Cold and flu season, I.E the winter, is not the most pleasant of times for some people, especially if they happen to be unfortunate enough to pick up a common cold, or worse yet, the influenza virus. The flu can potentially be fatal to some people, and if you happen to have ever suffered with it, you’ll know right off the bat that it can make you feel like hell. When you suffer with the flu, your body cannot properly regulate its temperature, you find yourself shivering one minute, and shaking the next, all the while coughing, sneezing, suffering with a headache, and feeling as if every muscle in your body has been beaten with a baseball bat. Yes, to say that the flu is an unpleasant condition to suffer from is a vast understatement, but the good news is that there are certain preventative measures you can put in place, and there are certain things you can do, that can help to prevent and fight off the dreaded flu, so that you can get back on your feet in no time at all. If you’re suffering with the flu, or if you’re worried you may suffer with the flu, here are a few handy tips on how to fight the flu and get you back to your old self in no time at all.
1) Flu vaccines
Modern technology and medicine has advanced at a pretty extraordinary rate over the last few decades, which means that we are better prepared than ever before, for conditions like the common cold and the flu. Flu vaccines for example, are now available to help prevent you contracting the virus. Some people really dislike having injections, and if that applies to you, you can actually get special flu vaccine nasal sprays that do the same job. Having these vaccines is beneficial, not just for you, but also for those around you as well, as they help prevent you from contracting the flu, and then from passing it on in the process.
2) Always wash your hands thoroughly
Another great way of helping to prevent yourself from contracting the flu, is to always wash your hands thoroughly, especially after going to the bathroom, handling money, or going into public places where you will be using a lot of contact points such as door handles. Even if you have a flu vaccine, you still won’t be immortal from the virus as it takes the body a good two or three weeks to build up a resistance and immunity to the virus. By washing your hands, you are less likely to pick up germs which could not only contribute towards the flu, but also towards various other health conditions like the common cold, or even food poisoning. If you cough, sneeze, blow your nose, or do anything else that could be construed as unhygienic, wash your hands, preferably with warm water and an anti-bacterial hand wash.
3) Drink plenty of fluids
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer with the flu, you should probably prepare yourself to hear people constantly telling you how important it is that you drink plenty of fluids. After the tenth person tells you this, it can get pretty annoying, but their hearts will have been in the right place and they are absolutely right. If you suffer from the flu, it can leave your body dehydrated and lacking fluids, which will suppress your immune system and leave you feeling unwell and suffering from a headache and aching muscles. When you have the flu, by making sure you are well hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids, not only can you increase your immune system, help to rehydrate your body and your muscles, and prevent painful headaches, but you can also help to make thick and nasty mucus much thinner, which is easier to cough up and remove when you blow your nose. This is very important because thick mucus is harder to get rid of, and, if it does coat your lungs, it can lead to an increased risk of an infection, which is obviously going to be the last thing that you want.
4) Inhale steam
Another great way of dealing with the flu is to inhale steam. No, you shouldn’t directly inhale steam directly from a pan of boiling water, but you should try making your own inhalation bath that you can use as a decongestant. A lot of people will take a regular bowl, will fill it with water that has just come off of the boil, and will add menthol and eucalyptus essential oils, or special decongestant solutions. Next, they will place their heads over the bowl, draped in a towel, and will inhale the steam and the vapour. This steam and oil infusion opens up the airways, it eases congestion, and it helps you to breathe easier in the process.
5) Get plenty of rest
If you have the flu, you will feel absolutely awful and won’t want to do anything at all, other than lay down feeling sorry for yourself. When we’re ill, our bodies work incredibly hard by utilizing the immune system to help fight off illness, disease, and infection. The less active you are, the more your immune system can focus on making you better. One of the best things you can do if you suffer with the flu, is to sleep and get plenty of rest, so that you can leave your body to do what it does best in times of illness. When we sleep, we restore energy and we heal, so make sure you get plenty if you are suffering with the flu.
6) Hot baths
If you are looking to recover from the flu, you may wish to consider sitting in a hot bath before you go to sleep. If you add some menthol and/or eucalyptus oil, you can actually kill two birds with one stone as you inhale the steam. Hot baths are beneficial for the flu as, to begin with they help you to relax, which will then help you to sleep, but as well as that, they can also help to soothe and relax aching joints and muscles caused by the flu.