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Cold Comfort: 7 Tips to Feel Better When You’re Sick

In case you’ve wondered where I’ve been lately, I’ve been fighting an uphill battle against a nasty case of the sniffles. My wife and little girl are out of town, so I hope at least to spare them, but that does leave me alone to care for myself.

A Daddy's 7 Tips for Getting Through The Common ColdWhile there may still be no cure for the not-so-common-cold, what are the things you do to help those you love and yourself feel better? Here are a few things that have helped me through the past couple of days. What would you add?

7 Tips if you catch a cold:

  • Drink lots of fluids. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water are all good choices. They help replace fluids lost during mucus production or fever. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can cause dehydration.
  • Grandma was right. Generations of parents have ladled chicken soup into their sick children’s mouths. Now scientists have put chicken soup to the test, discovering that it does seem to help relieve cold and flu.
  • Go to your room! If possible, stay home from work (I did) if you have a fever or a bad cough, or are drowsy after the medications. This will give you a chance to rest as well as reduce the chances that you’ll infect others.
  • Adjust temperature & humidity. Keep your room warmer, but not overheated. If the air is dry, a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer can moisten the air and help ease congestion and coughing.
  • Try a neti pot. To help relieve nasal congestion, rinse your nose (I know this sounds weird, but it really helps) with warm saline solution, meaning salt water. Be sure to use distilled or filtered water, not tap.
  • Vitamin C & Echinacea. The jury is still out, but it appears taking vitamin C & Echinacea at the onset of a cold may shorten the duration of symptoms. As with all of these tips, check with your doctor.
  • Apply some VapoRub. This is my secret go-to treatment when all else fails. Did your mom use it on you, too? It brings back memories of her TLC… and really helps improve my breathing and reduce my coughs.

When I woke up the other morning coughing, sniffling and generally moaning like a big baby, my first thought was “Where’s the VapoRub?!” After a mini panic I remembered I’d left it in the bathroom by my daughter’s nursery when she was sick.

A Mother's caring for sick son with Vick's VapoRubEnough about me. How about you? What are your go-to treatments for your family and yourself when ill? This post was sponsored by VapoRub, btw, but the opinions as always are entirely my own. I wish you and yours a very safe, healthy and Merry Christmas.

[important]p.s. Visit Vicks VapoRub on Facebook and check out their sweet “Get Well Friend” virtual care packages. Cheer up a friend with a customized gift box of virtual goodies to make being sick just a little bit better.[/important]

[warning]p.p.s. A comment would really cheer me up. Yep, I’m going to play this sick card as long as I can get away with it. Thanks for dropping by. It’s no fun being sick alone. No pressure. No guilt. ;)[/warning]

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  1. Kristen

    I need a warm bath with Johnson’s Vapor baby bath with lots of steam in the room. Then I head for the Vick’s as soon as I get out, tuck myself into warm blankets & pray for sleep!
    Hope you are feeling better soon! My youngest & I have strep and feel just awful. It kicked in for both of us overnight. My oldest was diagnosed with it last Wed. Nothing like sharing 😉

    1. Michael Schmid

      Oh, no. Yeah, bugs do get passed around the family, don’ t they. At least my wife and daughter are out of town, so hopefully I won’t be contagious by the time they get back. The bath idea sounds great. I took one last night (but without any vapor stuff) and it helped. Thanks for the tip! Hope you and your youngest start to feel better soon, Kristen. :(

  2. Laura

    If I’m really stuffed up (like can’t breathe at all), I mix apple cider vinegar, honey (preferably raw) in a mug with some hot water and sip away. That has relieved some pretty serious congestion when nothing else would.
    Hope you feel better soon, Michael!

    1. Michael Schmid

      I’m stopped up enough today to give that a try, Laura. Thank you. How much vinegar to water do you use? That’s not one I’ve heard, but definitely worth a try if it will help. I really appreciate you sharing it with us.

    2. tams

      I agree with Laura! Apple cider vinegar helps with so many things. Even UTI’s. you can even put it in steaming water and breathe it in. I usually put an oz in a full cup of water with a tablespoon of honey if im going to drink it tho.

      1. Michael Schmid

        Thanks, Tams. I’ll definitely give it a try. Really appreciate the tip!

  3. Leslie

    Vitamin D. Take TONS of it. Dr. Oz even said so. And no joke about NO TAP WATER with the Neti pot since two folks just died from using one with tap water !

    1. Michael Schmid

      Vitamin D, eh? I have started taking some recently figuring I wasn’t getting enough, what with winter starting and all. And yes, you are very correct about the “NO TAP WATER” in the neti pot. If I recall correctly 2 people in Louisina died because of amoeba in their tap water, so don’t take a chance. Use distilled (cheap at the grocery) or at least filtered. Back to the Vitamin D, did Dr. Oz say how much to take? I’ll def give it a try. Thanks, Leslie. I hope you and yours are all well.

  4. Nikki

    When I’m sick or Martin is sick, I have or give him lots of tea with raw honey! I think the name is Traditional Medicinals has a great brand and usually tea/herbs for every type of sickness. And take emergenC for awhile and make sure to take vitamins. Next, is chicken soup. Next…is some good old acupuncture! :)
    Feel Better Michael!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi, Nikki. I’ve seen that tea at Whole Foods. I’m planning to run by there at lunch today and will pick some of that tea and raw honey up. I like Emergen-C, but don’t have any, so will get that, too. As for letting someone stick needles in me, does that really work? I’d give just about anything a try. LOL. I’m starting to look a bit like Santa’s lead reindeer (you know, the one with the red nose)! Thanks so much for the tips!

  5. Danielle

    Sad times being sick! With the wife away you can’t even play your down for the count! Maybe watch some coupling and drink tea and maybe something stronger
    (like a Tom and Jerry or a Hot Toddy!!!)

    Or Chicken wings,,, that’s how I usually try to kick sinus congestion!
    Feel better!
    Hugs from NY!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Buffalo wings… now there’s a treatment I’d not thought of. Thanks, Danielle! *Hugs* right back at ya! I’m at work (taking a late lunch break), so they might not appreciate my watching BBC TV reruns or the hot toddy? 😉 I’m going to stop by Whole Foods on my way home tonight to pick up some herbal tea. Thanks for dropping by!

  6. Marian

    This is unconventional and i have no science to back it up but I found having a pint of Guinness before going to bed helped me avoid waking up with the amplified bunged up head you tend to get 1st thing in the morning!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks, Marian. Many of Irish persuasion would likely swear by a hot Irish whiskey (with cloves, lemon and sugar or honey). I, too, have no scientific evidence with which to back up their assertion. Non-minors proceed at your own risk. 😉

  7. Mitchell - Home Fitness Manual

    Michael,

    I was just thinking about this topic, as my own dad has come down with a pretty mean cold.

    When I’m under the weather I rely on simply getting rest and drinking plenty of fluids. I’ve ended up in the ER a few times over the past few years because it turned out I was dehydrated. Dry heaving sucks! So it’s been recommended by my physician that I add in some Gatorade into the recovery plan, which I do.

    My wife swears by the VapoRub. When ever my nasal passages need opening she whips out the little blue jar.

    -Mitchell

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks, Mitchell. You are so right about hydration. I watch my salt and sugar, so don’t use Gatorade, but some sort of electrolyte supplement with fluids can make a huge difference. Yes, it seems we all get sick in sequence, and the VapoRub (they have a new non-greasy cream, too, that my wife really likes) is great!

  8. Crystal

    Congrats on being one of my top most clicked item in my Mommy Solutions link up last week. http://www.crystalandcomp.com/2011/12/the-mommy-club-share-your-resources-and-solutions-24/

    Have a super week, Crystal

    ps…hope you are feeling better :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks, Crystal. It was probably my pitiful face in the photo? Yes, I’m feeling much better. Have a very Happy New Year!

  9. Ivy

    Oh no! I hope you got better before Christmas! My family has been fighting this stuff too! It’s not fun!

    I hope 2012 brings you more blessings that you could ever dream of!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

    1. Michael Schmid

      I’m sorry you all have been ill, too. I guess it’s the season. We still had a great Christmas despite the sniffles being passed around. LOL. Wishing you and yours a very safe and happy new year, too!

  10. Cindy

    The whole family had got the same thing during the holidays. I hope you are getting well now. It’s a bad thing, but at least it doesn’t take so long.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Sorry for my delayed response. Yes, our family is doing much better now. I’m sorry you all were ill, too. I wish you a happy and healthy 2012! :)

  11. Cindy

    Unfortunately, your advices are very useful for me now. I began the new year with some colds and flu, I tried the most of the medicines from the pharmacy, but I think I’d better stay home and not go to work. I totally agree, chicken soup is the best and most universal medicine since ages:)

    1. Michael Schmid

      My grandma swore by chicken soup, and I believe there is some medical evidence now to back that up? Feel better!

  12. JDaniel4s Mom

    My grandmother loved Vick’s. She was such a smart lady!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Yes, grandmother knows best! Plus Vick’s has come out with a bunch of great new products: http://www.vicks.com/products

  13. Mike

    Nice an very honest answer to this interesting topic, thanks for sharing this view.

    1. Michael Schmid

      You’re very welcome, Mike. Hopefully you won’t need these tips. 😉

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