Flu: My Tried & Tested Tips

We are exposed to all sorts of things, on a daily basis, that can quickly turn into the Flu or any other virus.  No matter how careful we are about our own hygeine, often the poor hygeine of others will continue to inflict us with the flu.  Or as women will often tell me, ‘Man-flu’ *sigh*

I’m sure you’ve all seen the people I’ve mentioned.  Those people who use the toilet, but walk off before washing their hands.  *shudders*

 Wash your hands!

Apart from giving them evil looks and making *tsk tsk* sounds, the only thing we can do is turboo charge our own defences!

I’m not sure what has contributed to the flu for me, this time around.  It could be anything from my GF bringing back something from her recent trip to Barcelona to shaking hands with somebody that didn’t wash their hands.  More likely though is the combination of stress from University essays, tiredness from staying in the library til late and the left over food that students leave to decompose in the library.  It is a massive benefit out university library allows us to eat while studying, however, I rarely see people chuck rubbish in the bins and use hand sanitizer – Of course, I always have a bottle of it and offer it to anybody I’m eating with…

Hand sanitiser for Dummies

Hand sanitiser for Dummies

I’ll never understand why some people eat at a computer and never use one.  Anyway…

Here are my top tips to avoid catching the flu, limiting its effects & recovery!

+ Sore throat? – Gargle warm salty water – If you develop a sore throat, this is something I’ve found works very well.  Simply warm up half a glass of water, add salt and if you have turmeric (aka Haldi) then add this also.  Stir and then gargle it.

The salt helps by removing the bacteria that is stuck in your throat and you’re not ingesting it, which as Shrek says ‘Better out than in’, comes into mind!  The turmeric can also help as it is known to have medicinal/cleansing properties.

+ Honey! – Honey is a great alternative to sugar, especially in tea and can be added to Lemsip Max.  As widely acknowledged, honey (especially locally produced) can help with allergies and hayfever, it also has other properties to help.

Bin used tissues –  Holding them or putting into your pockets will only cause you to come into contact with the germ again.  So simple I know – But something we all are guilty of now and then.

Wash your hands before you eat & after, and whenever you need to.  Very simple.  But we sometimes forget. (Next tip is linked…)

+ Hand sanitisers – Usually only costs £1 for little bottle.  Some contain moisturiser and smell nice.  This is a must if you spend time at a keyboard (at work or at campus) or in public places like the library or in a shop.  Doctor’s use them, so should we – Simple.

+ Rest! – If you’re feeling under the weather, make sure you sleep.  If you have work or class the next morning, sleep earlier.  Yes – This means no late night tweeting or calls!

+ Drink tea?  If so, add in a chunk of fresh ginger while your tea bag steeps.  Chai Masala (traditional Indian tea) is often touted as having medicinal properties and it really can’t hurt! (http://coffeetea.about.com/od/preparationandrecipes/ss/HowtoMakeMasalaChaiTea.htm)

+ Monitor your temperature – Our bodies react to temperature in 2 main ways.  To warm us up and to cool us down.  However, shivering is done by our body in both scenarios.

If you are feeling clammy and warm, then getting under the bed covers while wearing socks will only dehydrate you further!  Try and cool yourself down.

+ Fluids – Not just water but soup etc is easy and quick to digest, allowing nutrients to your body and immune system to fight off this bout.

Note : Drinking really COLD water can be bad for your throat, especially if you’re suffering from a sore throat/cough.  Room temperature water is best in these situations

+  Exercise – I’m a runner and I go gym, once or twice a week.  I’ve found it does help my immune system and I’m sure there is research that proves it.  When you are ill, it’s impossible to maintain the same level of intensity, bear in mind exercise can include just walking etc.  Yes, women – This is a good excuse to do lot of shopping.  No – Internet shopping doesn’t count.

A cold shower now and then doesn’t hurt – It may make you scream like a little girl, but research has shown that it can invoke your immune system to be more reactive.  Try a cold, or just colder than usual shower after an intense work out and it will also help your muscles recovery.

Note: I don’t advise this for when you’re really suffering with the flu/cold, best to be done when you are fit and healthy.

Fresh air – It’s part of a healthy life, but often we can be confided to our office of university lecture rooms.  Take a break now and then and spend some time outside.  Walk instead of taking the bus!

+ Avoid public transport – For years I caught the bus to work, would often find myself ill.  When I got my first car and began driving in to work I realised this was one significant factor to protecting my well being.  There’s a lot of bad hygiene on public transport.  From left over greasy take away food to commuters sneezing and pressing the bell/doors/seat etc.

+ Chilli – Known to contain Vitamin C and other things that can help boost your immune system.  Also Garlic and turmeric are just some of the other things to include in your diet that can help your health.  They are common to most cuisines and it’s well known in Indian culture to help naturally.

+ Medication – Everybody is different and some may opt to take medicine straight away, while some will prefer to see how bad it can get.  If you have a big deadline etc, then best to be safe and begin taking medication as soon as.

Vick’s vapour rub and the hot water treatment are excellent ways to help with decongestion.

+Log off – PC and laptop screens only strain your eyes.  If it’s necessary, then turn down the screen brightness.  Turn down the TV to help you relax and definitely avoid using the phone too much which can only add to your stress and give you headaches.

This is not a conclusive list, and doesn’t contain lots of home remedies that you may use.  It’s best to use a range of different techniques and do what you find works for you.

Please note : I’m not a doctor, and not certified to provide medical advice.  The above list is only intended to be suggestions which have helped me.  You’re always advised to see your doctor is you are unwell and not getting any better after a few days or there are other more concerning symptoms

If you have a twist on a remedy listed above, or a completely new one which you find works well, then please share using the comments below.

I’m off to rest now, hopefully mine is just a 24 hr thing! – Take care & Get well soon!


2 comments on “Flu: My Tried & Tested Tips

  1. Another sore throat remedy, raspberry & echinacea twinnings tea bag, one table spoon of honey, half a Lemon, x2 sweetener to taste.

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