I'm at the tail-end of this three-day cold that could have absolutely lasted for weeks (fingers crossed!) so here's what it takes to nurse a cold + exhaustion.
- Wash your hands before and after everything.
- Keep hands and nose moisturized (Vit. E. oil is best).
- Make sure surroundings stay clean/Lysol/disinfectant, etc.
- Keep your teeth brushes and gargle w/ salt water.
- Regarding the above, toss that toothbrush once your cold makes its run.
- Do not underestimate a hot shower and clean clothes.
- Scented candles/wax/oils in Eucalyptus, Mint, Menthol, Citrus, etc. are wonderful for when you have a cold. Can't smell anything? These things will generally open up your nasal passages.
- I'll keep this one short: if you can cough it up, spit it out.
- Avoid physical contact for obvious reasons. Keep your cold to yourself. =]
1. Time off ~ Sleep in: I know, sometimes this is not an option. But if it is, it is very important. Try and grab a night off of everything. For me, I work 40 hours + and have a full-time campus schedule so this was not easy. Timing was perfect this time, so I had two days off that helped a lot. In this time, sleep as much as possible.
2: Sleep: Regarding above, sleep is when your body regenerates. I have not had any luck with ANY sort of cold medicine...I will generally take a sleeping aid in lieu of a cold medicine just so I can sleep. Also, acetaminophen medications are tricky things and should be taken in moderation 4+ hours a part due to their affect on the liver. Melatonin is a good alternative and can be found in vitamin form. A couple before bed with a hot glass of tea? Pure bliss. (This is controversial, but if you're up all night coughing, nothing works as quickly as a shot of dark liquor: Southern Comfort, Fireball, Jack Daniels, etc. Again, do not mix acetaminophen medications with alcohol of any kind. This can result in liver failure.)
3. Liquids ~ Liquids ~ Liquids: Yes, yes, yes. Always have a drink available. Bottled water is of course an easy option. Keeping the throat moist keeps it from getting scratchy and generally will sway off a cough and a sore throat. Herbal teas + lemon + honey are really nice before bed or in place of a typical morning cup of coffee. Also, one certain thing that is OTC that does help is Theraflu. Organic/All Natural Orange Juice during the day, alternate with water + lemon works well. Avoid sugary sodas or artificial juices and coffee with additives; the sugar content will slow down healing. Again, whiskey can drum up a cough instantly, just don't overdo it. Nothing worse than being drunk and sick.
My Personal Arsenal
- Airplane Bottles of Fireball Whiskey: Again, for the cough, it's tingly and not too overbearing and does the job when I need relief from a cough immediately.
- Orange Juice: This stuff is so soothing. I also really like orange juice. Any source of vitamin C is wonderful here.
- Bottled Water: Again, soothing and refreshing when you're full of sick "gunk."
- Herbal Tea: You can make this the old school way or throw the bags into the Keurig. Add a few slices of lemon and honey and it's amazing.
- Peppermints/Gum: Bad cold = bad breath. I keep these when I need to go out to stop the coughing and clear up my bad breath.
- Bath Salts/Scented Goodies: If I can smell or not, I love the cold and allergy salts. You can find these at the supermarket, usually, and they're wonderful. Follow up with the body wash and it'll really open you up. Also, incense, candles, oils in the appropriate scents are wonderful for a boost.