your feet with hot water, and then dip a pair of cotton socks in cold water. Put some dry wool socks on over the wet ones, and go to sleep. By the time you wake up, the socks will be dry, and you’ll feel better.
3. Whip out the frozen peas.
This one’s pretty straightforward. Use a bag of frozen peas as an ice pack and apply it to your sinuses to relieve pain and pressure. Doing this is much less awkward than fumbling with a baggie full of ice cubes.
4. Gargle saltwater.
Gargling saltwater helps loosen up mucus, relieve pain, and fight bacteria. You could also make this part of your daily routine when you’re healthy, since it can help prevent future respiratory infections.
5. Make some lemonade.
Even though summer is long gone, enjoying a glass of lemonade while you’re sick can help detoxify your body, aid in digestion, and drive away cold and flu symptoms. Add two to three teaspoons of honey to your mixture of lemon juice, water, and lemon slices. Whisk it all together and enjoy!
6. Dab some VapoRub under your nose.
Instead of slathering this all over your chest, try dabbing a small amount just under your nose. It’ll help you breathe more easily, and it can even impart a numbing effect on noses that have been rubbed raw by tissues.
7. Indulge in a hot shower.
It’s common knowledge that steam can help decongest, so get your butt off the couch and hop in the shower. If you don’t want to dive all the way in, fill a bowl with hot water, drape a towel over your head, lean over the bowl, and breathe deeply through your nose for 10 minutes.
8. Take (or eat) plenty of vitamins.
Everyone knows that vitamin C intake is key in fighting colds, so taking supplements and eating foods that are rich in vitamin C is a good idea. A few more that you should stock up on are foods and supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, ginseng, and zinc.
9. Prop your head up.
Even if you’re not into sleeping with a ton of pillows, elevating your head can do wonders when you’re battling the flu. You want to keep fluids from running back into your sinuses, so elevation will keep things moving in the right direction.
10. Grab yourself a neti pot.
More fluids in your nose might be the last thing you want, but using a neti pot to drain sinuses can be extremely helpful. Mix a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda into eight ounces of water. Hold one nostril closed while tipping your head and pouring some liquid into the other nostril. Release, let the fluid drain, and repeat on the other side.
11. Stuff your face (with the good stuff).
I get it. Eating a dozen donuts while watching four seasons of your favorite show seems really appealing when you feel like garbage. What you should be eating, however, is a bunch of healthy foods like blueberries, bananas, brown rice, bell peppers, onions, and mustard (separately, of course). White foods like sugar, dairy, and starch can actually suppress immune function, making you stay sick for even longer.
(via Little Things)
I don’t know about you, but all of those options sound way better than paying the doctor a snot-filled visit. You’ll know what to do the next time you get sick, and you’ll also be able to give out better advice than telling people to rest and drink fluids.