While the common cold can afflict us at any time throughout the year, the flu tends to strike during the winter season. The colder temperatures allow the influenza virus to mutate and morph into new strains and strike with a vengeance. While a cold can be relatively mild, resulting in a few sniffles, a mild temperature and a sore throat, the flu is altogether a different beast. If your symptoms came on rapidly, you have a soaring fever, your muscles ache, you have a tight chest, you suffer from dizziness and vomiting, and feel like you’ve been hit by a juggernaut, the chances are that flu has you in its grasp. If you are in the midst of a bout, then this guide may have a come a little late. However, if you are wondering how best to protect yourself from flu this year, these four simple strategies could stand you in good stead.
Get A Shot
While no one enjoys getting an injection, the flu vaccination has become one of the most successful in modern times. If you are concerned about getting the flu, or you belong to a vulnerable group, it’s vital that you head down to your local surgery to claim your free flu jab. Yes, it might hurt for a moment, and yes, you may get the sniffles for a couple of days afterwards, but this vaccination could save you from contracting a nasty bout of flu.
While we all like to go down the natural route, and may use a ginger, hot lemon and water drink to soothe our sore throats, the flu needs the good old man made medication to relieve the toughest of symptoms. One of the most debilitating effects of flu is the fatigue. However, alongside this fatigue comes a hacking cough that gets worse late at night. This can result in sleepless and restless nights in bed. To combat this, try a medicine like Night Nurse to tackle these flu symptoms. Your aches, sniffles and runny nose may clear up enough to help you achieve a better night’s sleep aiding your alertness the next day.
Make sure you have lozenges to soothe your sore throat, whip on the vapour rub and partake in a Lemsip or two. While they won’t help you get better any faster, they will relieve some of your symptoms for a short while giving you some respite from the most severe aspects of flu.
While you may not feel like heavy, spicy or extravagant meals, it’s still important that you eat. A lack of appetite is common with the flu, but it’s vital that you continue to fuel your body with the nutrition it requires. Hot broth like soup, either chicken or vegetable, is a solid way of putting warmth, vegetables and protein into your body. Consider eating little and often so you can develop a routine without feeling full and stuffed.
Citrus fruits, peppers and green leafy vegetables are full of antioxidants and can boost your immune system and iron levels when you are feeling poorly. Ensure that you replenish any nutrients you may lose via food as much as possible. If you are really struggling to eat, ensure that you remain hydrated and replenish much needed vitamins and minerals with rehydration remedies which are full of nutrients and salts.
Maintain Your Hygiene
It’s all too easy to stay in your pyjamas for days at a time cooped up in bed without showering, but this can make you feel groggy and stop you from getting better in the optimum time. Try to get out of bed when you can, run yourself a lovely hot bath or take a shower, and get dressed. You don’t have to be putting on your finest attire; a comfy tracksuit will do! However, feeling refreshed physically can help lift your mood mentally.
While it will be hard to find the motivation to get up and do something, it is important to venture out of bed even if it’s just to the sofa downstairs. Open the curtains, let in some fresh air and enjoy the natural light bouncing around your room. The light will help release dopamine, the happy hormone, and may even have a positive impact on your sleep routine.
The flu virus can be hugely debilitating. However, rest assured that if you do contract it, it will last little longer than a week to ten days. By following these simple steps, you will have every chance of warding off the flu this winter season.