No one likes flu season. I’m not even sure if the flu likes flu season. It doesn’t help that the flu, while seemingly innocent, is actually quite deadly. In the 2017 – 2018 flu season there were an estimated 61,000 deaths, a massive jump from the 38,000 in the 2016 – 2017 season.
That’s a lot of people!
You don’t have to worry too much if you take care of yourself properly if or when you have the flu. As an asthmatic who is at higher risk of the flu turning into something much worse, I’ve had my fair share of experiences. In this post I will outline my best tips for getting yourself over the flu in record time.
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Prevention is Best
The best way to combat flu season is to make sure you don’t get the flu. While that’s easier said than done, the best way for prevention is the flu vaccine. It won’t be protective of every flu strain out there, but each year’s flu shot is based on which strains are believed the be on the prowl.
I get a flu shot every year. Most pharmacies offer free flu shots, so there’s no real excuse to not get one if you can. I’m pretty in favor of this because as I mentioned, I’m asthmatic. It’s very easy for something as simple as a cold or the flu to manifest into things like bronchitis, any kind of respiratory infection, or even pneumonia.
Giving yourself a fighting chance is the best bet. Even if you do get the flu, it can help lessen the symptoms you feel. I think that’s a win-win, no?
Go to the Doctor
I know this might seem like a no brainer, but a lot of people, especially in the US are wary of going to the doctor, even if they’re really sick. I get it, I just finished paying off an Emergency Room visit from February not that long ago. But, if the flu progresses and you don’t get yourself the proper medications to combat it, it’s very possible to turn into something nastier.
If you have any flu-like symptoms, I highly suggest to get to a doctor, and as quick as possible. While antibiotics won’t work for the flu (it’s a virus) I’ve found that a lot of flu medications are not over the counter. If you feel comfortable taking something OTC, then you do you. I know for my, and many others with asthma, heading to the doctor’s office is the best bet because the flu usually comes with other things attached.
Want to know the difference between cold and flu symptoms? The CDC has a great little poster:
Road to Recovery
Once you’ve been diagnosed, you need to get yourself on the mend as soon as possible. No one likes being sick, right?
Sleep, Sleep, and more Sleep
The best way to combat any sickness is to make sure you get adequate rest. Your body is trying to fight off whatever it is that’s attacking your system, and that’s a tiring process for the host (that’s you).
You’re most likely not going to feel up to doing much else, to be honest. My old roommate used to get the flu almost annually when we lived together, and she definitely spent a good 80% of her time in bed, sleeping.
So make sure your bed is clean, comfy, and ready for a few days to a week’s worth of sleep.
The second best thing for dealing with the flu is to keep yourself hydrated. Because you’ll be spending a lot of your time sleeping, you’ll be more dehydrated than usual, unless you’ve figure out how to sleep and drink water at the same time (and if you do, please let me know how!)
So find yourself the largest water bottle you have and fill it with water. Keep it topped up, and if you want, fill a second one and keep that handy as well. You can never have too much water when you’re trying to recover from being sick.
Soup is Good
If you’re like me, then you really don’t have much of an appetite when you’re this sick. Unfortunately, the best way to get yourself better is to give your body the adequate nutrition to keep it running at full steam. Well, as full steam as you’re going to get with the flu.
Because I don’t really feel like eating when I’m sick, soup is a great alternative. It’s mostly liquid, and if you go for a creamed soup, it’s almost entirely liquid. Most soups contain at least some kind of vegetable, and those contain the right vitamins and minerals to get you healthy.
Take it Easy
While I’m sure you probably won’t have much energy to much more than sleep, but if you happen to start feeling down because that’s all you’re doing, don’t be. Right now, if you’re sick, your body is in the middle of a war. Your antibodies are trying to fight off this flu or cold or whatever else is trying to attack you.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be doing dishes and folding laundry while there’s a war going on inside me. So don’t worry about it and focus your energy on getting better.
Take a Shower
Now I’m not saying to take a shower every day, you may not have the energy for it. But after a day or two you probably won’t feel that great both physically from the illness, and because you’ve been in bed for the past few days.
- Get your flu shot! Just do it!
- Get yourself to the doctor for proper treatment and medication
- Get yourself on the road to recovery.
- Sleep. Sleep as much as you can. It helps your body fight off the flu invaders
- Keep hydrated. Sleeping makes you dehydrated.
- Soup is a great food if you’re not up for eating, but need to eat.
- Take it easy. Your body needs rest. Those dishes can wait a few days.
- Take a shower if you’ve been in bed for a few days. It keeps you clean and will help you feel better.
That’s it! I hope that you don’t end up with the flu, but if you do, I hope my tips can help you survive it.
What do you think of my tips? Have you ever had the flu? Did you use any of the things I suggested?
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