Maybe you have a major social engagement this weekend or a pivotal business meeting in the next few days. Or you just feel bad and want to get rid of an annoying cold. This malaise makes you tired, weak and irritable, although it is very common and everyone suffers from it sooner or later, particularly in winter. Unfortunately, colds almost always simply have to run their course; it usually takes 7-10 days to get rid of it. However, there are some things you can do to relieve symptoms and start feeling better in two days. You can also take steps to avoid suffering from it in the future. Read on to learn more.
Method 1 of 3: Try Effective Home Remedies
Step 1. Stay hydrated
Doctors say drinking plenty of fluids helps reduce cold symptoms. At the first signs of a stuffy nose, start drinking plenty of water right away. By increasing your consumption, you also avoid the first symptoms of a sore throat.
- Green tea in particular is excellent against colds; it is rich in antioxidants and helps the body ward off infections.
- The more you drink, the better. If you get dehydrated, it only makes your cold worse.
Step 2. Rest
One of the worst aspects of a cold is that you feel exhausted. Don't overdo your commitments and don't ask too much of yourself. One of the best ways to get rid of a cold is to get plenty of rest. Try to go to bed earlier than usual.
Generally you should sleep 7-8 hours a night, but when you are not well you should try to get an extra couple of hours. Rest is essential for the body to heal properly
Step 3. Eat the right foods
Your mother will surely have given you some good advice in due time. Chicken soup helps relieve symptoms and feel better faster. Studies continue in this regard, but some have already shown that chicken soup is able to reduce the production of mucus, thus decreasing the symptoms of colds in the upper respiratory tract. From research to date it appears that homemade soups offer the same benefits as those bought ready-made.
- There are other foods that have been shown to be effective in relieving cold symptoms. For example, yogurts contain the "good" bacteria that help the body fight infections.
- Garlic contains elements that can strengthen the immune system. If you add it to chicken soup you will get additional benefits.
- Eat ginger as it offers relief from nausea. This is also another great ingredient to add to chicken soup.
Step 4. Use herbal remedies
Echinacea is a plant that has been used for a long time to strengthen the immune system and treat diseases. Recent studies have found that taking echinacea actually helps heal a cold faster. However, this too, like all other plants, has side effects. Talk to your doctor before taking supplements as they may negatively interact with other medications or other dietary supplements you are already taking.
- Elderberry supplement is another remedy that can help you manage cold symptoms. You can find it in liquid or tablet form; it also acts as a decongestant.
- The red elm reduces the discomfort caused by a sore throat. Many herbalists and doctors advise to be cautious about using this medicinal plant during pregnancy.
Step 5. Get moving
If you feel strong enough, you should try to get some exercise. Taking a short walk outside before lunch can offer many benefits. Light physical activity helps clear the nasal passages and offers temporary cold relief.
- If you have trouble breathing due to a stuffy nose, you don't need to do intense cardio. Don't overdo it and limit yourself to light exercise.
- Exercise naturally helps improve mood, so you can feel better after doing some exercise.
- Do not exercise if you have a fever, cough, stomach upset, if you feel fatigued or sore.
Step 6. Use steam
Take a hot shower; this way you not only relieve muscle tension, but can also reduce nasal congestion. While in the shower, try to gently blow your nose, one nostril at a time. You will notice that the vapor helps you breathe better.
- If you don't have time for a shower, you can still take advantage of the steam. Run the hot water into the bathroom sink and lean over it, covering your head with a towel. Breathe deeply to benefit from the action of the steam.
- You can also add essential oils to your steam treatment. Drop a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil into the water. Some research has shown that it helps reduce coughing.
- Mint is also useful. Its main ingredient is menthol which fights congestion. You can add a few drops of its oil to hot water to get better benefits from these fumigations.
Method 2 of 3: Take Medication
Step 1. Talk to the pharmacist
It can be frustrating to find the right over-the-counter cold medicine. There are so many different products that you may find it difficult to choose the most effective medicine for your situation, especially when you feel groggy with symptoms. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a safe and effective drug.
Be very clear when describing the symptoms. Be sure to let him know if you are feeling very sleepy or have trouble sleeping. You also need to be able to tell him if you suffer from allergies or if you are sensitive to some active ingredient
Step 2. Treat the right symptoms
You shouldn't take too many over-the-counter medications, as they can make you sleepy and potentially cause other health problems. However, you can safely take cold medication. Choose one that is suitable for relieving the worst symptoms.
If your cold doesn't allow you to sleep due to persistent coughing, look for medications that contain dextromethorphan
Step 3. Take some pain relievers
A cold can be accompanied by pain, muscle soreness, and sometimes even fever. Muscles and joints can be sore, increasing the general feeling of discomfort. Try taking over-the-counter pain relievers to relieve this discomfort.
- Aspirin and ibuprofen are effective in soothing colds. Just remember to strictly follow the directions on the package regarding the dosage.
- Do not give aspirin to children as it has been related to Reye's syndrome. If your child is under the age of two, do not give them this drug for any reason. Even children who are recovering from chickenpox or the flu shouldn't take aspirin. Always ask your pediatrician for advice before giving it to a child.
Step 4. Recognize when to see your doctor
If you have a simple cold, there really isn't much that your doctor can do to help you. Antibiotics are ineffective against this ailment. Save yourself the trip to his doctor's office and don't make an appointment if you're sure it's just a cold.
If the symptoms do not resolve or are particularly severe, then you should call your doctor. This is essential if you have severe breathing difficulties
Method 3 of 3: Preventing Future Colds
Step 1. Get healthy habits
There are several things you can do to avoid succumbing to frequent colds. Remember to follow the simple rules for living a healthy life. For example, always get enough sleep.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system. This way you can defeat germs.
- Practice meditation. Research shows that individuals who meditate every day get less sick during the year. This is because meditation reduces the stress which puts unnecessary pressure on the immune system.
- Exercise often. People who exercise at least five days a week suffer from minor respiratory ailments such as colds.
Step 2. Wash your hands
The germs responsible for flu and cold spread very easily and are present on almost all surfaces. You can get in contact with such pathogens by touching commonly used objects, such as doorknobs and phones. Wash your hands several times a day, especially during cold and flus season.
Scrub them for at least 20 seconds using warm soapy water. Finally, remember to dry them with a clean cloth
Step 3. Disinfect your surroundings
You can reduce your exposure to germs by cleaning the surfaces you touch during the day. Pay particular attention to the workplace. Colleagues are one of the most common "sources" of pathogens. Avoid contact with them by cleaning your computer, phone, and pens with a sanitizing wipe at the beginning and end of the work day.
You can use the same method at home. Try to clean surfaces that are touched most frequently, such as the sink faucet in the bathroom
- If you are unsure which remedy is right for you, ask your doctor for advice.
- Try different methods until you find the one that works for your specific situation.