This year seems to be the year for sickness. Everyone is sniffling, sneezing and coughing all over everything in sight and there is no safe place to hide! Even in these extreme circumstances, there are plenty of great ways to avoid getting sick, but if you are one of the unfortunate souls that happen to succumb to the winter plague, there are plenty of great ways to quickly get over it.
As you may already know, I have recently recovered from a bout of swine flu or something equally as nasty. I pride myself on my impenetrable immune system and this is the first time I have gotten seriously sick in over 3 years! Fortunately, I was able to get back to my normal healthy self less than a week later. The past few years of dabbling with holistic remedies and becoming more in tune with my body really paid off and I was able to get over the yuckies quickly and easily. Here are some things I tried that seemed to work well.
Rest – is probably the most important as well as natural and obvious things to do. It is pretty much the only thing you want to do, so that works out well. Sleep and relaxation is important because it helps your body use it’s energy to heal and regenerate. So, become a permanent fixture on the couch and relax with good books and movies – your body knows what to do.
Fluids – are equally as important as rest…. and you need lots of ’em. I chose to vary my fluid intake to maximize on the vitamins and minerals that my body so desperately needed. Some good bevies include:
- Water – Duh! Its the elixir of life, people! Drink tons of it.
- Tea – My fave brand for naturopathic purposes is Traditional Medicinals. I was fancying “Breathe Easy” , but they also have “Cold Care”, “Throat Coat” and various Echinacea teas.
- Green juice – Green juice is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. It is a great meal replacer if you are just way too sick to eat, or want to give your digestive system a little break. There are tons of green juice recipes floating around. If its got some leafy greens in it you’re on the right track. Some faves are here and here.
- Master Cleanse lemonade – For those of you that have done the Master Cleanse diet you are probably all too familiar with the staple “spicy lemonade” drink. I drink this whenever I am feeling under the weather and it ALWAYS makes me feel better, although I am really not sure why. This time was no different.
All you need is:
– 2 T. grade B maple syrup (It is very important that you use Grade B)
– 2 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
– 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
– 10oz. of purified water.
Mix and enjoy the magic!
Vitamin C – Take 500mg of Vitamin C a day as soon as you start feeling yucky. Try to eat an orange, tangerine, clementine or another citrus fruit of your choice during the day. If sickness still overtakes you, continue your vitamin C intake every day.
Think healthy – Picture yourself healthy, happy and energetic. Tell yourself that you are going to wake up tomorrow feeling AMAZING and conquer the world. Most importantly, do not dwell on how horrible you feel. Accept it and move on. Think healthy and you will get over your illness much quicker. Its strange, but true!
Meditate – This is a bit of an extension on thinking healthy. Take some time out each day to completely concentrate on healing your body. Breathe health in and sickness out of each of your body parts. Is the concentration not there? Then use this free guided meditation.
Easy hydrotherapy – I find that a hot and steamy shower can help with stuffiness and make you feel incredibly better. I would suggest taking two short showers, (So they both equal one of your normal showers. Lets not waste water here.) one in the morning and one before bedtime. Make sure the water is hot and steamy, but leave the door open (or the window slightly ajar, if your feeling brave) so when you get out of the shower you get a little shock of cold air. This is a mild form of hydrotherapy that is a common naturopathic cure for colds and flu. If you use a peppermint soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) while showering, that could add to the refreshment factor. Once you’re done showering, blow your nose, bundle up, and go take a nap. Heaven!
Avoid caffeine and alcohol – Both are stressful on your system and are dehydrating, and both of those things are obviously counter productive. If you are staying well hydrated and resting, I promise you will not die without your morning latte.
East (mostly) Raw – Cooked and processed foods take a lot of energy to digest and process. That energy is desperately needed by the body to heal itself. Most raw foods are also extremely alkaline. When your body is in an acidic (non-alkaline) state, it is harder to fend off illnesses. I would suggest consuming only whole, uncooked foods with the exception of a hearty vegetable soup, which makes up for its cooked-ness by being loaded with veggies, fluids and warmth.
Get Active – Once you are beginning to feel a bit better (you can actually stand up and walk around), get slightly active. Go for a leisurely walk, stretch or do some light yoga. Sometimes that is all your body needs to heal completely.
Heres to a healthy and illness-free winter! If you happen to get sick, I hope this list helps you! Remember, I am not a doctor so try these suggestions at your own risk. If you are violently ill or you have a fever longer than 48 hours, you should probably contact a physician.