It’s that time of year when one or two people have the sniffles, and then everyone comes down with some sort of cold or virus. While laying sick in bed, I came up with a list of things I do to help myself get better. Hopefully these five tips and tricks will help you the next time you’re not feeling your best.
It’s that time of year when one or two people have the sniffles, and then everyone comes down with some sort of cold or virus. I’m one of those people who caught the sniffles and then life came back around and now I’m laying in bed for two days trying to breathe normally and not cough up my lungs. It hasn’t been fun, but while laying in bed thinking of all the work I need to get caught up on, I came up with a list of things I do to help myself get better. Hopefully you’ll avoid this wave of sickness, but inevitably you will get sick sometime in the future, so here are some of my tips and tricks for quickly getting back on your feet.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I studying to become a doctor, so these are all tips I’ve learned in my 19 years of life, and though they usually work for me, they may not work for you.
First things first, drink water! If you haven’t figured this out by now, water has magical powers that help with anything. Especially when you’re sick. It keeps you hydrated (especially when your stomach doesn’t keep anything you give it), can help cool you down when you have a fever, soothes your throat, and helps clear gunk out of your breathing tract. It’s extremely important, and not only when you’re sick. Drinking enough water everyday will keep you energized, hydrated, and probably prevent you from getting sick as often. So while you’re reading the rest of this post, why don’t you go grab a glass of water and give your body an extra boost.
2. Hot Showers
Hot showers are like your mother’s hugs when you’re sick. Being at college, I don’t have my mom to take care of me when I don’t feel on top of the world, but a hot shower wraps me in warmth and relaxes my body. I think it may also help release toxins from the body. A great thing about being at college with my own suite is I can take a shower whenever I want for however long (or until someone else needs to get in the bathroom). If it’s 4am and I feel run-down and gross, I know I have a hot shower that will wash off all the fever-sweat and make me sleep better. Showers are simply a great pleasure in life.
**Life-tip: if you have a stuffy nose and can’t get all the junk out, take a really hot shower, and after everything up there is softened up, blow your nose. No tissue needed, just plug up one side and blow out the other. The water will wash it all down the drain, and you’d be amazed at how much stuff comes out!**
3. The BRAT Diet (and soup)
No, this isn’t a diet for brats; it’s a meal plan that doesn’t upset your stomach when you’re sick, and it may even help you get better. It stands for
All of the above are blander foods, but nutritious. The worse thing you can eat when you’re not feeling your best is a big plate of spicy nachos or a chocolatey slice of cake. The strong flavors and spices will do a number on your stomach, and you won’t feel like eating anything. Except bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Even when I don’t have an appetite, I eat at least one or two of these to keep my energy up and give some fuel to my sickness-fighting cells.
Another great thing to eat when you’re sick is soup. Especially chicken noodle soup. The steamy, salty liquid does wonders in helping you feel better. As a college student, Ramen is more available than chicken noodle, so I asked my mother (who, after taking care of three children, has an unofficial PhD in making people feel better) if Ramen was sufficient. She said Ramen is good as a hot, salty liquid/soup, but apparently chicken noodle has something (magical) in it that helps get rid of the sickness. There must be something in the canned chicken that’s not in the chemical, powdered chicken. Who would’ve guessed?
4. Find the Right Medicine
If you’re sick enough to need medicine, finding the right kind and right amount is a big step in becoming well again. Some medicines work better for some people than for others, and you want to be careful with medicine or you could end up real sick, even ending up in the hospital. Knowing which medicine to take, when, and how much will help you get well faster. For me, NyQuil and Sudafed usually work wonders, but I know they don’t work for everyone. Sometimes it just depends on what kind of sick you are. But irregardless of what medicine works for you, this next tip is the best kind of “medicine” you can give yourself.
Sleep is probably the most important thing you can do when you’re sick. Your body needs rest so it can fight whatever bug is making you feel bad. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to keep pushing and doing all the work that’s stacking up, but you’ll only make yourself more sick. Give your body (and brain!) a rest and take a couple naps. Missing one or two days of school and getting healthier is waaayyyy better than missing four or five when you get really worn down and sick. Also, by not going out in the world, you’re preventing others from catching what you have and getting sick. So you’re kinda saving the world by taking naps. You go superhero!