I went to Lebanon for New Year’s Eve for my cousin’s wedding and as you can imagine it was a busy and hectic time. Apart from catching up, having not seen many relatives for many years, there was also getting ready for New Year’s Eve, the wedding and showing my sister’s boyfriend the sights as it was his first time in Lebanon.
Everyone staying at my cousin’s house had a cold and it was very likely all of us would get ill. I personally hate taking medicine unless I absolutely have to and try to prevent colds/flu or get over them quickly without resorting to medicines.
These are my top tips for preventing/getting over a cold/flu quickly.
I would say stress is a biggie. It can be positive because it keeps you alert and ready to avoid danger. However, it becomes negative when it is continuous without allowing the mind and body to relax in between. This can lead to headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pains, problems sleeping, lower immune system, meaning it can bring on or worsen symptoms of a cold or other illnesses. Find a way to de-stress, have a walk in nature, exercise, meditate, spend time with your friends or listen to music, whatever allows you to relax the mind and body.
2. Get enough sleep
During sleep your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Lack of sleep not only is an important factor in whether we get a cold but also influences how we fight the illness once we have got it. We all have busy lives but sleep is so vital for our health. If you feel a cold is coming on make sure you get into bed early, get the rest you need, even if that means you need to hand the kids over to your partner for the bedtime routine!
Exercising increases your circulation and blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means it has a better chance of finding illness before it spreads, therefore more chance of catching colds and flu. Studies have been carried out to show the importance of exercise to prevent colds/flu, as well as many other diseases. If you have a cold, the general rule is if it is above the neck, i.e. runny nose, minor sore throat, it is ok to do gentle exercise, although you might need to lower the intensity. If your cold is below the neck, i.e. chesty cough sore muscles, avoid exercise. Listen to your body, if it needs rest, rest.
4. Eat well.
This one is obvious. Fuel your body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, everything to help your body fight against colds and flu. There is lots of advice about which foods are the best for fighting colds, but make sure to get a variety of food with lots of fruit and vegetables.