How to kick a cold in 2 days
It’s that nasty time of year again when the kids are back in school and bringing home all sorts of sicknesses with them. It’s been two months since my kids returned to school, and I have been sick twice already! I don’t know what’s worse, seeing my babies sick, or being sick myself and unable to function in all of my motherly responsibilities.
Luckily, I have discovered how to get over these nasty cold viruses quickly. It used to take my body a week, sometimes even two, to recover from a virus. When I say 1-2 weeks, I’m talking about from start to finish. I categorize a cold into 3 phases.
First, there is, what I call, the “onset” phase. This is the time period that you first feel the cold coming on. At first, you may dismiss it as a case of hay fever or allergies, but usually when the allegra doesn’t work, it’s the tell tale sign that something else is brewing. This phase usually lasts for one day.
Second, there is the “active” phase. This is when the virus has completely taken over and knocked you down for the count. Sore throat, drippy nose, watery eyes, coughing; this is the phase where it’s hard to function and life is downright miserable. Sometimes this phase can last up to 5 days!
Third, there is the “recovery” phase. This is when you are no longer contagious and the virus is packing up it’s bags and moving on. You feel tons better, but you might still have the remnants of a cough hanging on. This usually lasts for 2-3 days.
Adding up all 3 phases, a cold can knock you down for a good week or two. For me, that used to be the case. I remember the beginning of last year (2016); within the first four months of the year, I had come down with three different head colds, each of which left me suffering in the “active” phase for several days. I was depleted of all energy and quite honestly, I began feeling downright depressed that my immune system was so weak. That is when I started studying up on what to do to boost my immune system and help my body reject these unwanted viruses much quicker. By following these few simple steps, I have been able to successfully knock my cold time down in half! The “active” phase has gone from 4-5 days to only 2 days.
One thing I have learned, and I want to be clear in stating, is that there is no magic cure to make a cold stop dead in it’s tracks. Once you’ve caught a virus, it is going to have to work it’s way through. What I am saying is that you can reduce your sick time in half by following a few simple steps, cutting the “active” phase to only two days. I am sharing with you seven things that I do, beginning the second that I feel a cold coming on until I am through the better part of recovery.
Here you go, 7 steps to kick your cold:
- Drink lots of water! I don’t mean the standard 64 ounces a day; that won’t do! Drink at least 100 ounces. I know, that seems like a lot. At the beginning of each day, I always fill up a mason jar with water (it holds almost 30 ounces of water). This way, I know that I need to drink a little more than 3 of those jars each day. I also add slices of lemon to my water. Lemon helps to cleanse your system and flush out impurities. There are other ways to increase your liquid intake, which we will talk about in a minute.
- Homemade Chicken Soup. There are so many healing benefits of chicken soup, which I talk about in my chicken soup recipe post (you can access my recipe for chicken soup by clicking here). In a nutshell, chicken soup helps with inflammation, it helps with digestion, and it helps to deliver many vitamins and minerals which aids in the body’s healing process. Store bought chicken soup lacks many of these nutrients; it’s got to be homemade! Eat at least one bowl of chicken a soup a day while you are sick.
- Drink tea, particularly Echinacea tea. Echinacea tea is full of herbs known to help boost the immune system function. There are lots of brands to choose from, but this one is my favorite.
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- Get some sleep; easier said than done, I know. Especially if you have a 9-5 job to report to and children to tend to. Still, your body is going to recover faster if you let it rest. When you are overly tired, your immune system is stressed and has to work even harder to rejuvenate. If you are able to, let your eyes rest throughout the day. Take a nap. Take a sick day at work. Get to bed early. The house chores can wait! You may think you don’t have time to rest, but you’ll be functioning at fuller capacity a lot faster if you allow yourself to rest.
- Cut sugar! Seriously, viruses feed off of sugar. Most people think that pumping up on juice will help to strengthen their immune system; don’t do it! Juice is packed with sugar and you are only feeding your virus when you drink it! Stick with the teas. Remember that simple carbs convert to sugar as well. You really are better off eating a simple diet (chicken soup being the staple!) that is high in vegetables and other nutrient dense foods. Sugar is also a huge inflammatory food. Inflammation makes everything feel worse. Opt for foods that are low in sugar and that have high anti-inflammatory properties.
- Take a detox bath. Really; baths can help to detox your system! We probably all know that the steam from hot baths can help to clear our respiratory system. Try adding one cup apple cider vinegar and one cup Epsom salts to your bath. Apple cider vinegar helps to draw toxins out of your body. Don’t worry-it’s diluted enough that you won’t even smell it! Epsom salts helps to relax muscle and body aches. Give yourself at least 15-20 minutes in the bath. I find it helpful to bring in a washcloth to wet in the hot water and drape over my face. It is soothing and feels like first aid to my sinuses. A hot bath is also very relaxing. Do this before bed and it will help you to be relaxed and sleep better! I draw baths every day during the “active” phase of my colds, and sometimes even after just because it’s so relaxing.
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- Essential Oils– use them! I know there’s a lot of debate about the effectiveness of essential oils; some people believe it’s all a gimmick. All I can tell you is that it is part of my “get well” routine and what I am doing is working! I don’t think they are the cure all, but they certainly can play a role in the healing process. Personally, I use Doterra oils, so I only know the names of those blends. I use On Guard on the bottom of our feet twice a day. I also diffuse it to help purify the air. It is supposed to help boost and strengthen the immune system. If I could only choose one oil to live with for the rest of my life, I’d have to choose Breathe. This oil has done wonders for my family! My son and I are both asthmatics, so when we get sick we tend to develop bad coughs. I’ve tried vaporub and humidifiers but nothing ever completely soothes that cough; nothing except for Breathe. I have found that if I put some Breathe oil in a diffuser or humidifier, we are able to rest peacefully without coughing fits all night long. It really does work wonders! I am not a Doterra oils rep, but they are easy to find.
That’s it! Those are the 7 steps I follow to kick my cold in half the time. I don’t think it will be as effective if you only choose 3 or 4 off the list to follow. All of these steps, as a whole, work together in strengthening your immune system and flushing out that nasty virus!
Just another note, I rarely take cold/flu medications. I don’t feel that they are effective and sometimes they even make me feel worse. The main problem is that medications are really just a “Band-Aid”; they only mask the systems but they don’t get rid of the virus. When I am feeling extremely bad, I will occasionally take a shot of ny-quil before bed or
I will drink a cup of Theraflu periodically throughout the day. I’m a fan of Thera-flu, which is a tea with added medicines to help ease aches and pains of the common cold.
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I would love to hear your success stories with this method!
Disclaimers: I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice. If you require medical attention, please seek the advice of your physician.
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