What to Do When You're Sick

If you have the sniffles, the flu or even a cough, your life will become miserable, at least for a few days or weeks. The flu season is usually at its peak around January or February, but you can take a number of steps to avoid getting sick. Keep reading to understand what you can do to get better when you are sick.

What to Do When You're Sick

When you are feeling a bit under the weather, you can try many different things to start feeling better once again. Knowing what to do when sick will also help you accelerate recovery. Here are some immediate steps to take:

1. Soothe Irritated Nose and Throat

  • Inhaling steam works great to relieve nasal congestion and soothe sore throats. Hot steam from a warm shower or cool mist from a humidifier will work equally well.
  • Salty water helps. Take an 8-ounce glass of water and add half a teaspoon of salt to it. Mix it well and gargle with it to soothe a sore and scratchy throat.
  • Mucus build up can lead to infection, so blowing your nose often helps you get some relief. Nasal irrigation may also help remove dust, pollen, and dander and relieve some cold symptoms as well. It is important to avoid flushing your sinuses if you are experiencing a nosebleed, fever or severe headaches. Talk to your doctor before trying a sinus irrigation product.

2. Get Plenty of Rest

Knowing what to do when you're sick is important to improve your condition in a short time. However, without enough rest you can't do that. You need to give your body rest to help it heal at the system-wide levels. It is important to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, but you may need more when you are sick. Your age will also play a role in determining the amount of sleep you need each day. For instance:


Hours of Sleep


Hours of Sleep

Under 4 months


6 to 13 years


4 to 11 months


14 to 17 years


1-2 years


18 to 64


3 to 5 years


65 or older


3. Use Herbal Remedies

You can also try some herbal remedies to make you feel better when you are sick. Here is what to do:

  • Nettle Leaf: It works great when you are sick because it is loaded with vitamins and trace minerals. It helps you stay hydrated and detoxifies your body as well. It also improves your immune system and accelerates recovery.
  • Elderberry: You can always rely on this herb when you are dealing with flu. Elderberry syrups are now available at stores but you can also make it at home.
  • Ginger helps treat nausea, vomiting, headaches and high fever. You can consume ginger in capsule form or make ginger tea by steeping fresh ginger root in boiling water.
  • Yarrow is a perfect herbal remedy for your children. Using it in tea or tincture when you start to feel ill will shorten the duration of illness and even can help you recover in less than 24 hours. It induces perspiration, so helps reduce fevers.
  • Chamomile offers many great benefits – helps you sleep better, calms your nerves, and reduces fever or inflammation. You can also treat pink eye by soaking a chamomile tea bag in warm water and then placing it over your eye for 15 minutes.

4. Know What to Eat

An important part of knowing what to do when you're sick is to understand what you should eat to get better.

  • Broth: Slow-cooked bone broth is extremely beneficial for your health because it is loaded with phosphorus, magnesium and many other difficult to obtain trace minerals. It provides your body with strength to fight off illness.
  • Enough fluid: You need to increase your fluid intake and ensure that you drink plenty of water, juices and teas. This helps loosen mucus in your sinuses and relieve a sore throat.
  • Green tea: A cup of hot green tea will provide your body with antioxidants, antibacterial and antiviral properties that will help fight infection and accelerate recovery. Besides, hot teas really help relieve problems such as sneezing, runny nose and coughing. Do avoid alcohol, coffee and soda.
  • Raw honey: Honey often works like OTC meds to suppress coughs. It also offers numerous benefits to children with upper respiratory infections.
  • Citrus fruits: You may consider eating oranges, grapefruit and lemons to provide your body with vitamin C to improve immunity. You can enjoy its great benefit by eating the fruit, drinking the juice, making orange pops at home and even taking some vitamin C supplements – you need about 1g of vitamin C daily to see improvement.
  • Spicy foods: Eating spicy foods will help you when you have a head cold. It makes it easier to drain your sinuses. These foods loosen the phlegm and mucus and make you feel better. Do not go for spicy foods if you also have a stomach illness.

5. Know What to Avoid

Besides what to eat, you should also know what to avoid when you are sick. For starters, avoid highly acidic foods because they will increase inflammation. Similarly, you should avoid sugary food, fatty food and dairy products. Many experts believe that dairy promotes the development of mucus, so it is a good idea to avoid eating it when you are sick.

What to Do to Have Fun When You Are Sick

Knowing what to do when you're sick will help you recover fast, but there are also ways to make things a bit easier while your body fights off illness. Here are few ways to have fun even when you are sick:

  • Take this as an opportunity to spend some time alone.
  • Relax your nerves by trying stretching, yoga or medication. Avoid doing anything that aggravates your symptoms.
  • Take some time off and sort some stuff out that may have been on your mind for quite some time.
  • Grab a good book and read it from start to end in one sitting.
  • Talk to yourself. Having a conversation with yourself may sound weird but it really helps make you feel better.
  • Change décor of your bedroom – hang new pictures, replace pillow covers, make other small changes, etc.
  • Do you have a favorite TV series? Watch an entire season of it.
  • Enjoy a hot bubble bath to feel relaxed.
  • Trim your nails, refresh the polish, and do similar stuff to enjoy the time.
  • Grab your cell phone and text your friends.
  • Listen to your favorite music to feel better. 
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