Sorry i’ve been MIA lately! I’ve been dealing with a pretty bad cold which has left me drained of any and all energy and spunk. But here I am – live from my bed! – to fill you in on some of the best ways to prevent – and treat – your chilly weather sickness.
The best treatment is prevention. Making your wellness a priority all year round is the best way to build your body up against colds, the flu, and other viruses. Putting some of these practices into play before a cold is introduced (smoothies, lemon water, sleep) is the easiest way to lessen your chances of ending up sick in bed. However, there’s no foolproof way to stop yourself from getting sick, so if you do end up with the sniffles, here’s my favorite tried & true tricks to help alleviate the sometimes miserable symptoms that often come along with a cold.
1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Instant relief! When you’ve got a cold and can barely breathe, you’ll do pretty much anything to open up the airways (even just a little!) Eucalyptus is just the thing. I prefer the “NOW Foods Organic Eucalyptus Oil” brand to make sure i’m getting the best quality oil.
Boil a pot of water, put a few drops of oil in the water, then breathe in the steam. I really, really recommend putting a towel over your head to lock in the steam — you’ll REALLY clear out your sinuses fast!
2. Saline Solution Nasal Spray
Since we’re keeping it all natural, let’s talk about one of the most amazing wonders mama earth gave us: Salt Water!
How – and why – does saline nasal spray work? When you have a cold, allergies, and/or itchy/runny nose, the mucus can build up within the sinus cavities. Saline spray moistens and loosens the mucus, decongesting your sinus cavities. With regular use, mucus will thin and loosen, postnasal drip will lessen, and your nasal passages will be squeaky clean from problem-causing bacteria. What does this mean for you? Breathing easier and suffering less. Easy as that!
Bonus? You can use saline spray to moisten a dry nose if you’re prone to bloody noses in the winter. AND it’s safe to use it whenever you need it – it’s allllllll natural.
3. Juicy Juice, Smoothie Smooth
Don’t have a regular juicing or smoothie (or both) routine? Now’s the time to step it up! If you’ve been flaking on your blender lately, rekindle the romance. If your juicer hasn’t seen the light of day in weeks (or months), now’s the time to reintroduce it into your life. It really is as easy as throwing some veggies, fruits, and superfoods into a machine and voila! – you’ve got a snack/meal/healing/cleansing juice or smoothie!
New to juicing? My favorite recipe goes as follows:
- 1 handful of kale
- 1 handful of romaine
- 1 handful of baby spinach
- 1/2-1 cucumber
- 1 apple
- 1 zucchini (optional)
What’s my secret to amazing, refreshing, not-grassy-tasting juice? Add coconut water & ice! Added bonus: coconut water is loaded with enzymes, vitamin c, potassium, and magnesium. That means better hydration (so important for cold and flu sufferers) and reduced symptoms of fatigue, weakness, aches, etc.
- 1 banana
- chia seeds and/or hemp seeds
- huge handful greens of your choice (i love a “power greens” mix: baby spinach, kale, swiss chard)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- frozen peaches
For extra antioxidants, add blueberries. So yummy. You can also add cacao powder, superfoods, and various fruits in. Get creative! This is just the recipe I use for my green smoothie every morning.
Now is the time to also up your liquid intake – herbal teas (chamomile, throat coat, peppermint, echinacea) & warm lemon water are amazing at soothing, relaxing, and purifying!
4. Re-Work Your Workouts!
The reason why you feel wiped out during a cold or flu is because your body is doing hard, hard work for you to fight off the bugs inside! It’s really important to honor that and take that into account when planning workouts while you’re sick. This is the time to take it easy. Do some light yoga and maybe even jogging (if you have a cold only), but skip the aggressive, crazy-hard workouts for now. Trust me, i’ve experienced this many times: you try to work out hard through a cold, and the cold never goes away. You ease up for a week and “magically” the cold disappears.
Take it easy, your bod will thank you…And you’ll be back to the gym in no time 🙂
5. Shhh…. Sleepy Time
This is a BIG one! Lack of sleep is a leading factor for susceptibility to cold and flu viruses. What does a full night of sleep look like? For most people, that means 7-9 hours. A good way to tell if you’re getting enough sleep is to examine how you feel when you wake up: do you press snooze 5 times? Is it impossible to drag yourself out of bed? Do you need an alarm to wake you up? Believe it or not, you should be waking up naturally (no annoying alarm clock needed). If you can manage that, your body is going to thank you by increasing your energy and immune function.
How much sleep do you need if you already have a cold or flu? The answer, in short, is LOTS. Personally I recommend you schedule a nap-time while you’re still feeling sniffly. Remember, your body is working hard to fight off a virus… you need all the rest you can get! Try to nap between 1-3pm, as any later could affect your sleep later on. Naps are healthy and actually super effective — they lead to clearer thinking, higher energy, and better ability to focus rather than if you had tried to power through your exhaustion.
Also really important? Bed time. I know I struggle with this a lot, but I can tell a huge difference in my health and vitality when I get to bed before 11pm. Just for a week, try it! Your body gets intensely restorative sleep during 10pm-2am. Most people totally miss this time frame and skimp out on the amazing benefits of deep sleep.
Nighty night, sleep tight my little lambs.
Happy resting, relaxing, and restoring!
Lots of love,