It’s no fun having a bad cold; you feel ill, tired, miserable and you don’t have the energy to do anything at home or at work. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop simply because you’re feeling under the weather, and you will often find that colds strike at the most inconvenient time — just ahead of an important meeting at the office or a family party that you’ve been really looking forward to.
Sadly, there is still no miracle cure for the common cold. Even antibiotics are no use against the cold as it is a viral infection. The old advice always used to be that you simply had to rest and let it work its way out of your system.
But in these busy times, no one can afford to be out of action for days while they fight off a cold. Luckily, there are few things you can try to give you the best chance of getting rid of your cold and getting back on your feet as soon as possible.
Drink Lots of Liquids
Many of us will have been told by our mothers and grandmothers to take on plenty of liquid when we were feeling ill, but unlike a lot of old wives’ tales, this is one which actually works. If you want to recover quickly from your cold, drinking lots of water will help keep you hydrated and can actually thin the mucus plaguing your sinuses.
If your cold has led to a sore throat, hot drinks are particularly comforting. Stick to herbal tea, though, or a homemade concoction of honey and lemon as coffee and tea will simply dehydrate you, undoing all the good work achieved by the water you were drinking earlier. Gargling with warm salt water will instantly soothe a sore throat too.
It may seem obvious to say that you need to keep yourself fit and healthy if you are going to fight off your cold and recover quickly, but when you feel really bad, eating a decent hot meal can be the last thing on your mind.
Soup is a great option when you are feeling ill; not only is it easy to make, but it is warm and soothing, and you can pack it full of health-boosting veggies to make sure your body has the fuel it needs to get better.
Supplements like Vitamin C, Zinc and Echinacea can help to fight off a cold in its early stages. Take them as soon as you start feeling the first signs of being ill, and they can help boost your body’s natural defenses against the cold virus.
Drink orange juice or eat citrus fruits to ensure your body is also getting natural Vitamin C from your diet. Some people swear that taking Vitamin C and Zinc supplements all the time actually stops them getting colds in the first place, but there is no scientific evidence to suggest that is true.
You are always better off trying to get the vitamins and nutrients you need from your diet, rather than from supplements — but a little help when you first start with a cold will do you no harm at all.
While antibiotics may not be of any use against a cold, there are lots of over-the-counter medications which can help relieve the symptoms of a cold, allowing you to get on with all the things you need to do while you recover. Paracetamol can bring down a temperature, while there are decongestant medicines and tablets as well as cough medicines and lozenges to sooth sore throats.
Remember that these are not cures, but they can help you feel just human enough to go back to work or take care of the kids while your body works hard to fight off the cold virus.
Mind Over Matter
Lastly, we will mention the less scientific ideas that many claim help them stay well. In some schools of thought, it is said that if you think you are getting a cold, looking for signs and symptoms, that the very thoughts themselves are what bring about the actual cold. This is an abstract area that has less scientific proof to back it up, but there are a lot of people who talk about ideas like this, and some are medically trained.
A more scientific idea around these concepts, is that stresses can cause a cold, by suppressing the immune system, and essentially letting the cold in, rather than a cold just happening to an individual; that a strong immune system, and an emotional system, free of stress, and not fatigued, will fend off almost any cold or sickness.
There are plenty of skeptics around these ideas, and it is tricky to scientifically test abstract concepts, such as emotions, yet there it is, and so, if this resonates with you, do your own research and hopefully it helps.
Recommended Article: The Biology Of Belief By Bruce Lipton