Sunday, September 16, 2012

The not so common cure

It's that time of year again, the air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, and I'm on my second box of tissues this week... Yes we have officially reached the start of cold and flu season.


Those of you who spend any length of time with me know that I've just barely started to get over my seasonal allergies (seasonal meaning they flare up at the start of any season!) but this weekend I had a wonderful time at a wedding with my out of town BF. The downfall to spending so much time with him this weekend was we were both getting over pretty gross colds, and me being me I woke up this morning already having the sore throat that started his off. 

Lucky for me, the fact that I get a lot of colds (and allergies, and sinus infections...) means I have developed a whole routine of cold maintenance that lessens the length and minimizes the severity of my symptoms. Though I've yet to find one that stops me from sounding like a baby elephant when I blow my nose...

The first is vitamin C. Now I eat a pretty balanced diet to begin with and I'm a big fan of my fruits and veggies so getting my vitamins on a regular basis is no issue, but when I have a cold I swear by a packet of Emergen-C at the start of the day. It's fizzy, which feels surprisingly good on a sore throat, and it gives you a little boost of energy to make up for a night's sleep interrupted by the inability to breathe.

 Next is a sinus rinse. I do nasal irrigation almost daily just because I have a lot of problems up in nose/sinus area, but I usually bump it up to a twice daily routine when I am really congested. I fill my neti pot with water from the kettle after it's been boiled (this prevents any germ/parasite guys from causing more serious issues) and let the water cool in the bottle for about 15-20 min. Then just add the little salt packet and go to town. It's actually really cool in a (totally) gross sort of way. And it feels awesome!

 As you know I'm a huge tea drinker already,  so that's nothing new for when I'm sick. However when the sore throat gets really bad I like to mix up a big mug of honey tea (1 tbsp honey dissolved in 8-10 oz of hot water) which does a really good job of coating the throat and helping to ease any scratchy feelings.

The last thing I do is a warm compress on my face right before bed. I have an herbal one from Christmas last year specifically designed for headaches (I think "Santa" got it at Whole Foods). I pop it in the microwave for about 45 seconds and place it over my eyes so the warmth spreads into my sinuses and the smell reaches my nose, it's a great way to fall asleep when you aren't feeling good.

So that's it (besides a giant box of tissues). Those few simple things are enough to make cold and flu season bearable for this nasally challenged girl :) (the children's book to read is definitely optional though).

What are your tricks for surviving the season of sniffles?

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