I am inspired to write this blog post because I have a tendency to get sinus infections. I used to get around three a year when I was in my twenties, but for the last couple of years, I’m harboring around six and they’re coming with fever plus a congested cough. I’m not a doctor, but my guess is antibiotic resistance paired with an increasingly hostile air environment. (As soon as we move into the new house, I’m investing in one of those mega-air purifiers.)
In the meantime, there are a few tips and tricks that you could do right now to help you get well soon if you’re suffering from a typical cold or light flu.
1. Eat more Vitamin C. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information: “vitamin C deficiency results in a reduced resistance against certain pathogens whilst a higher supply enhances several immune system parameters.” Getting an adequate amount of vitamin C won’t prevent you from catching a cold, but it may help reduce the length and severity. Natural ways to obtain vitamin C include citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits), green, red, and chili pepers, kale, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, pineapple, kiwi, and mango.
2. Get some exercise. This doesn’t have to be intense; as described on WebMD, moderate activity, such as walking for 20-30 minutes a day, can help prevent illness. If you’re already sick, exercising may not be a great idea; you really have to listen to your body. If you’re taking decongestants, they already raise your heart rate, so be careful with too much cardio after taking over-the-counter medications. If you have a fever, you’re body is already under strain, it may be best to just get some rest.
3. Hit the shower and soak up some steam. Steam helps alleviate mucus by encouraging nasal drainage. Mixing steam with some aromatherapy, particularly the essential oils of basil, eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary, such as the upcoming Breathe Green Shower Steamers, may boost your overall well-being.
4. Get some sleep! Adults need between 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. The Mayo Clinic warns that a consistent lack of sleep will make you more susceptible to catching virus, and more susceptible to long-term disease. If you find yourself having a hard time sleeping from stress or anxiety, try spending more time outside during the day, try taking a walk, and breathe in lavender and chamomile essential oils.
5. While essential oils won’t cure your illness, breathing in different blends of quality aromatherapy may ease the respiratory system. The Breathe Green aromatherapy blend has been specifically crafted to help ease the respiratory system. This specific combination of essential oils, including peppermint, basil, rosemary and more, work together to improve the balance and quality of every breath you take. It maintains feelings of clear airways and easy breathing and helps minimize the effects of seasonal threats.
6. Your Mom was right, chicken soup! In a report by CBS, Dr. Keri Peterson, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, explained that “soup can help open up congested sinuses.” But never fear, my vegan friends, Dr. Peterson goes on the explain that any type of broth-based soup will do the same. As stated in the article, the hot liquid helps to dilate blood vessels which helps mucous flow.
7. Learn to say no. You’re tired, you’re busy, and you’re stressed out. Stress, along with all of the long-term side effects such as mood disorders, depression, anxiety, weight gain, and heart issues, reduces your general immunity. Saying no to unnecessary obligations is a great way to reduce your stress level. It’s okay if you can’t work full time, raise kids, run a household, and be expected to be the PTA president – you don’t have to.
8. Check the air quality in your home. We don’t realize how polluted our indoor air can be. Between cleaning products, smoke, pets, paraffin candles, dust, and fragrance sprays full of phthalates, we are often making our indoor air more polluted than our outdoor air. Try switching to soy candles with cotton wicks, essential oils for cleaning, smoking outside, and vacuuming more often, you can reduce the number of pollutants irritating you in your home.
9. Wash your hands and sanitize your workspace like a mad person. This is especially true if you’re often around a lot of people, or used shared workspaces. To do this quickly and cheaply, grab yourself a spray bottle of the highest-level isopropyl alcohol you can find (99% is ideal, but 91% at the local drugstore will be just fine). If you can’t get to washing your hands right away, just douse your hands and rub, spray your keyboards, your cell phone, your work phones, doorknobs – you get the picture. When you can wash your hands, make sure you sing the whole alphabet while rubbing your hands vigorously with warm, soapy water. By the way, you don’t NEED antibacterial soap, regular soap does the trick without drying your hands.
10. Avoid alcohol and sugar. In an article from Prevention, it’s explained that “like alcohol, sugar inhibits white blood cells from engulfing bacteria and viruses.” Instead of opting for alcohol and sugar, up your protein; protein boosts your amino acids which directly affects your T-cell count – a lower T-cell count means a greater chance for opportunistic viruses and bacteria to get into your system.
What are some ways you try to combat getting sick?
This blog provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.