Down & Out: Coping Naturally with Colds & Flu

Well, I can stop humble-bragging silently to myself that I haven't been sick with the flu in two years. Historically, I was a pretty sick girl - growing up I was plagued with ear infections, sinus infections, and mono (twice). I look at the path of my life into early adulthood with a ton of gratitude: the places I ended up (aka, Vermont) and the community that I was a part of paved the way for my health and my future. I learned about the importance of preventative health, nutrition, and natural wellness. 

Over the course of a couple of years, I fell into the new natural wellness "rhythm" that I have been maintaining since. Well...until recently, at least. It's all speculation at this point, but the reality is that I fell out of my rhythm (and hard) in the first part of 2015, and I think this plays a large part in why I have been summoned to my couch for 4 days with a low grade fever, aches, sinus pressure and a dry cough. The aforementioned rhythm I fell into consists of: 

  • Yoga, daily - even if just  a quick 15 minute practice.
  • Probiotics, daily. 
  • Lots of vegetables, including my Easy Greens almost daily.
  • Water, water, water all day every day.

In a nutshell, in January 2015, "life" happened: job picked up, we house-sat for a week, had visitors in town. The natural rhythm I found and fell in love with essentially disappeared: we started eating out more than usual, I was forgetting my probiotic, and...gasp: I basically stopped practicing yoga. For real. Like, once a week, maybe twice if I was lucky. Sigh - my lymphatic/immune system took the beating and here I am today, writing this post from under a blanket on the couch. 

So..how have I been coping? These are some things I've done (apart from the necessary and obvious 'plenty of fluids + rest recommendation) while sick with this weird flu to help myself heal and get back on the road to health. 

PROBIOTICS 

Yep. I still love Megaflora and at it's price point in comparison to others, I think it's a good buy. If you want to learn more about probiotics, check out my "Ode to Probiotics" post from November 2013.  Normally I take one in the morning, but while I've been sick, I've been doing morning + evening doses. 

GINGER EVERYTHING.

Tea of course, and my favorite Ginger Soother made by the Ginger People. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and helps with nausea. I started with Ginger the second I came home sick from work on Friday, and nausea has been pretty much non-existent with this bout of sickness, so I'd like to think my ginger consumption has something to do with that.

EPSOM SALT BATHS. 

Last March, I wrote about how Epsom Salt baths are incredibly healing for the body (check it out here!). With the low grade fever I've had, I was really careful not to sweat myself out in the bath: water a bit warmer than luke warm was comfortable. I left it to the Epsom salt to draw toxins out of my skin (and hopefully out of my body completely!) 

ESSENTIAL OILS.

I've been using the "Breathe" blend in the diffuser and "OnGuard" in the bath + on my feet (both brands by doTERRA). Despite having a ton of sinus pressure in my forehead, I have yet to be forced to mouth-breathe (there's nothing worse, so I am feeling SO grateful for my EO's!) Nasal passages = clear! No petroleum or artificial-anything necessary via Vicks. I've also been taking Oil of Oregano and Garlic, both have amazing antibacterial and antiviral properties. 

SMOOTHIES.

My appetite has been mellow, and it's been a challenge to find something that sounds delicious to consume. On top of that, I have had little to no energy to spend in the kitchen. I've been throwing an orange, a kiwi, a big ol' bunch of spinach, a huge chunk of ginger, half an avocado, and some coconut water into the Vitamix every morning. In about five minutes (prep + blend + cleanup all included), I have something nutritious to sip on. Smoothies are hydrating and packed with nutrition: an obvious choice for illness, if your stomach is up for it. 


...Phew. There you have it. I can honestly say that today, on Day 4, I'm starting to feel healthier. The fever symptoms are gone. All that remains is lingering exhaustion and a productive cough (a good sign!) I'm thinking that I'm on the up&up. One more day of rest and I'm hoping to be back at it tomorrow, natural wellness rhythm included. 

What are your favorite ways to take care of yourself naturally when you're sick?