Flu season is upon us yet again, and by all measures, it’s not going to go easy on us. While the flu is often regarded as more annoying than threatening of an illness, it can lay you up for a number of days and, in some cases, threaten more serious health concerns. Not to mention that it is a really uncomfortable situation to be in. You’re jumping between too hot and too cold, you have aches, nausea, you’re tired – it’s not a fun time, and the symptoms are worse for boomers. But while there’s no quick cure to the flu once you have it, there are methods for fighting it that will make it a little more tolerable and have you back on your feet quicker.
The most important thing when you have the flu is that you take some time off to treat it and do your best to avoid passing it on to others. You might feel like you’re being tough and resilient by not letting the flu stop you from going to work, but really, you’re just being foolish and selfish. Your body needs time to fight the illness which means you need to get off your feet and take it easy for a while. If absolutely necessary, do some work from home, but the most important thing is to not push yourself too hard and give yourself time to recover. It’s also important that you don’t expose others to your flu. It is very contagious and even a cough can get someone else sick surprisingly quick. Do yourself and everyone else a favour, stay home and get better.
You lose a lot of fluids when you have the flu, so it’s important to replace them often. Always have a drink on the go whether it be water, orange juice or a sports drink. Keeping yourself hydrated helps your body stay strong enough to keep fighting off the illness. It will also help to keep you more comfortable, working to get rid of some of the awful mucus build up and expel it from your body more effectively. While drinking just about anything will do the trick, try to avoid sugary drinks and go for the type of juices with a lot of vitamins in them as it will further help to keep your body in fighting shape.
Getting comfortable when you have the flu might not seem like a likely scenario – how about ‘more comfortable’. While there isn’t anything you can do to cure your flu in a flash, you are able to ease the pain of the whole ordeal. There are certain medicines that can help with keep your temperature more normal and take away some of the overall discomfort, like ibuprofen. However, there are some medicines like aspirin that can be harmful depending on your health situation, and you should always consult your doctor before using any medication.
Steam is your friend.
Again, just getting yourself more comfortable when sick is a great start towards feeling better. One of the most uncomfortable aspects of the flu is how it effects your breathing, feeling as though your lunges are tighter than usual. This can be worse for people with asthma. The best treatment for that is steam. It seems simple enough and it is. Inhaling steam helps to ease your lunges and get rid of some of the dryness in there. You can simply inhale the steam from your kettle, or take a nice hot bath or shower. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a humidifier on hand to help fight off that uncomfortable dry, sore throats that sometimes accompany the flu.
I know, when you have the flu the last thing you feel like doing is eating. Your appetite is virtually none existent and the thought of food can even turn your stomach. However, it’s important to remember that in order to beat the flu, your body needs to remain strong and therefore it needs food to keep up its energy. Chicken noodle soup is a classic for a reason, not too hard on the stomach, provides you with some more fluids and is soothing. Even if you have to eat that for every meal, keep your stomach full.
Get lots of sleep.
Another way you can help your body to fight is by getting the rest you need. Your body is going through a lot and needs to rest and recharge more regularly than you’re used to, so when you feel tired, embrace it and get some sleep. Even if it’s the middle of the afternoon, if your body wants to rest, let it. When it comes to the nighttime, there’s a lot of medications that can help to ease any discomfort and give you that nice drowsy feeling to ensure you can get the solid, long sleep you need.
Above all, talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have regarding your flu. Consult them before taking any medications, if you are having trouble keeping food down, or any other more serious symptoms. Visit your doctor after 48 hours to ensure you’re on the mend.