As a holistic health practitioner, I know when cold and flu season is upon us. And, it is upon us. Know that you can make it through the season with a little help!
The first thing to understand is that when someone who is infected with a virus coughs or sneezes, microscopic droplets can travel up to six feet and be inhaled by another person. Gross and unnecessary. If you feel like you have a cold or the flu, it is best to stay home and take care of yourself. If you have to be around others, please wear a mask. It may be uncomfortable but everyone around will be thankful and grateful!
It’s also good to know exactly which one you have. It can be confusing to know if you have a cold or the flu. Both can affect the respiratory system and both the cold and flu include symptoms like:
- Chest and Sinus Congestion
However, flu symptoms are more severe, can develop quickly and may make it impossible to get out of bed for a couple of days. The flu is potentially more deadly with complications like pneumonia possible. Furthermore, the flu is also very contagious! Flu symptoms can include the above, but are also more severe including:
- Muscle aches
- Higher fever
- Extreme Fatigue
I was just with a client who was having a reaction to a common over-the-counter cold prevention remedy. Her lips swelled and she became very uncomfortable. This remedy was full of all kinds of ingredients that she was not able to tolerate.
So, what can you do to help avoid a cold or flu in a more natural way?
- Stay away from those who are symptomatic. If they come to work or school, try to keep your distance. Consider interacting over the phone instead of face-to-face. If you have to be in contact wash your hands frequently!
- While we talking about hands, try to keep your hands away from your face and eyes. This is were germs enter!
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is an overall healthy habit for a healthy lifestyle and most of us don’t get enough sleep. When you feel like you are coming down with something, go to bed. When you get enough sleep you are creating a positive environment for immune system to work.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps to loosen congestion and prevents dehydrations. If you are feeling dehydrated avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas which can make symptoms worse.
- Continue to exercise, especially outside. Fresh air and exercise enhances your immune system and can lift your spirits too. If you workout at the gym, be sure to wipe down the equipment before and after you use it. Again, wash your hands after your workout.
- Eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables help support your immune system which is easier than fighting off the flu.
- If you carry a cloth purse, consider switching to something that can be easily wiped down and cleaned. Carry some wipes in your bag and use them to keep your purse, back pack or brief case clean.
- When travelling, wipe your airline seat, tray table and seatbelt down with a wipe. Most “row mates” ask me for an extra so they can do the same thing! Sit towards the back of the plane – most people cough forward!
- Don’t share drinks or food with others as this can easily spread germs. Also, beware of those yummy dips at holiday parties. You never know who has been double dipping!
- Ask your naturopath or doctor about a flu shot and about what supplements might benefit you. Those who are at risk of getting the flu may want to consider getting a flu shot. To help avoid a cold, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Echanacia, Ginger and Zinc can all be helpful.
If you do get a cold or the flu:
- Stay in bed and let yourself heal.
- >Work from home if you can.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids like water, juice and broth.
- Sneeze and cough in the crook of your arm so you don’t spread germs.
- Throw used kleenex away. Using dirty kleenex may be prolonging your symptoms.
- Call me for help. We can remove the energy of the virus or bacteria and boost your immune system!