It’s that time of year again – flu season (cue dramatic music). It seems like everyone we know is sniffling at their desks, and we hate to admit that we, too, have fallen victim to the dreaded flu. Those transitions from sunshine to arctic office conditions have finally caught up with us. We feel like we’ve tried every remedy we could find, so we’re sharing some of the tips and tricks that got us out of bed and back into the office (albeit looking a little worse for wear)...
The O.G. Ones
It’s a classic for a reason! Vitamin C has shown to boost your immune system and decrease the severity of your symptoms. You can get it through fruit and vegetables, or through effervescent tablets if you’re looking for a shortcut. To make sure you don’t catch the flu again next season, keep your Vitamin C intake up year-round.
Zinc is another favourite among doctors worldwide because of its antiviral properties - just be sure to take it when you first notice symptoms to tackle them right away.
You know when you're in the ocean and accidentally swallow some water? Well, this is like that... except on purpose. And you don't swallow. Mix about half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle it for as long as you can stand. This tried-and-tested method helps to flush out bacteria, and stops your sore throat in its tracks.
There’s nothing worse than a stuffy environment when you feel like you can barely breathe as it is. That’s where a humidifier comes in. It’ll help add some moisture into the air, and not leave you feeling as dry as your lips. Plus, it prevents the spread of germs. For even better results, add a few drops of essential oils, like tea tree oil, to help clear your nasal passages.
Neti Pots are used to clear congestion by loosening mucus (gross, but effective). An ancient technique, it requires you to pour water through one nostril so it comes out the other, cleansing nasal passages of bacteria. But remember to only use distilled or boiled water in your neti pot – using tap water can lead to inflammation and infection, and can lead to very serious side effects.
Sure, it doesn’t sound all that appetising, but it’s the modern (read: hipster) version of flu-season-favourite, chicken soup. The health benefits associated with bone broth would need a whole page to themselves, but they include improving immune function and overall gut health. Warm liquids also reduce congestion, and there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of soup when you’re feeling under the weather.
The Herbal Ones
Clove oil is proven to be one of the best cures for flu symptoms and helps your body recover faster from fatigue and pain. It's also one of the best preventative measures to take year-round, as it kills off any germs that have you in their sights. Clove oil has just become your new best friend.
Turmeric is a super spice that fights inflammation and boosts immunity. Sprinkle it into your tea or moon milk (you can read more out about that here), for a delicious, flu-busting night cap.
Forgotten what it’s like to be able to breathe through your nose? Never fear, eucalyptus is here! Apply some eucalyptus oil to your chest before you sleep to clear your sinuses. Have to go to the office? Put a few drops onto a tissue or handkerchief and inhale whenever you’re feeling congested.
Whether you’re hardcore enough to chew it raw, or if you’re having it in your tea or with your sushi, ginger is a go-to for those that have the flu. Not only does it stimulate digestive enzymes, but it helps with puffiness, body pains and headaches.
The Essential Ones
Make sure you get to bed early, as your body needs time to repair itself. That means no late-night Instagram stalking or staying late at the office. If you don’t allow your body to heal, you’ll prolong your misery. Plus, it means you’ll be more susceptible to catching another round of the flu before the season is over. Yikes.
Don’t go back to the office until you’re ready – not only will you spread germs (don't be that person, please), but one blast of that freezing air conditioning will have you back in bed within a day. We’re giving you an excuse to stay home in your pyjamas and binge-watch Netflix – take it! Bored of lying on the couch all day? Try some light stretching or gentle yoga to ease muscle pain, just be sure to take it slow and definitely avoid the gym.
So remember: wash your hands, stay hydrated, skip your ladies’ night and get some rest. Your body (and your co-workers) will thank you for it.