Happy New Year!
I’m taking the fact that I’m starting 2017 off with a head cold as a sign that I’m getting it over with and I’ll have an awesome productive year. That’s how it works, right?
I was fighting this head cold for the last few days of the year, and about 10:30 PM on New Years Eve, I lost the battle. Succumbing to a drippy nose, an aching head, and body aches, I went to bed before midnight and slept til 10:30 in the morning. But when a mom gets sick, the family still needs her. Souped up on Dayquil and Coke Zero, I pushed through the sickness and we spent New Years Day re-organizing the house. The family room became my photography studio, the living room is now the family room and the dining room is the computer nook. Adding some additional IKEA storage found cheap on a Facebook yard sale group and my house is looking organized and I feel better prepared to accomplish my goals.
But today, I’m down for the count, nothing else I can do. Even Dayquil isn’t soothing my symptoms much. Here are the 10 things I do when I get this sick to help me get better fast.
No. 1: Drink Up!
Get plenty of fluids. It helps break up your congestion, makes your throat moist, and keeps you from getting dehydrated.
Need ideas for something to drink? Try water, sports drinks, herbal teas, fruit drinks, or ginger ale. You can always try my Chicken and Barley Soup, too.
No. 2: Make It Steamy!
When I was sick as a child, my mom always asked me if I had taken a shower – insisting that it would make me feel better. As usual, Mom was always right. Now the first thing I do when I get sick is hop in a hot shower, sometimes sinking to the floor, allowing the steam to loosen up the congestion and allowing the heat to sooth the aches and pains.
No. 3: Blow Your Nose
Sniffing is not just annoying (or is that just annoying to me?) but it can send bacteria laden mucus up into your ear canal, leading to a painful earache. Keep moisturized tissues next to you and blow your nose instead, plugging one nostril and gently blowing, then switch. Head colds are notorious for congestion – get it out! Don’t hold it in.
No. 4: Use Saline Spray
When I was younger, I used to get really bad sinus infections. My doctor had me doing saline spray rinses multiple times a day to try and stop them. Now whenever I get stuffy nose, the first thing I do is reach for the saline spray to clear my sinuses. This helps prevent sinus infections and earaches too.
No. 5: Stay Warm and Rested
Christmas morning, I woke up to an over two feet of snow. This Arizona girl was not dreaming of a white Christmas. I hate snow. I hate being cold. And now that I’m sick, I’m snuggled even deeper under my heated blanket and I always have a cup of my favorite herbal tea nearby.
No. 6: Drink Hot Liquids
They relieve your congestion and soothe the inflamed lining of your nose and throat. A spoonful of sugar, or rather honey, which is a natural antibacterial agent, really will help you feel better – calming the tickle int he back of your throat. Avoid milk as it increases mucus production.
No. 7: Keep Vaseline Nearby for Chapped lips and Raw Irritated Noses
Being sick sucks the moisture from my lips and my drippy nose causes a tender, raw upper lip that is painful to touch. I love keeping a Vaseline based lip balm nearby to coat both my lips and my nose, cushioning them from more irritation.
No. 8: Use Mentholated Salve
Try a small dab under your nose. It opens up breathing passages. A drop or two of tea tree oil in a hot steamy shower will help you breathe better too.
Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw.
No. 9: Put Hot Packs on Your Sinuses
You can buy reusable ones at a drugstore. Or make your own. Take a damp washcloth and heat it for 30 seconds in a microwave. Test the temperature first to make sure it’s right for you.
No. 10: Try an Extra Pillow Under Your Head
Do this at night when you sleep to help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, place the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.