Thursday, December 22, 2016

6 Remedies and Tips for Severe Colds That Actually Work

For the past several days, we've been fighting a pretty terrible cold in our home. We seem to alternate between runny noses and stuffy noses, dry coughs and productive coughs. The occasional low-grade fever has shimmied its way in and a general feeling of malaise is rampant. Fatigue seems to be a common symptom, which makes my typically noisy house a place of quiet rest—which is totally weird, especially for a mom who's used to shushing them all day.

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It's been difficult to get motivated in the morning for school. Carter is schooled at home, so we like to be up by 7 and ready to start by 8 a.m. The fact that my daughter has been waking up in the wee hours of the morning and turning off my alarm makes getting up even more difficult. We've gotten up an hour past our typical time two days this week. Luckily, our schedule is flexible!

To help combat this cold, I've been trying several remedies to keep things as good as they can be. They've worked for the most part, but we're still struggling to get in the routine, but at least we feel better! Here are a few that I highly recommend.

Lots of Water

Even when you're not sick, you should drink lots of water—even more so when you're coming down with an illness. Water helps keep your organs functioning properly and keeps your bowels and bladder moving to expel some of those toxins lurking in your body. Not to mention, if you're taking decongestants or expectorants, you'll need lots of water, as it draws water from your body into your sinuses to help thin the phlegm.

Don't like tap water? Purchase a water filter for your faucet!

Black (or Green) Tea with Honey & Lemon

When I'm sick, I wake up in the mornings freezing. It doesn't matter how warm it is in the house. I've found that the habit of making tea in the morning has not only helped push me to get out of bed, but the tea itself is also enough to warm my body, soothe my throat, and wake me up. The steam also helps to break up some of the mucus that feels lodged in the back of my throat. Yuck!

Stash Tea has black tea in several different flavors. Peppermint is perfect for a cold!

Cool Mist Humidifier

Cool mist humidifiers are a lifesaver. When the air is dry, it can cause a sore throat and dry, irritated sinuses. Adding moisture to the air can help soothe those passageways. I've also found that it helps to reduce coughing. A small one for each bedroom is ideal. Alternatively, a large one for the sitting areas in your home should do.

The best-selling humidifier on Amazon is the Remedies Ultrasonic Humidifier.

Dust & Vacuum Regularly

In our little town, the dust here is insane. We're surrounded by farmland, so it's especially worse during the harvest. To keep our air quality up, we dust and vacuum regularly to remove those allergens. Extra dust can further aggravate the sinuses and even encourage more sneezing which spreads the germs! Washing curtains, vacuuming the carpet and sofa, and beating your rugs will help keep the allergen count down.

Eucalyptus Oil Salve

You can purchase a eucalyptus chest rub from your local pharmacy (it's usually around the infant cold relief products), or you can make your own. Two parts coconut oil, one part beeswax, and ten drops of eucalyptus oil will get you feeling better in no time. All you do is melt the oil and the beeswax in double boiler. Add essential oils, pour into a small container, and then allow it to harden. Apply to the chest for relief!

Eden's Garden seems to be the highest-rated essential oil company on Amazon. Their eucalyptus oil is only $3.20 + $2.99 shipping.

Plenty of Rest

When your body is fighting off an infection, you need rest. This is why you feel so tired when you're sick, because your body requires sleep. I understand that getting rest isn't always possible with our busy lifestyles, but when you can, try go to bed earlier to squeeze in an extra hour or two.

What are your best tips for fighting a severe cold? Leave a comment and let me know!

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