So You’re Sick. Now What?

Today, we are going to continue discussing our topic from last week about staying healthy during the winter season. Last week, we talked about some great preventive measures to help protect yourself against viruses and other illnesses. But even if you take all those precautions, it is never a guarantee that a bug won’t get into your system. Here are some effective and simple ways to take care of yourself and your loved ones if you get sick.

  1. Rest up. We mentioned this in our previous blog, but it is definitely worth mentioning again. Sleep is a restorative remedy and it helps boost your immune system when it’s fighting off infections. Give your body enough time to fight off the virus so you can get better and you’ll be up and about in no time!
  2. Gargle salt water. This is a home-style remedy that has proven very effective in soothing sore throats and getting rid of mucous. The salt water draws out excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, and it will sooth some of the pain. Make sure that the water is warm and dissolve the salt well before you gargle. For best results, use this remedy three times a day. Read more about this treatment here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28real.html?_r=1
  3. Pass the honey, honey.  Honey has been used for thousands of years to help treat illnesses due to its anti-microbial properties. If you or your child has a cough, ingesting honey is a great way to sooth the throat. In fact, one study has shown that honey is actually more effective at stopping nocturnal coughs than cough medicine! You can access the study here: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/1140
  4. Relax. Are you still worrying about getting the laundry done or finishing up that big paper? When stress levels are high, hormones in your body are released and cause a suppression of the immune system. Try to figure out a schedule that lets you get the most important tasks done while still getting enough rest. If you have concerns about minor chores, put them to rest until you feel better.

These recommendations are proven home remedies for an easy recovery from a mild illness. If you or your child is exhibiting more serious symptoms, such as vomiting or high fever, go see a doctor for a diagnosis or prescription. Also, if you or your child has a contagious illness, stay home if you can in order to avoid passing it on to others. Remember to cough and sneeze into your elbow or shirt, and to wash your hands often. Take care and stay healthy!

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