In 2021 it seems like people are susceptible to getting sick from any and everything. Self care is something that is not in the realm of conscious conversation anymore because truth be told, a healthy person is not a profitable person. Drug companies cannot make money off of someone who is healthy because that person does not need their drugs.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the last thing anyone should want, is a compromised immune system. Aside from covid-19 we still have our seasonal regulars of the common cold, the flu, pneumonia, sore throat, strep throat, whooping cough, bronchitis, and more.
Thanks to the pandemic, people have grown more accustomed to safety measures like masks, gloves, frequent washing of hands, and disinfecting. However; how we take care of the inside of us is just as, if not more important than how we take care of the outside of us. What you ingest and how you maintain your body can have a lasting impact on your overall well-being; Especially as it relates to combating pathogens.
When it comes to maintaining my immune system strength, I believe in prevention versus treatment. There are things you could be doing today to give your immune system the daily boost that it needs to keep you strong and healthy. By the time you get sick its too late. If you want to be wealthy, health is wealth.
You cannot truly enjoy life and be in discomfort at the same time.
I want you to be amazing, and the basis for being amazing is being alive. I am passionate about health in this way because I come from a people who have been historically relegated to not having access to proper healthcare, or the awareness of suitable healthcare practices.
Here are ways you can stay healthy and nurse yourself back to health when you feel as though you are getting sick:
Learn to Identify the Symptoms
The first step in combating a sickness is knowing that you are coming down with something. I believe that this falls in the realm of common sense for most people, but it can be questionable at first to identify whether or not you are coming down with something or if you are just having a coughing or sneezing fit.
One of the telltale signs that you are coming down with something is a sore throat. A sore throat can come in many different variations: it could be the back of your throat, the side, when you swallow, or even an irritation or tingling that runs up to either one of your ears. Typically (see your doctor as it pertains to you) a sore throat is one notch down from a full blown cold.
In other cases, you could also find yourself very congested. Mucus build-up is another indicator that you are potentially coming down with something and should act accordingly. As it relates to Covid-19, the symptoms for that in particular can range anywhere from loss of taste and smell to diarrhea. In a case like that where anything abnormal could be a symptom it is imperative that you are cognizant of your own body.
The bottom line here is to be aware of yourself. Not every sickness will be obvious, but if you are noticing things like fatigue, feelings of lethargy, mucus build-up and the like (stuffy nose); Then being a little more concerned about your immune health in those moments would not necessarily be a bad assumption.
Right off the bat, the first thing I would encourage you to do is to get on a daily or semi daily detox. Detoxes are outstanding. They provide your body with a boost of nutrients. They flush out your body, and they promote a healthy immune system. For more on detoxes check out the post that I wrote explaining a few of my personal favorites.
There are some key food items and food groups you should both avoid and gravitate towards when you are feeling yourself starting to come down with a cold; The first of which being garlic.
Garlic is a personal favorite and it is known for having medicinal properties. Raw garlic has allicin. It, along with other compounds in garlic give it its healing capabilities. It is encouraged that if you feel the sniffles coming on that you take a clove or two of raw fresh garlic. Just pop a clove in your mouth, and chew it up. Obviously, this is better done with dinner than with breakfast, however, doing so can reduce your chances of getting sick.
Another good food category when you’re trying to prevent a cold is hot foods. This includes food dishes that use spicy seasoning, and hot peppers themselves. Eating spicy foods can help improve gut health including digestion; Allowing for you to be able to process nutrients more efficiently. They also help keep your heart healthy, and they aid with pain relief.
This is the one section of the grocery store that you want to avoid. That’s right no milk, no ice cream, no cheese, no yogurt. Nothing that is dairy based. The reason why you do not want to eat dairy when you are sick is because it can cause more mucus to build up in your system. Having copious amounts of mucus in your system is contrary to preventing or treating a cold.
This goes for soups too. Try to avoid soups that are made with dairy. Go for soups that are chicken broth, vegetable broth, or seafood broth based.
The next way to nurse yourself back to health when you are feeling yourself starting to get sick is to take a lot of vitamins. The most obvious one being vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the core vitamins in our body that is responsible for a proper functioning immune system. It also plays an essential role in the repair and development of our body as well.
Vitamin D is another good vitamin that helps with strengthening your immune system. Vitamin D supports your cells in fighting off various pathogens. It can also help lower your risk for respiratory infections.
Then there is Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that helps develop your immune cells. It is also valuable in combating inflammation in the body. It can also help protect against some respiratory tract infections including the common cold.
The next thing that you want to employ when combating the onset of a cold is a proper mindset. Feeling sick/being sick sucks. However, one of the best ways you can help yourself is by willing yourself to do as much as you can. That ‘much’ does not have to be a lot but, it should be something you would classify as substantial. So not necessarily doing all of your regular daily activities, but rather, checking off one or two things from your to do list.
The key here is, if you can help it, you do not want to act as if you are sick. Please use common sense: quarantine yourself if necessary, make sure you take the proper precautions when in public, and wash your hands frequently but also; just because you may be coming down with something, does not mean that something should weigh you down.
Activating your will power in these moments is really about asserting dominance over your circumstance. You may have a sickness, but that sickness does not have you. Keeping your mind in this type of proactive and positive mindset when dealing with any inconvenience, not just being sick, is valuable because you allow yourself to progress through the illness/situation.
You are not just allowing yourself to get/be sick, but you are actively trying to get better at the same time. Mind over matter is the game changer in almost all of life’s scenarios. Do not be afraid to indulge a little if you are feeling yourself come down with a cold. Take a longer shower, draw yourself a hot bath, make some soup from scratch, or put on a good movie. Treat yourself like The King or Queen that you are. It is in your weakness that you can get to see in full display how worthy you believe you are, by how you treat yourself.
A clean Environment
The next thing that is an absolute necessity when nursing yourself back to health, is a clean environment. The last thing that anyone should ever want, is to be in a dirty home while they are not feeling good. Not only is that unhealthy in and of itself, but that environment is not conducive to a proper recovery.
Do what you can to give your space an extra thorough wipe down. Clean often, the areas of your home that you use regularly, and change your sheets and pillow cases frequently. Make sure you reduce clutter in your space as well.
Being in an environment that promotes good health is about it supporting all aspects of your health. Your space should be physically clean, there should be room for your mind to wander, meaning, nothing should be around that will overly stress you out; and you should have no pitfalls or temptations lying around/easily accessible.
Have things around you that are soothing. Low lights, fragrant candles, tea, and other things that will promote inner peace. Turn the television off, and read a book, do a puzzle, or work on a hobby. One good thing about not feeling well is that it will cause you to slow down.
If that happens do not feel as though you must be Superman or Wonder Woman – instead take a moment to enjoy the scenery. You are a spiritual being having a physical experience meaning everything happens for a reason. It is possible, that your physical sickness is a metaphor for spiritual healing that may need to take place as well.
I have a minimalist ideology. I do not find value using a lot of over the counter medicines, and the ones I do use are intentional. My number one favorite fever reducer is Motrin. I believe in Motrin. Nine times out of ten Motrin works. Motrin is an over the counter ibuprofen that helps with inflammation, pain relief, and fever reduction.
I like Motrin so much because it is one of if not the strongest grade ibuprofen you can get over the counter. I value not having additives in whatever it is I put in my body, so if I can get something that is relatively pure, it is going to be higher on my list than another similar product. Ibuprofen is pretty easy to get over the counter and it has the same general health benefits across most producers of it.
The next thing that you want to use to help nurse yourself back to health is vapor rub. This stuff is amazing. Vapor rub is a methanol ointment with a petroleum jelly like texture. Its most famous iteration is Vicks Brand VapoRub.
The primary use for vapor rub is its ability to alleviate pain and congestion. Common practice with vapor rub is to place the balm under your nose, on your chest, on your upper back if possible, and on and around your neck. After rubbing yourself down with the vapor rub, you want to cover the areas you put the salve on as you do not want those parts of your body to be openly exposed. Typically, this would be a before bed practice for me; At least that way, I can cover myself with my sheets or a blanket.
Cough and Cold Relief
You always should have a secret weapon in your arsenal. In situations where I feel myself either coming down with a cold or am full blown sick, my weapons of choice are Dayquil/Nyquil and Mucinex. These are two cough and cold over the counter medicines that I personally find a lot of value in. Mucinex being my favorite of the two, is like a high powered cold and cough kicker.
If your system is gunked up, from my experience Mucinex can clean it out. Same goes for Dayquil/Nyquil. I am a little partial towards Day/Nyquil however, because I do not believe this product works as well for me as Mucinex, but it is a solid number two choice.
If you need near immediate relief, these are my suggested products for you. That being said, everyone is different, and you may need something stronger or weaker depending on your body, so keep that in mind when shopping these products.
Everything outlined in this post was done so with one goal in mind: to help you take control of your physical health. Yes, you should be working out as much as possible, and watching what you eat; all of those things contribute greatly to a healthy lifestyle.
Remedying and tending to your internal body parts however, is equally important to how you care for yourself externally. You probably will not want to workout if your immune system is compromised, and you will not feel like eating if you are really sick. Holistic health and wellness is about every part of you: your body, mind, resource, and environment.
Originally Published October 31, 2020