It’s peak sniffles season. With the cold of winter drawing to a close and the warmth of spring just around the corner, a unique combination of flu and allergy symptoms are making the rounds. Though you do your best to ward them off, illnesses usually barge unannounced into our lives at the worst possible moments- not that they’re ever welcome in the first place, mind you.
But whether it’s a common cold or a more serious ailment, your work and life are momentarily disrupted. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine quayed that employees generally lost 7.65% of the total working days in a year, or an average of 17.92 days, due to sickness.
Some people occasionally call in sick as an excuse not to go to work. Surprisingly, CareerBuilder’s annual survey quotes that in 2017, 40% of workers called in sick in the last 12 months even when they weren’t.
But jokes aside, it is actually recommended to stay at home and rest when you’re feeling under the weather. Taking care of yourself in order to recover completely is one of the best things you can do.
Want to get better faster?
I’ll let you in on a secret. There are a few ways you can speed up the recovery process. Here’s a list of some things that you should try- and share with everyone at work!
Drink enough fluids
Increase your intake of the liquids you drink when you’re ill. It may sound gross, but the snot or phlegm your body produces to oust a bacterial infection is made up of mucus. The more fluid you take, the more easily your body can get rid of it.
So it’s essential to stay hydrated. Though water is best, juice or hot tea can be equally as beneficial. Tea is especially suitable because it contains theophylline, a natural substance that can dilate the bronchioles in your lungs and facilitate breathing. But try to steer clear of alcohol, coffee, and soda.
A cup of hot water with honey is ideal for soothing a sore throat and relieving sinus problems such as a runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. Avoid milk as it can coat your throat and promote mucus production.
Eat nutritious meals
Your body needs vitamins and minerals to recover quickly. Try eating three meals to re-establish a healthy appetite and nourish the body. Consume a wide variety of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables. That way, you will get a great mix of nutrients. Incorporate foods that contain vitamins A and D to jumpstart your immune system.
But don’t forget the best remedy for any sickness- good old soup. Not only does it help you get hydrated, but it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help break up the congestion associated with colds. Moreover, chicken is an excellent source of protein, an essential nutrient required to heal wounds and maintain tissues. But it’s also necessary for the formation of the antibodies needed to protect the body from infection, illness, and disease.
Don’t feel like eating anything? It’s common not to have much of an appetite. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to skip meals. Consider drinking a smoothie. Not only is it loaded with abundant nutrients, but it’s so much easier to consume and make, especially when you don’t have the energy to cook anything.
Turn off all screens
While many have a habit of catching up on their favorite TV shows or working from the bedroom when sick, it’s better to take time out from all the devices that emit blue light. TVs, mobile phones, and tablets all fall into this category.
Not only does blue light place a strain on your eyes, but it’s also linked to physical and mental fatigue. At the moment, pamper yourself with that much-needed rest. Go on, draw the blinds, and turn off the lights.
Instead of dozing in front of the TV, take the time to truly rest. Make your bedroom extra comfortable and just focus on self-care. And if you’re worried about work, allocate an hour or so to respond to emails or messages.
The way to a quick recovery involves allowing your body to go through the healing process. But it’s also necessary to reduce the level of discomfort. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve body aches, pain, and fever, letting you catch up on some shut-eye. This is an essential part of the process of getting your strength back. Also, consider taking vitamin supplements such as vitamin C and zinc to boost the immune system.
Try experimenting with herbal remedies. Peppermint can help reduce congestion and soothe an upset stomach, while eucalyptus can relieve cough and cold symptoms. However, be careful about taking herbs with other medications or supplements. Due to the drug-herb interaction, it can cause some side effects. So it’s wise to consult a physician before using them.
Do some light exercise
With any illness, you tend to move around less. In fact, often, a bug will leave you weak and achy. The best way to deal with stiff joints and sore muscles is to do some long, slow stretches. Remember not to push your workouts too far too soon.
Try simple exercises such as the neck, shoulder, wrist, and ankle rolls. Stretch your back and leg muscles slowly. Gentle yoga poses such as Cat/Cow, Happy Baby, and Half Pigeon can help your body relax.
Practice meditation to strengthen your mind. Begin by visualizing a healthy mind and body. Don’t forget to take deep breaths.
Know when to see a physician
Most illnesses will run their course. And within a week or so, you should be back on the road to becoming your usual self. Most of the time, you won’t even require medical attention. But if your condition worsens or does not improve, you may need to go to a doctor. Symptoms such as high fever or sharp pain may require emergency treatment.
Always have information about medical facilities near you. For example, the emergency care in Sioux Center, Iowa, has various innovative technology to ensure that patients are administered the best care as quickly as possible. More importantly, you should be aware of services that are covered by your insurance plan. This can prevent costly bills from coming your way later on.
You need to be proactive in consulting professionals. Try not to prolong an illness to save yourself from facing hurdles in the future.
When recovering from an illness, you need to ease yourself back into your routine. It’s better to take things slowly than to place an unnecessary burden on your recovering body.
Starting up too hastily can often end up prolonging an illness. Or worse, put you back into bed again. So be mindful of how you feel and pace yourself until you’ve fully recovered. That way, you’ll be strong enough to bounce back from your illness in no time at all.
But consider maintaining a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly to keep illness at bay as much as possible.