Catching a cold is inevitable for the average person and also unenjoyable. Cold symptoms make it difficult for us to enjoy what we want to do, and make feeling good a struggle. While there is no cure for the common cold, there are some ways we can speed up the recovery process and relieve even the toughest of symptoms—all from the comfort of our home!
- Drink lots of fluids
When we're sick, it's important to stay hydrated. Fluids help get rid of congestion by thinning the mucus that builds up in our nose and makes it easier to drain. Fluids also have the added bonus of alleviating the dryness we feel in our nose and throat. Warm liquids do an even better job at soothing our body. Hot drinks help soothe sore throats, and can also relieve a bit of your cough symptoms. A common favorite is hot tea with honey. Of course, we also can't forget the classic chicken soup!
Sleep is essential for your body to fully recover. Resting lets our body direct energy towards fighting off the infection and helps it heal. Getting a comfortable sleep is also important for feeling well. Propping your head up with an extra pillow as you sleep can help you avoid congestion. This slope helps in avoiding a build-up of mucus by letting fluids continue to flow.
- Eat the right foods.
Foods with vitamin C support your immune system in fighting off the cold. While it doesn't prevent getting sick, vitamin C can help in recovering faster. Some fruits that contain vitamin C are oranges, lemons, strawberries, and mangoes. Eating red bell peppers, broccoli and some spices like garlic and curry can also help your immune system treat inflammation.
- Moisture in the air
Steam can help relieve your stuffy nose. You could sit in the bathroom with a hot shower running and breathe in the air there or you could place your head over a bowl of hot water and slowly breath in the steam there. Using a humidifier is also helpful in combating the irritation you get in your throat and nose. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, while dry air causes the irritation we feel.
- Use the right over-the-counter medications
Antibiotics don't help in relieving your cold. Antibiotics attack bacteria, not viruses. As such, antibiotics won't do anything against your cold, which was caused by a virus. Over-the-counter medications can't cure your cold or help you recover faster, but they can help in relieving your symptoms and making you feel more at ease. Decongestants, antihistamines, and pain relievers can help in symptom reductions. NyQuil and DayQuil are some options that can relieve pain, reduce fever and cough, and help in decongestion.
- Quick fixes
Gargling water with salt dissolved in it is one way to temporarily, but quickly get relief for a sore or scratchy throat. The fluid helps moisten your throat. Using saline nasal drops or sprays helps keep nasal passages open. They break up congestion by washing out dried mucus or thinning it.
Hopefully, these tips will prepare you for the next time the common cold sneaks up on you. These easy home remedies can help you get back-on-track faster, or at the very least, ease your discomfort and help you feel a little better.