Will we EVER have a cure for the common cold – or the flu? It's got to run its course, but you can start to feel better now. See how many things you can check off in the next week or two. You're on your way to recovery!
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I stayed home from work or school until I was fever-free for 24 hours.
Smart! Take fever reducer if you have a fever and feel bad.
You need rest to heal and it's no fun to be working when you're sick. Plus, your infection may be contagious until your fever has been gone for a full 24 hours.
I drank lots of water and other fluids today.
Great! Why not have soup for lunch?
Avoid dehydration by drinking liquids such as water, juices, and broths. Fluids also help loosen mucus so you can cough it up.
I ate a healthy diet every day this week.
Good. Keep cut-up veggies nearby for snacks.
Don't starve a cold or a fever. You need food so you have energy to fight the virus in your system. Eat whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and fruits and veggies.
I gargled with warm salt water to ease my sore throat.
Smart! Sore throat sprays or lozenges can also help.
Stir one teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and gargle for relief. Pain medicine, ice pops, and hard candy are other ways to soothe throat pain.
I took a steamy shower to clear my stuffy nose.
Smart. Try breathing in mist over a bowl of hot water.
A warm shower feels good on your aching body, plus the steam opens up your stuffy nose. It lets you breathe and helps you cough up mucus.
I stayed away from people who were smoking.
Smart. And if you smoke, quit!
When you are stuffed up and have trouble breathing, inhaling tobacco smoke can only make your symptoms worse.
I ate some chicken soup today.
Great! Next time breathe in the steam before you eat.
Chicken soup helps keep you hydrated. The steam helps with stuffiness. And the soup may have some anti-inflammatory properties. Eat up!
I used a cold-mist humidifier to clear my head.
Good idea! Try a steamy shower next time.
Humidifiers moisturize the air and that can ease symptoms like a sore throat or stuffy nose. Just make sure you keep your humidifier clean.
I cut back on heavy exercise this week.
Smart. Trying doing something to de-stress instead.
If your body's fighting the flu or a heavy cold, it's probably best to take a couple weeks off from serious exercise until most of your symptoms are gone.
I used a saline spray for my stuffy nose.
Smart! Use them as often as you need them.
Saline nose drops can help ease your stuffiness and moisturize dry nasal passages.
I rubbed some menthol ointment on my chest today.
Smart. Dab some under — not in — your nose, too.
Breathing in menthol may help you feel less congested. Plus, if your nose is sore from blowing, menthol rub is numbing and may make it feel better.
I took medicine for my symptoms this week.
Smart! Ask your doctor if you don't know which medications would be best.
Decongestants can ease stuffiness. Decongestant nasal sprays can help a runny nose, but don't use them for more than 3 days. Pain relievers and cough medicine can also help.
I used an extra pillow to help me sleep last night.
Good! You can also try a wedge pillow.
Elevating your head helps with drainage and inflammation. It can ease stuffiness and make you cough less.
I got at least 7-8 hours of sleep last night.
Super! Take a nap during the day if you need to.
Sleep helps your body recover and helps your immune system work well. Get plenty of rest — day and night — when you're sick.
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