If you are feeling under the weather, don’t freak out! Below are some strategies and methods that can potentially help you get rid of whatever you have quickly and without medicine.
This is not meant to be a replacement for seeing your doctor or healthcare professional. Although some of the techniques below may work for you, we advise you to consult your physician or healthcare professional for any medical concerns.
Be consistent with diet and exercise.
The easiest way to get rid of being sick is to not get sick in the first place. By adopting a consistent health and nutrition plan you prime your body’s defense system and can fight off infection much better. When you make poor health choices, you place your body in a compromised position and allow a whole host of nastiness to come in and do whatever it pleases. If you are constantly sick, this may be a red flag that you need to step up your personal health.
Even a brief lapse can lead to a window of opportunity for a virus or bacterial infection to come in and run its course. It is no surprise that less than one week after my mini-hiatus from making my personal health a priority I came down with something. This is the importance, especially during the colder winter months, of being consistent with diet and exercise.
Recognize the symptoms and fight back.
Whenever I start to feel lousy I try to really dive into what I am feeling. By identifying what I am feeling specifically, I can act accordingly and get myself on the path to feeling great again. Do I have a fever? Do I have aches and pains? What are my energy levels? Is my nose running? Does my head hurt? Are my bowel movements messed up? Do I feel like I am going to yack?
By identifying the answers to these questions I can get a general understanding of what is happening with my body and I can act appropriately. If I have runny nose and a headache, I’m going to pump my body with healthy foods and get some much needed nutrients. If I can’t keep food down than I’m probably going to skip the giant meals. Information is key, folks.
Nutrients through diet, whole meals and smoothies.
For non-stomach related illnesses, I cannot stress how important it is to get proper nutrients into your body through diet. Often times we don’t have the biggest appetite when we have a cold, fever, or something along those lines. Do your best to eat something nutritious! Think of it as a battle going on in your body. Your body is fighting the virus/bacteria and it needs reinforcements. Eating a healthy meal or two is like sending in the armada, victory will only be a matter of time!
If you can’t get down a big, nutritious meal, now would be a great time for a smoothie. Load it up with spinach, carrots, tomatoes, berries or whatever else you have and sip your way back to health! If you are feeling particularly brave and can stomach a meal, adding a smoothie in addition to your meal is a great way to load up on micronutrients.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Considering about 60% of our body is water, it is a pretty good idea to consume water. This is no different when you are sick. Make sure you are steadily consuming water throughout the day, even a little more than usual.
This is especially important when you have a fever and are going through periods of sweating. If you are having difficulty getting the water down, tossing a straw in your water and sipping it lightly is a surprisingly effective way to get your water in. If that does not do the trick, try hot lemon water. The warm, steamy mug alone will make you feel great, plus the various vitamins and minerals found in lemons will help fight the good fight.
Vitamin C is the rockstar of the cold and flu world, rightfully so. It is a certified badass that boosts your immune system and helps combat whatever is trying to inflict harm on your insides. The best sources of Vitamin C are those found in whole foods, so eating your way to higher Vitamin C is the preferred method. Snack on a coupe of oranges, drink the lemon water mentioned above, or add some berries to your smoothie.
I am not a huge fan of supplementation and think that most store bought vitamins and minerals are minimally effective. However, when it comes to being sick, all bets are off. I take the recommended dosage of Airborne throughout the day. I am not sure if it actually works, if it is a placebo effect, or it doesn’t do anything at all. Either way, it hasn’t hurt me so that is one of the first things I pick up when I feel myself going down hill. At the very least, if you use the ones that you take with water you are making yourself drink more, a solid win in my book!
Sweat it out
This is not a method that is strongly backed by science, nor will a lot of doctors write this out as a prescription, but it works for me. When I have a fever, I try to sweat it out by putting on some extra clothing or getting completely under the blanket. It is not the most comfortable thing in the world and when you are hitting the overheated state that usually comes after a period of being freezing cold, the last thing you feel like doing is putting on a sweatshirt and sweatpants. However, it has proven extremely effective for me.
Sweating a fever out is usually most effective when I am on the back half of a sickness and can feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This extra sweat tends to be the final push that my body needs to break the fever. I can recall one time in high school that I had a fever and decided to play Guitar Hero. Two or three songs in I completely sweated my fever out and felt amazing. I would not recommend going out for a run or hitting the weights, but shredding some video game guitar might be just what you need!
If I try to sweat my fever out, I am sure to pay extra attention to my hydration. Excess sweat and a lack of water intake can be extremely dangerous. Likewise, this is only something I try when I have a low grade fever, not when I’m cranked up to 102 degrees.
Mentally Convince Yourself That You Are Not Sick
I might sound like a crazy person, but your mental well-being is strongly connected to your physical well-being. One of the worst things you can do when you are sick is to tell yourself how sick you are. Be strong! Don’t fall into the woe-is-me pity-party! What works for me is acknowledging my symptoms, telling myself that I am indeed slightly sick (downplaying of course), and convincing myself that I am on the upswing and things are already getting better. With a little more rest I will be good as new!
Additionally, don’t just lay around moping about how poorly you feel. Read books or articles (might I suggest bonemugsandharmony.com?), watch interesting shows, and stimulate yourself slightly. You want to be mildly entertained but you shouldn’t do things that are going to stress you out. Whatever you are doing should be nap-friendly. Stay away from the work emails, to-do lists, and the social media posts of the ungrateful people that have no idea how good it is to not be sick!
When all else fails it may be time to take medicine. However, give your body a chance. Our bodies are amazing pieces of machinery and have an unbelievable ability to self-heal. Many of the medicines that you take treat symptoms but those symptoms are your body’s way of fixing itself. Your fever, runny nose, aches, and pains are all part of your body’s war on sickness. Try to let your body do its thing before taking medication. Obviously if you are not getting better or things take a turn for the worse you want to use the power of modern medicine, but you will be surprised how quickly you can bounce back with the above methods.
Did we forget something? What do YOU do when you start to feel sick? Be sure to leave a comment below!