Kicking the Cold or Flu Virus (Once You’ve Caught It!)

You’ve taken all the precautions–gotten your flu shot, wash your hands frequently and you eat a healthy diet.  Yet, somehow you’ve managed to catch some kind of nasty cold/flu virus that’s been making the rounds.  Unfortunately, this time of year despite all the precautions, many of us fall victim to colds and the flu due to the fact that the colder weather has us indoors where the viruses are spread more easily.

After coming to terms with the fact you have come down with something, focus your energy on getting better as quickly as possible.  As much as I’d love to tell you there’s a magic pill that will make you better in a day, there really isn’t (at least not that I have found).  It’s really about listening to your body and giving yourself a little TLC for a few days.  One thing we always hear is to drink lots of fluids.  I was in my doctor’s office last year for a regular check up and happened to be coming down with a minor cold.  His advice to me was to drink lots of liquids and when I thought I had done so, drink even more.  I stick to water, unsweetened tea and diluted 100% fruit juice.

Here’s a bit of advice we probably all need to do a better job at following–rest!  It makes sense that we need to get more rest when we’re sick, but most of us usually try to force ourselves to keep up with our regular schedules.  I find this only prolongs my illness (not to mention that my bringing my germs into the workplace probably doesn’t endear me to my coworkers!).  If you’re feeling poorly, especially if you’re running a fever, stay in bed and give your body the rest it needs to recover.

You can usually manage your symptoms with over-the-counter cold and pain relief medications; however, my own personal rule-of-thumb is if my fever is high or if my symptoms don’t improve after a couple of days, I call my doctor.

I found a past Insider’s Viewpoint article, which has some great tips about nutrition and how it can help build the immune system.  Not only can a healthy immune system keep you healthy, it can also help you get better, faster if you do become sick.  Check out the different nutrients and fruits/veggies that contain them as well as a tasty recipe for chicken vegetable soup.  Let’s face it–there’s no better medicine than that.  Stay healthy this winter!

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