Household Tips

10 Tips on Fighting a Cold and Flu

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The last time I had the flu it hit me like a ton of bricks, so to speak. I was doing a Google Hangout with some friends and started feeling achy and gross. It got worse fast. A few hours later in the evening, I knew I had caught something. That flu lasted a good 10 days. I thought my fever would never break. I felt so much relief when I started feeling better. It was a bad one that year!

I get colds more often than I do the flu and so far this winter I’ve only had a very mild one that lasted a couple days. I’ve been lucky so far and hope that I make it through without getting sick (knock on wood). Many of my friends and family members have not been as lucky. A good friend of mine told me how her whole family was sick with colds and how miserable everyone was. We were chatting about ways to fight a cold and flu and measures you can take to be more comfortable while your body is battling the virus.

If a cold or flu virus has infiltrated your home, there are things you can do to fight the symptoms and start feeling better. Check out these 10 tips on fighting a cold and flu.

10 Tips on Fighting a Cold and Flu


1. Drink hot beverages. My mom always used to tell us to push the fluids when we were sick. I prefer drinking soothing hot beverages that open up the airways and help me to relax. Try an herbal tea that you enjoy. I like chamomile tea.

2. Give your body a break. Get as much rest as you can. Your body needs sleep to heal and restore energy. I’m not one to take naps, but I give myself permission to when I’m sick.

3. Gargle with salt water. My Grandma June said gargling salt water helps when you are sick, especially if you have a sore throat. She said the salt is “healing”. Put a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle for about a minute and spit out. Don’t swallow! I do this every time I feel that familiar tickle of throat pain coming on and find it does help.

4. Take a hot shower (or bath) to open your airways and relax tense muscles. The steam in the shower helps to clear my sinuses, at least temporarily. Plus, I always fall asleep easier after a hot shower.

5. Eat chicken noodle soup. This is a popular remedy, but it does work well. I never feel like eating when I’m sick so I try to stick to gentler foods that go down easy like chicken noodle soup. My favourite is this recipe for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

6. Diffuse essential oils to help you breathe better.

7. Blow your nose properly. Rather than breathe deep to suck back in the mucous, gently blow it out with some tissue paper. Make sure to not blow both nostrils at the same time. I did that once and ended up knocking out my equilibrium. Not fun. Cover one nostril and blow the other one gently.

8. Raise your pillow to sleep. There have been times where I’ve slept in my bed almost in a sitting position just so I could breathe. Normally I sleep pretty horizontal and don’t use a big fluffy pillow. I make an exception when I’m sick so I can get some shut-eye.

9. Practice hand-washing and do it often. Stop the spread of germs with proper hand-washing. I wash my hands more when I’m sick because I don’t want anyone in my house to catch it and feel as lousy as I do.

10. Fight the symptoms with Gravol Multi-symptom. It’s an all-in-one pain, fever and nausea reliever that contains naturally-sourced ginger and willowbark. Take one as soon as you start feeling something coming on. I like that’s it’s non-drowsy.


What are some of the ways that you fight off a cold or flu?

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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