How to Get Over a Cold with These Self-care Practices

From remedies to rest, here's your guide on what to do when sick.

When you're trying to get rid of a cold, all you want is to feel comfortable — whether that's with the chicken soup your mom used to make, your go-to cold remedies, a certain blanket that brings the cozy vibes, or a dark, cool, and quiet room where you can sleep. After all, you can't get better unless you give your body what it needs when it's fighting off illness: rest, restorative foods, and lots and lots of fluids.

While the childhood days of resting on the living room couch watching “The Price is Right” and drinking 7-Up may be behind you, you can still channel the routines and remedies that helped you feel better then and make your way to recovery now.

Stock up in advance.

Winter comes the same time each year. Be prepared for the cold season by stocking up on herbs and homeopathic remedies so you won't have to make a run to the drugstore when you're feeling terrible. Make sure your cabinet is stocked with the basics, like cough syrups or gummies, soothing lozenges, decongestants, chewables for upset stomach, and whatever else you may require so that when a bug hits, you're ready to fight back. If you are well-stocked already, check the expiration dates to make sure each formula is still quality and has its full potency.

Find comfort in a cup.

Plain water can be difficult to drink when you're sick, especially if you have a sore throat, but it's so important to stay hydrated. Swap out your H20 for a cup of herbal tea (watch the caffeine!) or warm water with lemon and honey and try to stay away from sugary drinks unless you really need the electrolytes.

Focus on yourself.

It's hard to focus on feeling better when your to-do list is long and your work chat is buzzing. If you can, put work away and focus on getting better. (Many of us work from home now so here is your friendly reminder to not bring the laptop into bed with you.) Listen to your body — if it's telling you to sleep, block your calendar and take a nap if you can, or take a sick day. (That's what they are there for!)

Get lots of rest.

Sleep is one of the most important things you can do to help your body fight what's ailing you, so get cozy! Clean sheets, your favorite blanket, and pajamas or sweats are key here. If your home is active and noisy during the day, grab the ear plugs and sleep mask to find some peace and quiet when and where you can.

Nourish yourself.

It's not always easy to eat healthy when you're sick, but getting some fruits and veggies in any way possible is always a good idea – and your hardworking immune system will thank you! Add extra carrots and celery to chicken soup or make a big pot of veggie stew. Mix up a smoothie with lots of spinach and strawberries for vitamin C. Bananas can be great for upset stomachs and nausea.

Cue up your go-to streaming service.

Now's the time to binge watch that TV show you've been meaning to check out or catch up on the Marvel universe. Encourage yourself to put away any to-dos for the day and relax as much as you can; you may be feeling poorly, but you can still entertain yourself while you rest.

Take a bath or a hot shower.

If you're feeling congested, run a hot shower and let the steam open up your sinuses; a few drops of eucalyptus or tea tree oil is a nice aromatherapeutic touch. A hot bath can relax tense or sore muscles, reduce chills, and soothe you head to toe. Scoop in some Epsom salts, light a candle, turn on some peaceful sounds, and feel the calm rush over you.


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