You’ve woken up with a sore throat and a stuffed nose. It’s the beginnings of yet another cold, and you’re just fed up with them. It takes days to get rid of all the symptoms and feel 100 percent again.
The last thing you want is to spend a day in bed or on the couch feeling clammy and tired. You need to work and get on with things throughout the day. You need your body to work properly.
Well, while we can’t share how to get rid of a cold within minutes, we can help you get rid of a cold in just 24 hours. These steps that you can take are all practical while you feel the beginnings of the cold setting in. The steps will help you kick the symptoms, feel more like yourself, and avoid the dreaded lurgy getting worse.
It’s time to act right now.
Step 1: Take a Hot Shower Right Away
As soon as you feel the start of the cold setting in, jump into a hot shower. Don’t make excuses to stay in bed. That’s not going to do you as much good as you think. Sure, you will need to sleep but not first thing in the morning.
The hot shower helps to open the sinuses, making it easier to breathe. You could even have something menthol in your body wash to breathe in through the steam.
At the same time, the heat will help to ease your limbs. They’ll feel stiff and achy from the cold or flu symptoms, so you want to ease them off as soon as possible.
If you have access to it in your apartment building or gym nearby, take a trip to the steam room. Most of them will have a menthol agent within the steam to help offer the ingredients to breathe much easier. You also have somewhere to sit down and stretch out, just in case you feel a little unsteady on your feet because of the aching joints.
When the steam room isn’t an option, you could also opt for a bath. This is great if you don’t have to rush to work and there are no kids to pester you! Don’t worry if you can’t do the soak. You could save this for later.
Step 2: Add More Antioxidants and Vitamin C to Your Diet
You’ll often hear that orange juice isn’t that good for you. Well, right now it’s one of the best things for you. Your immune system is going to need some help to get rid of the current symptoms. That means loading up with vitamin C and antioxidants. Both together they will fight off the infection that is trying to overpower your system.
A good diet is essential for a healthy body. It’s not just a glass of OJ that you want to grab. Reach for some fibre-vicious porridge and top with plenty of blueberries and raspberries. In fact, any type of berries will do you well, as they’re packed full of infection-fighting antioxidants.
And don’t forget about a glass of lemon water. This often balances the body and lessens the amount of acid in your system. It’s a great way to calm your head and let your happy hormones get to work. Lemon water is refreshing and calming, but often overlooked!
Of course, the warm porridge also helps to make you feel more relaxed. You can ease into your day while making yourself feel full. You only need a little bowl to get all the benefits.
Don’t worry if you only have frozen berries in your home. Put them at the bottom of the bowl and add the hot porridge on top. The berries will melt into your breakfast.
You can also mix your berries together into a smoothie to take on the go if you really are in a rush for work.
Step 3: Steam Your Face If You Can
At around 10am, the steam from the shower can start to wear off in the sinuses. You end up with more blockages, and this can start with a sinus headache. You feel aching and fed up already. No, it’s not the time to go back to bed just yet. You want to help clear your sinuses again.
One of the best ways is through steaming your face. Add some boiled water to a bowl and then lean over it. Put a towel over your head to catch the steam, you’ll find it easier to breathe it all in. If you really want to cleanse the airways, you can add some menthol liquid drops or something like the water. You only need a little.
When you’re at work, you may not be able to get away with this. Instead, have a cup of boiling water. You can put your face near it, as if you’re drinking it, and then put one hand over the gap. Take a few breaths of the steam and then put the cup down. Repeat this as often as you need it.
Taking over the counter remedies may help while you’re at work. If you don’t want to rely on them, opt for some ginger and lemon tea. The two ingredients settle your stomach, fight the infection, and perk up your spirits. Plus, they’re in hot water to help improve your airways and soothe your whole body.
Step 4: Boost Your Immunity with Some Light Exercise
I don’t want you to start running a marathon. That is not going to do your body any good. But that doesn’t mean you should sit down and do nothing. A little light exercise is going to help boost your immune system to fight off the infection trying to take hold.
This is going to be the last thing that you want to do, but it really is worth it. You don’t have to go to the gym. Just a stroll before you eat your lunch will be good. If you prefer, you could go for a light swim. You’ll feel weightless in the water, giving you a chance to stretch out your muscles and ease the aching pains.
If you don’t feel up to exercising at all, don’t force yourself. Sometimes your body just needs you to sit down and take other steps to improve your health. Forcing yourself when you’re not 100% could make your cold worse since your immune system must work harder rather than getting a boost!
Step 5: Opt for a Lunch Full of Infection Fighting Foods
When you’re ill, there are certain foods that you will want to eat. You’ve already added berries, lemon, and orange into your day with your breakfast. You might have even had ginger if you had ginger tea. Now it’s time to add a few other ingredients through your lunch.
Start with some ginger or onion – red onion in a salad will work wonders. Both ingredients are full of antibacterial and antiviral properties. They boost the immune system quickly and effectively. If you’re not bothered about bad breath (you may be lucky and have the day off work), then you could always just chew on garlic throughout the day!
Add some chicken to your lunch. The proteins will help to boost the muscles and improve the tissues. Those aches and pains won’t be as bad when your muscles get the nutrients they need. Proteins break down slowly too, so you’ll feel fuller quicker and for longer.
Make sure you add some dark leafy greens. If you’re not up for eating, you could always make a green smoothie instead. This will give you the chance to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet quickly, while also getting proteins through the milk or yogurt. Don’t forget to use plain yogurt. Coconut milk is a good alternative since coconut offers some antibacterial benefits.
Step 6: Have Hot Liquids Throughout the Day
Chicken soup is a good alternative for lunch if you’re not up for eating too much. This isn’t just because of the chicken, but because of the heat.
Hot liquids throughout the day are important. You want to keep yourself hydrated, but hot liquids will offer more benefits to your sinuses. They help to thin the mucus that is causing the blocked nose and airways. You’ll find it easier to breathe, which instantly makes you feel better.
Black tea is a good option with some honey and lemon. Both honey and lemon have vitamin C, but they also help to add some natural sugars to your body. Natural sugars are found in moderation!
Herbal teas like ginger or peppermint are popular options throughout the day. As you get towards the end of the day, you could opt for a calming and soothing chamomile tea. This will help you sleep better throughout the night.
Step 7: Add Spice to Finish Your Night
For the last meal of the day, eat something that’s spicy. Your cold is the perfect excuse to order a takeaway right now, especially if you just can’t be bothered cooking. Get a curry that has the highest heat that you can stand. If you don’t like Indian food, opt for one of the spicy Chinese or Thai dishes. You can always ask for extra spice if your favorites aren’t usually that hot.
Remember that heat helps to thin the mucus, but that isn’t all. Chilli peppers are known for their antiviral benefits. You can also add more garlic and onions to your dish, and many of them will include some ginger for even more benefits.
You’re giving your immune system the final boost before you call it a night. At the same time, they’ll help to kill the germs in your mouth and airways, making it easier to taste your food, breathe throughout the night, and fight off this cold.
Step 8: Take a Long and Relaxing Bath
Most people will tell you not to take a hot bath before bed. There are some downsides, such as raising your body temperature. Right now, that isn’t going to be a problem. The long hot soak is just what the doctor ordered.
If you have kids, wait until they’re in bed before you bother with it. You want to be uninterrupted the whole time. Have a good book or play some soothing music, while you soak in your favorite bubble bath. The heat of the water will soothe the muscles one last time before you climb into bed.
You could add some essential oils to help clear your airways again. Mint essential oils are among the most beneficially. Drop them in with some Epsom salts to help soothe your joints and muscles.
While the water works on your body, the heat will work on your mind. Your muscles will relax into the water, and your brain will release the happy hormones. This stops the stress hormones taking over, so the immune system can work effectively throughout the night. You’ll also start to feel genuinely tired, helping you sleep off the last remnants of the cold.
Step 9: Get an Early Night
Finally, it’s time to climb into bed. Don’t force yourself to stay up and watch your favorite TV show. You can DVR it.
Your body needs you to relax and sleep. This is when your immune system can do most of its work. Avoid the wine while you take a bath, as alcohol will just keep you awake. It’s also important to curb your late-night coffee habit. A cup of chamomile tea will help to soothe your mind so you can get to sleep.
The better your regular sleeping pattern, the easier it will be to fight off infections before they cause a problem. After a good eight hours, you’ll feel refreshed the next day to continue as normal.
If you struggle to sleep because of blocked sinuses, try adding a menthol rub to the soles of your feet. Wear a pair of socks, and you’ll find that your whole body breathes easier throughout the night.
It’s All About the Aftercare
Your cold symptoms don’t just stop because of the steps you’ve taken in 24 hours. You can’t just go back to your regular way of living. Your cold is affecting you because you’re run down. It’s a sign that you need to look after yourself better.
Now is the time to change your diet and way of life. Limit the stress hormones on your body and eat more to boost your immune system, especially in the days after a cold. You’ll find that you really do suffer from them less throughout the year – and when you do suffer from them, they don’t stick around for long!