There’s nothing like the flu to bring your life to a grinding halt. Having to cancel weekend plans and skip workouts so that you can lie in bed, feeling achy, is such a drag. Not even watching a marathon of Game of Thrones episodes is enough to make the experience less miserable.
Fortunately, while there is no instant cure for the flu, there are some known flu hacks you can try to help speed up the recovery process. Give these all-natural suggestions a go the next time you are feeling flu-ish.
Take a hot, steamy shower
Not only does a hot, steamy shower simply feel wonderful in the wintertime when flu season peaks, but the moisturized air helps clear congestion and open your airways, allowing you to breathe easier and medicines like Vaporub to work more effectively.
Drink lots of fluids, but avoid coffee
To get over the flu quickly, it’s important to drink as many fluids as you can. Staying hydrated helps your body function optimally and keeps the mucous membranes of your throat lubricated. Unfortunately, coffee and alcohol tend to dehydrate you, so it’s best to stick to tea with honey, water, and juices. (Although some people swear that a hot toddy is the best thing to make you feel better when you’re fighting the flu.)
Gargle with salt water
Having a sore throat is one of the most uncomfortable aspects of having the flu, but gargling with salt water has been proven to help ease the soreness. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in glass of warm water and then gargle for a few seconds. You can also add honey for taste.
Don’t underestimate the power of a bowl of chicken soup
Although it’s tempting to reach for junky snacks when you’re feeling like crap, keeping your immune system strong by eating nutrient-dense foods will help ward off the flu quickly. Citrus fruit, onion, and garlic are shown to keep the sniffles at bay — and don’t discount your grandma’s chicken soup! According to researchers, the childhood comfort food is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Get a good night’s sleep
If you want to rebound quickly from the flu, experts recommend sleeping as much as possible. By getting plenty of shut-eye, you’re allowing your body to unconsciously devote as much energy as possible to battle the virus, which is something it can’t do by merely resting. Propping yourself up with some extra pillows and keeping your head elevated while in bed can also reportedly help you sleep more soundly and wake up feeling refreshed and able to breathe better.