Who actually likes being sick? I bet no one is raising a hand! Unless you really need a reason to take the day off, being sick is the worst! You can’t even enjoy the day off because you are feeling so crummy.
The warmer weather is approaching, but cold season is not officially over yet. Today I am talking about ways to get over a cold, fast and *mostly* naturally. These are the methods we swear by in our house. I try my best to pick natural ingredients and stay away from stronger medications or prescriptions to fight off sickness. My top recommendations for preventing and fighting illness are below so keep reading!
*Always remember, if you have been sick for over a week, or if your symptoms are getting worse, it’s always best to make an appointment with your primary care physician or go to an urgent care center and get checked out, just to be sure it isn’t anything more serious.
I have said this before, but I take a daily multivitamin and a probiotic each morning. I have found this combination keeps me optimized and at my best, ready to fight off most bugs or colds. It has also decreased the incidence of upset stomach and GI issues in general, which is a plus.
It’s just a little tickle.
As soon as you feel that ‘little tickle’ in the back of your throat, or start to feel a bit sick or feverish, it’s the perfect time to take additional steps to prevent a little sniffle from becoming a full on cold or illness.
I amp up my water intake at the first sign of any type of illness. I also like to add electrolytes as an additional boost. You can use any electrolyte powder or supplement you want, but we like to add NUUN hydration tablets (I add half a tablet) to each glass of water. We always have these on hand for hydration during long runs, so they are a convenient add in.
Another great option for added electrolytes and is to use Emergen-C packets. These also come in a variety of delicious flavors and will give your body a boost of nutrients to help ward off sickness.
Tea is another great way to increase your hydration, just be mindful of choices that may contain a lot of caffeine.
It’s super important every person in the house practices excellent hand hygiene as often as possible. I ensure I have anti-bacterial soaps for use in the kitchen and the bathrooms. Sure those other fancy soaps may smell nice, but they sometimes don’t have anti-bacterial ingredients and aren’t doing anything to stop the spread of germs. Kill the germs first, and worry about a pretty smell later.
Extra vitamins and supplements.
I like to add a Zinc supplement, a Vitamin C supplement and occasionally an Ester-C 24 hour immune support supplement to my daily routine as soon as I start to feel sick. These supplements can help boost your immune system and jump start its ability to fight off germs.
Kill any germs that are already in your home.
I make an at-home disinfectant spray. My goal is to kill as many germs as possible, and prevent their spread, without harsh chemicals. A great basic recipe to use: Mix equal parts of distilled water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle (if you want a more pleasant scent, feel free to add a few drops of essential oil to your spray bottle). Spray the surfaces you want to disinfect, give it some time to work, then wipe with a clean cloth. Pay particular attention to door knobs, light switches, cell phones, and heavily trafficked areas which are likely breeding grounds for germs.
Embrace super hot water.
Wash dishes with the hottest water possible. If we use the dishwasher, we run the sanitize cycle to ensure we are killing as many germs and bacteria as possible. Sharing glassware, silverware, etc is something we avoid when someone in the house is sick. I definitely believe this helps cut down on the spread of germs.
We abide by a “no shoes in the house” policy, pretty much year round, to limit the dirt and grime that is tracked in. This helps greatly with reducing the exposure to outside germs and bacteria. It also makes cleaning and vacuuming the floors significantly easier.
Secret weapon: Floor Steamer.
I absolutely love to use my floor steamer. It doesn’t use harsh cleaning agents or chemicals. It runs purely on water! The water gets hot enough to kill germs and bacteria, plus it leaves the floor clean without any residue or chemical-like smells. Between the vacuum and the steamer, my floor cleaning is thorough enough to help minimize the spread of germs.
In the evening, to help promote sleep, consider using an essential oil diffuser with a few lavender drops in the water. Lavender can help promote a relaxing atmosphere and can help you drift off to sleep.
There are also articles regarding other essential oils that can help ‘purify’ the air. I stick to using lavender to help me sleep. If you wanted to try essential oils in your diffuser or humidifier to assist with air purification, consider using Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint, or even Frankincense. Just do your research and come to your own conclusions regarding the validity of claims that air can be purified by oils. That’s all I’ll say about that topic.
I recently discovered Black Elderberry night time syrup. I started taking this before bed anytime I am feeling under the weather and I find it works well. Elderberry is a compound that contains antioxidants and flavonoids to promote immune support and help maintain healthy cells.
This particular syrup also contains melatonin to help enable better sleep. Getting enough sleep is necessary for fighting off colds and sickness, so I love that this product helps me fall and stay asleep. Speaking of sleep, be sure that you are getting plenty! Sleep allows your body to rest, reset, and fight off sickness. So be sure you are logging around 8 hours of sleep if possible.
The syrup that I use is by a company called Zarbee’s Naturals. They are known for making a wide range of effective and chemical free products that promote health. I found this syrup at my local CVS, but there are a variety of options and brands available online, at various drug stores, and the grocery store. They even have a gummy version available!
I hope you will use these ideas and strategies next time you start to feel sick, or someone in your house is ‘coming down with something’. I often think we are quick to jump to harsh chemicals and potent medications which may not always be necessary.
Your body is an amazing machine, capable of fighting off microscopic invaders and germs. With the tips above, a little help and support from you, it can work wonders.
Let me know if you try any of these suggestions and how you prevent sickness in your house!