Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cold Prevention Mode

I've been in cold prevention mode since last Friday, when hubby first showed signs of feeling under the weather. What we thought was a small case of the sniffles turned into full-on energy-zapping bronchitis, and hubby's had to stay home from work for the past couple of days. Fortunately, he is starting to feel better! I've gotten off easy so far (knock on wood) with only a bit of a sore throat yesterday and a scratchy throat today. Here's what I've been doing to battle the germs:

Gargle with salt water. My former coworker swears by gargling with warm salt water at the first sign of a sore throat. I tried it yesterday morning as soon as I woke up, and it seemed to help! I diluted 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt in about a cup of warm water. I took little sips and gargled multiple times until I was done the entire cup. Gargling with this solution brought out all kinds of phlegm I didn't even realize I had.

Drink lots of fluids. I don't drink coffee or black tea when I think I may be getting sick. Instead, I drink green tea in the morning, and then I load up on herbal infusions for the rest of the day. I've been loving steeped ginger with honey and lemon lately, but I typically rotate through different types of herbal infusions. I also drink a lot of water. On a typical day when I'm feeling healthy, I drink 8-10 cups of fluids per day. In cold prevention mode, I drink around double that.

Get plenty of rest. I'm horizontal a lot when I feel like I'm getting sick. I stay home as much as I can (when I was working full-time, I would take a sick day as soon as I thought I was getting sick, which allowed me to heal up more quickly and minimize my number of sick days), I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep, and I nap whenever I feel sleepy. If I don't feel sleepy, I'll often just lie in bed and read a book or play a game on my phone.

Do some form of mild exercise (but only in the morning). My energy levels are usually highest when I first wake up, so if I want get something done during the day, I need to do it in the morning. I've been trying to take at least 10,000 steps every day during my gap year, and I've been successful so far. Even though I've felt a bit sluggish for the past couple of days, I tend to get progressively more tired in the afternoon and evening, so I know I need to get the majority my steps in the morning.

Eat a lot of food. I'm probably in the minority with this one, but I eat A LOT when I'm sick. My appetite is voracious, and I'm not strict about how much or what I eat. Anything goes when I'm feeling under the weather. I used to eat a lot of junk, but I've been healthier since I left my job, so I've been eating loads of nutritious food lately. We've had a lot of leftover turkey, and I made turkey noodle soup in the Instant Pot yesterday.

Stay comfortably warm. I get cold easily when I'm feeling under the weather, so I'll typically throw on a cardigan or snuggle up under the covers. If I start sneezing or sniffling, I immediately cozy up with something warm.

What do you do to prevent colds? Do you have any go-to home remedies if you do get sick?

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