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Self-Care Tips for the Cold Season

Self-care is your best defense during cold season which tends to run from September until March or April.  To avoid getting sick, wash your hands frequently, get plenty of sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated, and reduce stress.  Yes, that’s a lot to do, but it’s the basic prescription for a strong immune system.

Because colds are caused by viruses, there is no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics do not kill these viruses and can lead to resistant strains of bacteria. Prevention is the best approach to combat the cold virus. However, once it’s taken hold, the best you can do is try to minimize your symptoms. The following self-care tips should help.

Self-Care Tips

  1. GARGLE with salt water to help soothe a sore throat. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of plain salt in a glass of very warm water.
  2. Increase FLUIDS such as water, juice, hot tea, soups, etc. Hot liquids can help relieve nasal congestion & soothe a sore throat.
  3. WASH your hands often.
  4. EAT regular, well-balanced meals.
  5. STAY HOME and get more REST. SLEEP at least 7-9 hours per night.
  6. If you have trouble sleeping because of stuffy nose or nasal drainage, use extra pillows to PROP yourself up at a 45° angle.
  7. Use soothing music, peaceful surroundings, rest, and/or a fun book to relax and combat pain.
  8. AVOID smoke & alcohol. They can aggravate and prolong symptoms.
  9. Take HOT steamy SHOWERS — helps suppress coughs and loosen congestion.
  10. Use HUMIDIFIER or VAPORIZER to keep air moist and sooth irritated nasal and throat passages.
  11. Use a MENTHOLATED OINTMENT around your nose. This will help open breathing passages and soothe irritated skin.

If your symptoms do not gradually improve within 7 days and/or you experience other symptoms, see your health care provider.

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  1. lenawest says:

    This is really good advice, Cheryl!

    When I gargle, I gargle with warm, salt water and a little vinegar. I find the little bit of vinegar is really helpful. Tastes gross but it works!

    Also using a neti pot helps to keep the nasal tissues moist and protected.

    -Lena





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