How to Get Rid of a Head Cold in 24 Hours
Nothing is worse than waking up, getting ready for work, and you realize you have a head cold. Often times the first thought in your mind is to continue to go to work and just get through the day. But if you have a fever, have a consistent coughs or severe congestion, or need to run to the bathroom frequently, taking the day off of work can be one of the best things for you. It will allow you to take the day to recover, and you will be back to feeling like yourself in less time.
One of the most important things to do when faced with a head cold is to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water, clear liquids, or juice to help fight off the head cold. It will help you to not only stay hydrated, but will also help your body to rid itself of the toxins that are in your body. Part of being hydrated also means avoiding things that will dehydrate you, like caffeine. If possible, avoid drinking coffee or black tea. Opt for a cup of green tea which has less caffeine but also provides some antioxidants. Or even better drink a cup of herbal tea with a little bit of honey and lemon. The warmth of the tea can be soothing, but it can also give you the healing properties from the vitamin c in the lemon and the honey.
Painkillers and Fever Reducers
If you have a fever or body aches and pains, taking a Tylenol or ibuprofen can help to not only reduce the fever, but also relieve some of the aches and pains. But make sure not to take them on an empty stomach. It can cause you to get an upset stomach, and make you feel even worse than you did before having taken it. You do not have to eat a full meal, even a slice of toast is enough to help keep this from happening. An additional benefit of taking a fever reducer is that it helps your body to retain the fluids you are drinking. If your fever gets too high, it is more difficult for your body to stay hydrated. About four to six hours later, take an additional dose but make sure you are only taking the dosage recommended for you every time. Taking too much can cause other problems besides stomach upset, which defeat the purpose of taking the medication in the first place.
Vitamins and Supplements
When fighting off a head cold, it is easy for the nutrients in your body to become diminished. Consider taking a vitamin c supplement, as well as a multi-vitamin to help you not only replenish what you may have lost, but will also give you an extra boost to fight off the head cold. Also consider taking an Echinacea supplement. This supplement has been shown to help reduce the duration of a cold, and can either be taken in a pill form or a liquid which can be added to a drink. Or look for a tea with Echinacea and chamomile to help you also stay hydrated and feel better faster.
Eating a bowl of chicken soup is not just a wives tale for when you have a head cold. The broth will give you some extra fluids, and the nutrients in the broth from the veggies and onion help to fight off the head cold. The protein in the chicken will help to ensure your immune system is working at its best, but is easier to digest than other types of protein. All of these are necessary for your body to be able to fight off a cold and flush out the toxins from the illness that are in your body. Also consider eating a banana with your lunch, or as a snack throughout the day. This fruit is full of potassium, which will help to boost your immune system more, help to keep you from being dehydrated, and the naturally occurring carbohydrates will give you enough energy to go about your day. This is fruit is a great boost to your immune system even when healthy, but more so when you are feeling under the weather.
Rest or Take a Nap
When you are fighting off a head cold, it is important to get enough sleep. When you sleep your body is able to focus energy on repairing and healing itself instead of on other functions. If you are feeling tired, take a short cat nap during the day. But, only for a short period of time. Try to take a 20 to 40 minute nap, but not any longer. If you nap any longer, you will likely have trouble sleeping come night time, and feel even worse than you did the day before. For the majority of the day though you should take time to relax. Read a book with a warm cup of tea. Or sit down to watch a movie you have been meaning to get caught up on. Take it easy, and do not over exert yourself if at all possible. This will allow you to not only conserve your energy, but will allow your body to use that energy to fight off the cold instead.
Move, But Only a Little Bit
Probably by mid afternoon or early evening, you will start to feel a little bit better. You might be tempted to get up and do a bunch of things around the house, but be careful. You want to do some light movement to get your blood flowing, but if you over do it, you will be right back where you started. Even though it might be tempting to get caught up on some housework while home for the day, stick to only a small thing, like washing a load of laundry or running the dishwasher. If you feel the need to get out of the house, take a walk around the block, but not anything more. The reason for getting moving is to help your body to work more efficiently, but using too much energy will take away from the energy your body needs to heal and repair itself.
Water is Soothing
If your head cold is creating sinus discomfort, water can be your best friend. Try taking a warm shower or soaking in a bath. The steam can help to reduce the congestion in your sinuses and make it easier for you to breath. The warmth can also be soothing to your joints and sore muscles caused by the cold. Also using a neti pot or sinus rinse will help to flush out the excess mucus in your sinuses. It is available at the local pharmacy, and is safe enough to use no matter what types of medication you may be using. However, one word of advice, use it in the shower so it’s easier to use and not have to worry about getting the water all over. After using it, wait a little bit before using any nasal sprays, and wait at least 30 minutes after using a nasal spray to flush your sinuses or the medication will not have enough time to begin working.
Go to Bed Early
Consider going to bed an hour earlier than you normally do. The extra hour of sleep can help your body to continue to fight off the illness, but will not be too much sleep to interrupt your normal sleep pattern. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep. You should be getting this much sleep anyway a night to help your body’s immune system to stay healthy and prevent illness, but it is even more important for you when you are sick to get this much sleep so you can get your immune system back in proper working order. If you find it hard to get to sleep, take a couple of painkillers with a warm cup of chamomile tea to help you relax. Then take a warm shower to help your muscles relax and help to soothe your sinuses from the extra congestion. By then your body should be ready to go to sleep comfortably.
Many people when they get sick want to run to the doctor and get some antibiotics. Most common colds are caused by a virus, and will not respond to antibiotics. It is better to allow these types of illnesses to simply run their course instead. Not to mention, the use of antibiotics can create other issues with your immune system, especially in your gut health, and cause other problems when taken unnecessarily. The exception would be if you have the flu virus. In this case, an antiviral medication can be prescribed, but needs to be taken right away in order to be effective. For the common cold though the use of these common home remedies are all that are necessary in order for you to be able to get back to work the next day feeling much better. Just remember over the next couple of days to continue to stay hydrated and not to exert too much energy so you do not have a relapse.