Face it, no matter how well you take care of yourself, anyone with a human body can get sick. True, the better you safeguard your health, the stronger your immune system will be when exposed to the flu. But. Getting sick sometimes is just part of being human. As I write this, I am recovering from a nasty respiratory virus that knocked me down for a couple days, so the experience is quite fresh.
Here is what you need to know.
If your body has been exposed to a virus once, you will probably never get sick with a virus like that again, as long as your immune system is reasonably healthy.
But if it’s your first time encountering a particular strain, you might get sucker punched by a submicroscopic virus. Fortunately, a healthy immune system won’t just lie there getting its ass kicked and crying for its mommy; specific cells will be gathering intel on the invader so that next time it (or another virus like it) blows into town, it will be ready at the gates, guns blazing. (“fool me once, sucka”)
So you’re sick with the flu. What now?
Numero uno: Stay away from people
In the early stages of the flu, you're a contagious carrier, and you will turn healthy people into sick ones if you try to be a hero and go about your business. So don’t run errands. Don't go to the gym. You might be a handwasher yourself, but other people aren't. And if you HAVE to be around others, let people know you're not feeling well so they can take necessary precautions.
Fact: you have a finite amount of energy. When you’ve been hit by the flu, you can either spend that precious energy being active, or you can let your immune system use it to fight for you. Let your immune system be the grownup and be in charge. Your body heals during sleep. Some of you are probably thinking "how in the heck can you possibly sleep when you can't breathe through your nose and your throat has been sandpapered raw?" You lie there, resting, bingeing on Netflix.
(Side note to parents: you will recover faster if someone can help out with the kids. If not, do what you have to do. I was a single mom and I get it. Do your best to rest when you can.)
I'm prone to insomnia, and find that using Sleep Serum helps me a bunch. Just a few drops on the wrist helps me sleep deeply. If you have a hard time sleeping even when you're sick, it might be worth a try.
Baths are the best
Take lots of baths at whatever temperature your body finds most comfortable. Sleep in the tub. If you have a runny nose that won’t stop, being in the bath or shower might alleviate that for a little while.
Make your baths better with a few drops of essential oils like lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon, and sweet orange.
Try to sweat
Once your body breaks into a sweat, you’re over the hump. Herbs like ginger, cayenne, and garlic all help open the surface capillaries and encourage the beginning of the end of the flu.
Here is the simplest guide to eating (or not) when you’re sick.
Feed a cold, starve a fever.
If you have a cold, even a severe one, eat. Hot soup is best. No junk. No sugar. No dairy. Nothing gooey.
If you have a fever, don’t eat. Drink water, and herbal unsweetened tea. No juice, no sugar, no soda, no popsicles. No fruit.
Once the fever breaks, follow the food rules for colds. Hot soup. No junk, sugar, dairy, etc.
All spices and culinary herbs are wonderful when you’re sick; they help heal your body by killing bacteria and stimulating your immune system. Thyme, oregano, basil, turmeric, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, every last one of them are 100% beneficial.
And finally, here is the guide to which of the Loose Leaf wellness blends to choose for your own situation:
- Sniffles Tea is for the cold or flu that starts in your sinuses and throat. Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, fever.
- Elderberry Tonic is for those times when you feel bad all over, with sore muscles, sore throat, coughing and sneezing.
- Aromatic Digestive Tea is your best choice when nausea, gas and bloating accompanies sinus congestion.
- Daily Detox tea supports your body during cold and flu to do its own job better. Many people don't think of using this tea when they're sick, but for this particular bout, I drank a ton of it cuddled under a blanket while watching almost an entire season of "The Last Kingdom".
I hope this was helpful!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!