The various forms of the flu can be debilitating when they strike, which is why it's so important to take proper care of yourself when recovering.
So to help you out in this quest, we have compiled a list of the best ways to overcome your nasty flu symptoms this season.
Make Sure You're Sleeping Properly
The most critical step in the fight against the flu is getting enough sleep every night. Your body rehabilitates itself during sleep and fights off diseases and infections. However, the flu may force you to stay up by making you very uncomfortable. High temperatures, excessive phlegm, and much more will all work together to make you very unhappy and unable to sleep.
However, WebMD suggests several different methods to use to promote better sleep when you have the flu. Each of these steps is very simple to do and can be done just before you lay down for the night – or even before a nap during the day. These tips include:
- Lifting Your Upper Body – Sleeping in a slightly elevated position will drain postnasal drip buildup and help you breathe more easily and rest better.
- Eat Hot Food Before Sleep – Drinking a hot tea – decaffeinated – or an excellent warm soup can loosen the phlegm in your throat and help you rest.
- Avoid Alcohol – Don't believe the Old Wives' tale about alcohol and sleep. Drinking alcohol may initially knock you out but will disrupt your sleep cycle. Even worse, it will increase the phlegm in your throat and complicate your flu recovery.
- Keep the Room Humid – Dry throats and nasal passages are very common in people with the flu. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to keep your room moist and to avoid this issue.
Follow these steps, and follow a strict sleep schedule, to help your body recover from the ravages of the flu. A good sleep schedule is critical because consistency is essential for healing. So if you go to bed at 10 p.m., wake up at 6 a.m., and nap at noon, you should do so every day to improve your sleep capabilities.
Don't Hesitate to Start Medicating
The moment you start feeling aches and fevers, it's time to start medicating your body. Taking care of these issues right away will minimize their impact and decrease the severity of your flu. For example, acetaminophen and ibuprofen can reduce swelling in your body, which helps to avoid severe fevers and aches.
And medications like expectorants (over-the-counter cough medicines) will help to manage your mucus by turning it into a thinner liquid. Cough out this mucus to clear your throat and breathe easier.
Just as importantly, these medications can improve your immune function by providing you with better access to oxygen and, therefore, healthier blood flows.
Prevent Flu Recurrence
While your health is improving after the flu, you should also be working to ensure that it doesn't happen to you again any time soon. There are many steps that you can take to prevent flu recurrence, especially in the week or two after your initial sickness. During this period, your immune system will be compromised, and you will be more likely to get another flu.
Therefore, you need to stay out of close contact with anybody who is sick. Avoid hospitals, visiting nursing homes, or even schools. These areas are often a hotbed for the flu virus. However, it would help if you also washed your hands regularly to avoid contamination and eat healthy foods that fight the flu, such as:
- Garlic-flavored meals
- Chicken soup
- Leafy greens
These foods will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to fight off further infections. Just as importantly, they can fight current flu symptoms and make it easier for you to recover. Eat some – or even all – of these foods for a week or two after your flu to keep it away for good. Other care methods, such as getting fresh air, walking, and even doing yoga help to boost your blood flow and increase your body's capacity for healing.
Get the Help You Need
Your best defense against the flu is to visit the Medical Specialty Center at Orchard Hospital - Your Everyday Health Care Clinic to get your flu shot. The more steps that you take to avoid getting the flu, the better.
With our help, you can beat your infection quickly and get back to living the life that you love.