Since flu season is right around the corner (meh), we could all use a refresher course on how to cope when we feel a case of cooties coming on. It’s almost second nature to be in denial when you start to feel sick. It’s always tempting to try to convince ourselves that if we ignore those sneaky little signs that we’re getting sick, the germs will have mercy on us and our immune systems and vanish into the night.
Because that’s wishful thinking that we’ve all experienced and been disappointed by, we might as well be prepared to face signs of impending sickness. Everyone knows they’re a *huge* pain in the butt and tend to have the absolute worst timing ever, but that doesn’t mean we can wish them away.
Getting sick doesn’t give a crap about your schedule or the fact that you just started a new job, so it’s up to you try and cut off whatever illness wants to rain on your parade.
Before you lay down for a night of sniffling, stuffy-nosed sleep, here are some things to do before bed in the event that you *really* can’t afford to be sick.
1Take a hot shower.
Not only does it feel wonderful, taking a hot shower before bed could potentially stop a cold from developing. According to Health.com, it helps to clear nasal passages. If nothing else, it’s not going to hurt anything.
2Gargle with salt water.
Apparently, this classic home remedy has some major benefits when it comes to fighting off a cold or a cough. The New York Times cites a study published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2005 that reported a “40 percent decrease in upper respiratory tract infections” among a control group of 400 unhealthy subjects who gargled with salt water for 60 days during cold and flu season.
3Get in bed a little early.
Skimping on sleep is generally bad for your health, but it has a particularly debilitating impact on your immune system, and it won’t help you at all if you’re already feeling sick.
The University of Washington School of Medicine’s Nathaniel Watson explained to HuffPost how new studies demonstrate the connection between poor sleep habits and the immune system:
“Sleeping poorly can block specific genetic processes in the cells that make up your immune system, which is responsible for fighting off infections and disease, according to a new study,” the article notes.
Whether you have a cup of warm soup, or drink hot tea and infused water, your ailing body will be extremely grateful to you for staying hydrated when you’re feeling sick (even if it means you have to break your sleep to pee a couple times).
5Make sure you’re eating enough, and make it healthy.
Some ailments can wreak havoc on our appetites, but you can start treating the sickness by consuming a ton of immunity-boosting foods before it completely takes over your life.
According to Cooking Light, chickpeas, crushed red pepper, dark, leafy greens, garlic, and mushrooms are all packed with vitamins, protein and antioxidants that can help to keep those nasty infections at bay by keeping your body is top fighting shape.
6Try some apple cider vinegar.
ICYDK, apple cider vinegar is basically a miracle worker in liquid form, so if you haven’t tried it, there’s no time like the sickly present. It’s not the best tasting stuff, but those who swear by it say it helps to clean out the system, can ease an upset stomach, and it also contains a TON of vitamins and minerals.
Above all else, take it easy if you start to feel under the weather. Also, please don’t feel bad about rearranging plans or even calling in sick to work in order to get the rest and recovery your body needs.