When you’re hit with a nasty bug, you want to feel better – FAST. But it may not be so easy for some of us. Everyone’s immune system is a little different and once you know your body and how it heals, you’ll be able to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Whilst you’re getting better, you could unfortunately be sabotaging your body’s recovery efforts without even realising it.
Here are 8 Things To Stop Doing When You Catch A Cold:
1. STOP smoking
Cigarettes, including secondhand smoke, can increase your risk of respiratory infections and make your symptoms worsen. So kick that habit while you’re under the weather or even better, permanently.
2. STOP bugging your doctor for antibiotics
Antibiotics do not fight against viral infections like colds, flu, and most sore throats and it will not cure the infection. It is important not to pop antibiotics as your go-to measure when you’re down with a simple cold. When one takes too much antibiotics, you can develop antibiotic resistance which means that basic antibiotics may not work on you when they should and you end up taking stronger ones unnecessarily.
3. STOP acting tough
You know what we mean. You feel too busy to take a sick day, or worry about letting your co-workers down. But if you’re contagious, they will thank you for staying home. Be considerate to others. No one likes getting ill and if you’re ill, think of others. Stay home and get better. Have you got flu-like symptoms? You shouldn’t return to the job until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
4. STOP stressing
Research shows that stress can make you more open to cold viruses and worsen symptoms once you’re feeling sick. Stress can also prevent you from getting the sleep your body needs to get well. When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels are also higher which can cause insomnia, amongst other health problems. If you think you’re coming down with something, try to relax and get plenty of rest.
5. STOP using hand sanitisers instead of scrubbing up
Hand sanitisers are fine, as long as they contain at least 60% alcohol. But they do not replace the basic act of hand washing. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap will get rid of germs better. A lot of people do not wash their hands properly or worse, at all! For best results, scrub for at least 20 seconds (about the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.)
6. STOP relying too much on medicine
Yes, we all want to get better ASAP and thus, taking medicine is part and parcel of getting better. It is very important not to self-medicate. Always follow the directions for any drugs you’re taking to treat your symptoms and get your medicine supply the right way – from a doctor.
7. STOP sipping your usual latte
What?! Give up coffee? It may sound a little nuts but when you’re feeling low on energy, it’s best to avoid caffeine (and alcohol) while you’re sick. This is mainly because they can make you dehydrated. Instead, have a steamy cup of decaffeinated tea mixed with a spoonful of honey. Hot drinks and honey temporarily ease symptoms like coughs and sore throats. You might even sleep better. Never give honey to a child less than 1 year old, because it can cause an infection called infant botulism.
8. STOP neglecting to eat and drink
When we’re ill, it’s natural not to want to eat much. Some of us may not have much of an appetite but you do need nourishment and plenty of fluids. For a hydrating and comforting lunch, have a bowl of hot chicken soup. It seems that a bowl of chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties which may help relieve cold symptoms.