If you have had a bad cold or another respiratory virus, recovering can leave you feeling drained and weak. Even once your symptoms are getting better, you can still feel tired, stuffy, and achy. Many people wonder if there’s something they can do to feel better after having a respiratory virus. Sometimes people rush back into their normal schedule as soon as they start feeling better, trying to catch up on their work. This often backfires and leaves people feeling worse than before or even triggers a recurrence of symptoms. Instead, try these ideas to help you to feel better after having a bad cold or the flu:
1. Rest and Sleep
Get plenty of rest and sleep as your body needs time to recover from the illness. Rest is one of the best ways to help your body rebuild strength and make up for the poor sleep you got when you were feeling ill. If you are having trouble getting enough sleep, consider trying a natural sleep aid for a few days while you recover. Melatonin is a popular natural hormone that can help people fall asleep faster. Cannabis has also been shown to help with insomnia and help people to sleep better. Consider trying a supplement like D9 gummies.
During and after an illness, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the toxins from your body and prevent dehydration. When you are blowing your nose or vomiting you are likely to be losing water faster than normal. If you are taking medicine to help with your sinus discharge, it may be contributing to water loss or dehydration. Make sure that you drink frequently and consider adding warm herbal tea and electrolyte drinks as well as drinking regular water. Try to sip throughout the day rather than drinking a lot of water at once.
3. Eat Nutritious Foods
Eat healthy foods that are high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to help your body recover faster. If you don’t feel like eating, consider soothing, less heavy meals like chicken soup, broth, applesauce, and bananas. If you aren’t feeling too ill to eat, you can have normal meals unless you are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea. Eating until you are full and having meals with a lot of nutrients can help your body recover.
4. Stay Warm
If you are feeling chills or have had a fever, keep yourself warm and comfortable by wearing warm clothes or using blankets. Even after your fever is over, you can feel chilled or clammy while you recover. Keep a blanket nearby so you can use it if you need to warm up. In general, it is better to use warm clothes and a blanket rather than turning the heat up, so if you overheat or start feeling too warm you can quickly cool off by removing layers.
5. Take Medications
Over-the-counter medications like pain relievers, decongestants, and cough suppressants can help ease the symptoms of the cold or influenza. Even after your symptoms start to ease up, you might want to continue taking over-the-counter medications if they help you to feel better. Medications that help you rest, sleep, relieve your cough, and lessen congestion can sometimes help you to heal faster or help to prevent complications like sinus infections. Even if you don’t get over your cold sooner, you will be less exhausted and feel better if you are able to sleep better while you are recovering.
6. Gargle Salt Water
Gargling salt water can soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation. If you want to try this, dissolve a spoonful of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle it a little at a time. Make sure that you aren’t swallowing the salt water. If you do this consistently during the time you have a sore throat, it can help you to feel better.
7. Use a Humidifier
Cold and flu season falls during the winter, and the dry air that most places have during the winter tends to exacerbate the uncomfortable symptoms of these illnesses. Using a humidifier can help alleviate dryness in the air and soothe a sore throat and congested sinuses. In many cases, sore throats are caused, not by the virus itself, but by the congestion and runny nose that accompanies it. Congestion can cause sore throats by forcing people to breathe through their mouths, especially when sleeping. Breathing humid air is beneficial for people with colds or other respiratory viruses.
Light exercise like walking or stretching can help boost your immune system and increase your energy levels. Once you are feeling good enough, consider going on a walk outside for fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, all of which can boost your mood and strengthen your immune system. Getting out of the house can also make you feel better. If it’s cold outside, limit your walk to a short one or exercise inside, because while cold air doesn’t cause colds, it can make congestion, runny noses, and sore throats feel worse temporarily.
9. Practice Good Hygiene
To prevent the spread of germs, make sure to practice good hygiene like washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with others, and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. While you are usually less contagious after your symptoms have started easing up, it’s still a good idea to stay away from other people when possible, avoid unnecessary social situations, and keep practicing careful hygiene.
Remember that it may take some time to fully recover from a bad cold or the flu, so be patient and take good care of yourself. The best way to feel better is by continuing to rest as needed, getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritious food, and supporting your symptoms while you are recovering.