How To Deal With Colds & Congestion
If you do come down with an illness, there are ways you can get back to your usual self quickly, as well as preventing others from picking up the illness from you. Read through our congestion tips and advice below:
- Always sneeze and cough into tissues, and throw away used ones immediately. Wash your hands afterwards.
- Stick with your own cup or mug, plates, cutlery and other kitchen utensils to minimise the risk of passing on any bacteria to another member of your family.
- Steam inhalation can help shift congestion and have you breathing more freely – simply fill a bowl with hot water, place a towel over your head and breathe deeply. Add a few drops of your favourite scented oils – eucalyptus is a great choice.
- Gargle with warm salt water – this can help relieve the symptoms of a sore throat for some time.
- Make sure you’re getting your vitamins! Vitamin C is thought to protect the immune system, so try eating fruits and vegetables like strawberries, oranges, brussel sprouts, red and green peppers and broccoli.
- Stay hydrated and sip on green tea regularly. It’s packed full of antioxidants, which can help to stimulate your recovery.
- Chicken soup is a go-to for many suffering from a cold or congestion – and for good reason! There’s some evidence to show that it could help with flu-like symptoms, as well as offering some much-needed comfort when you’re feeling under the weather.
It's sometimes possible to alleviate the symptoms of allergies such as hay fever by taking some basic precautions, such as:
- Wearing wraparound sunglasses to help stop pollen getting in your eyes when you're outdoors
- Taking a shower and changing your clothes after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body
- Staying indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50 grains per cubic metre of air)
- Applying a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum gel) to the nasal openings to trap pollen grains
You can also take precautions to boost your chances of avoiding illness altogether:
- Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and regularly – particularly if you’ve come into contact with public doorknobs or handles, bathroom taps, or any kind of food.
- Keep your most commonly-handled objects clean with an antibacterial wipe – that means your wallet, your purse, your mobile phone, your credit cards or your keys.
- Clean surfaces in your home regularly to keep them free of germs and harmful bacteria. This includes your work surfaces and even your computer keyboard.