I recently came down with a horrible cold which I was super bummed about for two reasons. 1.) being sick sucks!! 2.) I hadn't caught a cold in almost 5 years...seriously! I was pretty proud of that track record especially for someone who has an autoimmune condition and takes immunosuppresent medication. I'm not horribly surprised that I came down with a cold though. I got it the day after my 7th annual colonoscopy which had been preceded by 36+ hours of fasting, the colonscopy prep itself (god awful) and zero sleep due to a horrible headache and just generally feeling awful. A lack of nutrients, stress and 1 night of bad sleep is really all it takes to compromise your immune system!
Since I've been down for the count for the past 5+ days, I've had plenty of time to blog and it's actually been really nice to get back in the swing of things here. To help out others (and as a reference for my future sick self) I've compiled a small list of the things I did over the past week to help me heal as quickly as possible from this nasty cold. While I'm still not totally recovered, I have to say the worst of it has passed and only lasted about 3 days, not to shabby! Hopefully you find these tips helpful and I wish a speedy recovery for you!
Take Time to Rest & Relax
This can often be the hardest thing for people do when they come down with a cold as we’re so accustomed to just GO, GO, GO! But for real, you need to cancel plans, put projects on hold, call out from work and hunker down. Grab your favorite blanket, a good book or Netflix show and get ready for some serious R & R. During this time, your body needs to focus its energy on defending and healing your body, it can’t be bothered with stress from work, making that casserole you said you’d bring to the potluck or cleaning the house. I promise all those things can wait. If they can’t, then so be it, but I guarantee it will slow your recovery time down. And let’s be honest, you know you’ve been looking for a good excuse to binge watch Stranger Things.
Give Your Immune System an Extra Boost
Our immune system needs as much support as possible during this time, during my latest cold I used Urban Moonshine’s Immune Tonic multiple times a day but ideally I would recommend using their Immune Zoom. The Immune Tonic is great for boosting immunity during times when our systems are more easily compromised (like a change of seasons) but the Immune Zoom is like the first responder when a cold hits. Being someone who is sensitive to nightshades, I can only take the Immune Tonic but it seemed to help all the same! Other immune boosters you can utilize include elderberry syrup , apple cider vinegar, or Fire Ciders.
Raw Honey and Garlic
I’ve read about a lot of different ways you can go about doing this one but I like to keep it pretty simple. Chop 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Chopping or crushing the fresh garlic allows it to releases the beneficial enzyme “allicin” which posses potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Add the chopped garlic to a teaspoon or so of raw honey and take it down the hatch! Feel free to chew it even more if you’d like but I like to take it straight, chasing with a little warm water and apple cider vinegar.
Eucalyptus is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic,decongestant, antiseptic and antibacterial essential oil. When you’re congested and stuffed up beyond belief, this oil will be your best friend. Rub eucalyptus oil on your chest every couple hours and inhale deeply. The menthol like effects will provide relief from congestion and help to loosen up all that junk in your chest.
Nutrient Dense Foods
Colds usually knock out our ability to taste or smell foods and even our appetites but this isn’t the time to pass on eating as many whole, nutrient dense foods as possible. Soups and stews made with bone broth, green juices, smoothies, etc. can provide us with lots of beneficial nutrients to further boost our immune system. While comfort foods may be tempting, now is not the time for refined, processed foods or sugars, trust me!
Another vital aspect to beating a cold as quickly as possible? Sleep! You should normally aim to get about 8-10 hours of sleep daily but when you’re trying to get over a cold, sleep as much as possible. Pretend your 5 again and schedule yourself nap times and bed times to ensure optimal rest and recovery time for your body. Sleep is when our body does a majority it’s repairing and healing so it’s imperative that we provide it with enough quality zzz’s. Make sure your sleeping environment is cool, dark and from electronics and distractions so that you’re able to achieve deep, restful sleep.