I feel, finally, this year I can call myself a semi-pro at avoiding the dreaded cold. (Ironic, seeing as I just got over a cold - but hear me out!). I survived a year of intense film school + work long ago, and then 5 years of working all sorts of too-much crazy hours, and I was often sick from just being under-rested, run-down and therefore more susceptible to germs and nasty colds: just plain not-so-healthy. I would always get sick the first week or day of a vacation, too!
Welp, not this year.
I made it through an entire year of full-time work and full-time university classes with all sorts of crazy hours and sleep and not one cold. A full year - no sickness.
So here's how to not get sick, according to me:
1. Drink Vitamin C every day (or if you don't always have a crazy schedule, drink it daily before/after a time period of busy-ness or travel).
I drink Emergen-C before I go to bed - the fizzyness of it helps the Vitamin C absorb faster (or so I've heard). This is a daily prevention thing. They have many flavours that you may well get sick of, but some are pretty okay - try mixing it with a teeny bit of juice or a squeeze of lemon or lime to better it.
2. Take echinacea supplements regularly
Prevention: immediatley if/when you start to feel a cold coming
1. Drink that daily Vitamin C twice a day.
2. Cut up some fresh ginger root into slices and boil it for 10-20 minutes, make tea with that water as you normally would. (You can keep the same ginger slices in there and just refresh the water for use all day - boiling it for longer will make the ginger stronger). Drink that tea constantly, all day long.
3. Take Echinacea supplements right away! Two together, a few times a day.
And Vitamin C, if you're not already drinking it.
4. Take Cold FX - you may not have this in the US, but in Canada we have these potent little vitamins that you take as soon as you feel a cold coming on.
5. Suck on Zinc tablets & lozenges (read the directions! You usually have to wait a few hours between them). They immediatley make your throat stop hurting! Magic. :)
6. Gargle with baking soda and salt and warm water at night before you go to bed, if your throat hurts. This is a Bulgarian trick my hubby passed along: it kills bacteria naturally overnight, and coats your throat so it feels better. Make sure it's the last thing you do before bed.
7. Sleep! Sleep, sleep sleep. Your body needs time to heal!
8. There is a gland on the top of your hand in the webbing of your thumb and your first finger. Pinch/squueeze it between the thumb and pointer finger of your other hand and massage it - if you're sick, it'll hurt with even a teeny bit of pressure. This is a lymph node that is part of your immune system, and I'm told massaging it causes good things from your immune system (which it's connected to) to circulate.
Other things you can do to help prevent/weaken colds:
* Eat a full clove of fresh garlic (my hubby swears by this one, but it's so strong it literally makes my tummy hurt. Try having it with a cracker or something, if you must. It burns the cold germs away, feels like.)
* Sleep more at a certain time of the month (it took me forever to notice this, but whenever I stayed up all night or until 3-4 am working when aunt flow was in town, I got sick no matter what. Avoid it like the plague!)
* Drink lots of liquids and eat lots of garlic, ginger, lemons, and oranges!
Prevention: pulling an all-nighter that may make you sick
1. While staying up all night (if you must) and are already feeling not so hot, boil ginger root and sip a really strong mix of it with tea - if your throat starts hurting during the all-nighter, just sip a cup and go to bed as soon as you can!
Do you have any tips/tricks that you do to help lessen a cold or stop one from getting you? Please share so we have a wicked resource next time one rolls around!
This may seem like a weird time to post cold-prevention tips, but summer colds are the worst! I'm in no way a doctor, but these are the things that work for me to fend off colds - or at least make them less horrible. Be vigilant at the first sign of one, and it'll run away scared! I hope there's at least one new thing here I do that might help you next time...Colds, beware!