The common cold is called common for a reason, it is one of the most prevalent illnesses we can get. Although most are mild and resolve in a short time, they can be brutal until they do. The runny nose, scratchy throat, and nonstop sneezing - we can't miss the signs.

I had a cold last week that really knocked me off my feet. When we say “just a cold” we are diminishing how debilitating it can be. So what do we do? The running joke is we can send a man to the moon but we can’t cure the common cold. Unfortunately, that is true, but we can certainly do a lot to relieve the symptoms. One of the most important things we can do is stay hydrated with water not caffeinated or sugary beverages. For that stuffy nose, draw a hot, steamy shower to get open your sinuses. To relieve a sore throat, gargling with salt and warm water. And of course, we needs tons of rest to help recharge our bodies.  Do not let a cold just “run its course.” Give that virus a run for its money.

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    Make sure to drink plenty of water and to aim for a tall glass every couple hours. In addition to water, teas and broth are good too. Of course,  nothing can undo hydration efforts like coffee and alcohol. So avoid these dehydrating beverages while you are sick, or at least cut back on the intake.

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    Take A Hot Shower

    For that stuffy nose, draw a hot, steamy shower to get air into the sinuses to open the passages and promotes drainage. Gather a handful of shower water and put it up to your nose and kind of snuffle the steam up your nose that way. Once the air goes in, gently blow one nostril at a time to help drainage. An abbreviated option of you do not feel like showering is to run hot water in the sink.

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    Extra Pillow

    Add an extra pillow to help raise your head higher to breath better. This promotes sinus drainage down the back of your throat and will open up your nasal passages a little bit.

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    Try Over-the Counter Medicines

    This is a good symptom management tool. While the products at the drugstore will not shorten the length of your cold or even kill the virus, the will thought help nullify the symptoms. Cough and cold medications can bring a great deal of relief. Adding that antihistamines may help watery-eyed, sneezing cold sufferers. Saline nasal solutions may help folks with dry noses. And ibuprofen and acetaminophen may help subdue body aches and slight fevers.

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    Drink Hot Tea

    Not only is sipping on tea a tasty way to hydrate, but it can bring some calming relief to a scratchy throat. In this case honey will be your best friend.  Put in some honey to coat your throat and to help sooth it so does not hurt.

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    Gargle Salt Water

    This may seem like a slightly less delicious way to relieve a sore throat but gargling with salt and warm water may be what finally puts out that fire.

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    Eat Chicken Noodle Soup

    Just like taking a steamy shower and drinking hot tea has its benefits, so does eating chicken soup. Chicken noodle soup offers that much needed hydration, and it offers some nice, gentle, easily digestible nourishment.

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    Lubricate a Chapped Nose

    We all have been there. That runny nose when it’s cold outside and the opening of the nostrils getting chapped and uncomfortable. An affordable way to resolve this is by rubbing petroleum jelly on the effected area. 

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    Get Some Rest

    When we are sick, we often feel a bit more fatigued. Give into it! Now is the time to rest as much as you can. Go to bed earlier and take it easy.



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    Continue Exercising, If You Can

    This advice is a bit tricky. If you are capable of some exercise, then go for it. You should not be training for the Olympics of course. I am talking just 30 minutes of gentle exercise. This may seem hard when you are sick, but it does actually help and you will feel good having done it. If you are one to max out your workout everyday, you will want to cut back on your routine while you are sick. Do not lift as much, do not run as fast and maybe sub a yoga class for a workout.

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    Practice Proper Hygiene

    No one wants your sickness spread to them and you certainly do not want to pick up another person’s illness on top of what you already got. So make sure to always cover your cough and sneezes, sanitize germy spots and wash your hands often.



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    Do Not Take an Antibiotic

    Since the common cold is caused by a virus and antibiotics treat bacterial infections, antibiotics will not work. So no matter how much grossly green discharge is coming from your nose, do not go to your doctors or healthcare provider to ask for a antibiotic.

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    Do Not Spend Money on High-Dose Vitamin C, Echinacea, or Zinc:

    If you are taking all this stuff, you are just making expensive urine. I would not recommend you spend money on that kind of stuff. Stick to the teas and over-the-counter symptom relief medicines. Also stock up on the nasal salines and a humidifier and work.

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