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7 best friends for fighting cold symptoms

honey-and-cinnamonLet’s face it. Everyone gets sick. Especially with those pesky cold symptoms, even if you got the flu shot this year.

When my husband told me he had a sore throat last Monday, after just having kissed me no less, I knew my time had come again. With the end of winter hopefully upon us, these may not be as applicable to you now. But keep these ideas in mind for the next time you get the sniffles. They certainly helped me this weekend! I cut my cold symptoms short by more than half their usual endurance.

I used to have a terrible immune system and get sick about once a month with symptoms continuing for sometimes weeks. Last year was bad as well. But this year I vowed to find something new. And I think they work. I’m already completely better!

Here are my secrets. No science, just what I’ve found to work for me. Hopefully these 5 things will be your best friends when you’re sick as well.

Note: These are not medications! We all know NyQuil is heaven for some people. But for some, like me, maybe you find that the medications don’t do a thing, and you’d rather try non-medicinal ways to get healthier. Start here:

1. Extra vitamin C. 

As soon as you experience that first symptom — the one that makes you go “oh no, here it comes” — take an extra dose of Vitamin C, either by eating lots of oranges, a vitamin pill, or an Emergen-C packet for your water. I take 1,000mg a day with lots of water when I’m experiencing cold symptoms. The nice thing is, if you don’t use it, you don’t need to worry about it building up in your body.

2. Lots of water. 

This is a must for everyday life, of course, but given that we 20-somethings don’t usually drink our recommended amount a day, it’s especially important for when we’re under the weather. Even if you’re running to the bathroom more often than you prefer, this is helping to keep your body hydrated and happy.

3. A humidifier. 

I didn’t use mine this time, but last year when I had a bad cough and felt really dry, I found that my humidifier was my life saver. Also, I’ve never tried it but Vicks makes products you can put in their humidifier to help relieve congestion (I’d love to know if it works!). Just don’t shut the bedroom door or leave it on too long.

4. Naps. 

Sleep may be hard to come by when you’re sick, but naps are a different story. My prime time was in the mid-afternoon in the bright sun while trying to read a book. Napping until there’s hot chicken noodle soup waiting for you? Dream come true. I hope you get that lucky, too. But either way, I feel so much better when I let myself fall asleep and leave fighting the symptoms up to my body.

5. Honey and cinnamon. 

I’m going to swear by this one! I read about it from multiple resources, and the honey I use is raw, so there’s really no harm in it besides the extra sugar. This has worked for me twice — and is what has cut my symptoms in half both times. Just eat plain or mix in hot water 1 tablespoon of raw honey (regular from the store is fine too) with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (which is a lot!). It takes some getting used to, but I do this once or twice a day depending on how I’m feeling for the duration of my cold symptoms.

I mean, what can it hurt to try it? (Seriously, just Google this, I’m not kidding).

6. Smoothies. 

Eating well can be hard when you either have no appetite nor the strength to make anything. If you’re sick of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, try making a smoothie (if you can). Throw in any carrots, spinach, celery, or other antioxidant-rich veggies you’re willing to risk juicing and then add fruit (oranges are best!) and whatever else to make it taste good. I know that I feel better when I’m eating well while sick.

7. Netflix. 

What more can I say? Reading may be hard, finding friends willing to endure your nose-blowing impossible, but our good friend Netflix will never leave you. Marathon on, my friends! When you’re not napping, use the time to get caught up on all your shows.