Winter colds, flu, runny noses, coughs and general ickiness can make this time of year a sufferance rather than enjoyable. But there are a few things you can do to help prevent that – I will add that I’m not a doctor or medical professional so you should always seek medical guidance when ill or wanting to know about medications for illness prevention, etc.
1) Keep Warm! Now this may seem like a no-brainer, but with temperatures dropping so low it can be easy to go from a warm house, to a cold outside and not realise that you need more layers until you’ve been out there for a while. Gloves, scarves, hats and thick jackets are a must at this time of year for anywhere that gets cold in winter (as I’m aware that certain countries are hot right now!). Layer your clothes to help keep in the warmth – long sleeved t-shirt under a jumper, under a coat for example and always remember to keep your feet warm! Thick socks and warm boots suitable for the weather are essential additions.
2) Eat right! Keeping your energy levels up at this time of year can be difficult with long nights and less sunshine. Hot, substantial meals will keep you energised and also help to give you nutrients to combat any cold and flu germs around. Soups, stews and casseroles are great, and if you can make them with seasonal vegetables/meats then even better! I’ve given several soup recipes on my blog so far for my Soup Season recipe posts 🙂 Give them a try for easy, warming comfort food.
3) Get Comfortable! Winter is all about comfort, be that curled up with a hot drink, a home cooked meal with friends, snuggling with a loved one in front of a log fire or any other way you make yourself comfy. Comfort food is a good way to do this during the winter. Being comfortable and relaxing means saving energy and stopping your reserves from running low which, in turn, helps to combat cold and flu symptoms.
4) Drink Fluids! Hot drinks during the winter help to keep you warm but regardless of their temperature, make sure you’re drinking enough during the season. Dehydration is just as much of an issue in the winter as it is in the summer and if you have a cold, or flu, then keeping up your fluid intake is a must. I’m not fond of tea or coffee (I know, English and I don’t like tea! lol!) but you can make any drink warm, heat up some milk or have a hot chocolate, mix up some orange juice with boiling water to heat it up, or a hot cordial drink. As I said though, cooler drinks are just as important to keep you re-hydrated.
So that’s it, 4 easy steps to help keep us all healthy and snugly over the frosty winter season.
If you do catch a cold there are remedies available over-the-counter if you talk to the pharmacist they can work out which is best for you.
One thing I mix up to take every time I start feeling ill is a simple home made honey and lemon drink. Put some boiling water in a mug, about 3/4 full, then add in 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and stir until mixed well. Add more honey and/or lemon juice to taste and you could even add a slice of lemon if you wish. Drink it slowly to soothe a sore throat and help combat cold and flu germs. To increase the benefits you could use manuka honey, but if you don’t have any then don’t worry because any runny honey is good 🙂