Stop That Cold In Its Tracks

Morning friends,

It started Thursday night. I was driving home from the gym. My eyes started watering. My nose started to tingle. I knew the water works (mucus works?) were coming. Thankfully I had enough time to pull over, because the sneeze attack came on with brutal vengeance. So it began…

By the time I came home, I had a full-blown head cold. My head hurt, my eyes were sore, my nose never stopped running. I knew I had to put a stop to this in time for the big movie screening on Saturday (more on that later this week…)

Well, I'll have you know, I attended the movie screening healthy as a horse! Want to know how I beat the cold in less than a day? Read on for ways to stop that cold in its tracks!

1. Drink "Tea"! I am not a tea drinker. I stick to coffee and water. However, when I'm coming down with a cold (or am suffering with full-blown sickness), I turn to my trusty tea kettle and favorite cold-busting "tea". I call this "tea" because it's not technically a tea, but more of a soothing steaming cup of water and ingredients. The warmth of the water soothes my throat, the honey provides antibacterial properties, and the lemon cuts through any congestion. Find the recipe here.

2. Hydrate! Other than your cups of "tea", you should be staying hydrated with water! It can't be stressed enough. I'm not going to go into all the reasons you should be drinking water, because you know that. Just do it please.

3. Use Essential Oils! Essential oils have so many uses, especially when combating a cold. Essential oils are  natural oils derived from true plants and is generally distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots or other elements of the plant. There are different blends and single oils out there for different common ailments, such as soothing muscles and supporting their immune system. Many people rub essential oils (diluted or not, depending on the oils themselves) directly onto the skin to absorb into the pores. Click here for my favorite cold-busting chest rub. Some people combine single oils (or use just one oil) into a capsule to take orally. See #4 for another great way to use them. I personally use oils from Young Living. Click here for more information on using essential oils.

4. Diffuse! I LOVE my diffuser. I diffuse oils nearly every day. I don't always diffuse the same oils - I choose which oils to diffuse depending on my body and home's needs. For example, last night my husband had a headache while we were heading to sleep. I diffused some Lavender essential oil to relieve his pain and promote sleepiness. He slept like a baby! Click here for some "recipes" for essential oil diffusion.

5. Take a Bath! I love baths. I don't take them very often, because I never seem to have the time, but when I'm sick, I make time. Baths in themselves can be relaxing, but when I'm under the weather, I like to boost my immunity by adding some ingredients to my bath water. Find my Detox Bath "recipe" here.

6. Move! I know, I know…the last thing you want to do when you are feeling sick is go for a run. You might even think it's bad for you to exert energy when you are stuffed up. However, you can exercise and you should exercise. A good rule to follow: if your cold is above the chest (like a head cold), you will benefit from exercise. For illnesses such as a mucusy cough or stomach bug (or fever!), it's best to leave the interval workout for another day. That being said, you may still want to stretch your body to get your muscles moving and your blood flowing. I generally choose something low-impact on my sick days, such as yoga or walking. If I'm at the beginning of my cold (read: like on Thursday), I will attempt to do my typically routine of cardio and strength training. This has really helped my immune system to kick it up and keep me healthy!

7. Eat Good Food! Not good as in delicious, high-fat junk. Good as in delicious, high-quality food. Eat wholesome foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Avoid dairy products during your sickness as they can add to your congestion. Avoid alcohol when sick. Eat lots of leafy greens, complex carbs, and protein. Eat fruits in the morning (fruits, not fruit juice) and nuts and seeds throughout the day. Eat the way you know you should eat every day!

8. Drink Elderberry Syrup! Black elderberries have shown to improve flu-like symptoms and speed the recovery process of those who are sick. It is also a great preventative measure to avoid getting sick in the first place! Natural elderberry syrup contains high levels of vitamins and can boost the immune system. You can buy elderberry syrup in health food stores or online, or you can make your own at home!

9. Sleep! Duh.

What do you do to help kick that cold to the curb? Leave your tips below!

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