Midterm season and colds are two things that just don’t get along with each other at all. Yet for some reason, these two just love to come together in a single package. I found myself to be an unfortunate recipient of this dreadful package, and spent the following week scrambling to my parents, both whom are doctors, asking them what I could do to help get rid of a cold.

Whether you’re doing your best to avoid getting sick during this time of year, or if you’re already arduously receiving this unlucky package, here are some simple tips to keep by that won’t have to involve downing your prescriptions.

Stay Hydrated And Avoid Cold Drinks

Photo by John-Mark Kuznietsov | Unsplash

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Staying hydrated is always important no matter what, but you definitely want to stay on top of that when your body isn't at 100%. That being said, when you have a cold, stay away from any cold drinks; everything you drink should be lukewarm at least. Coffee and tea are perfectly fine, but bear in mind that caffeine dehydrates you. 

Runny Nose? Go Wash Out Your Sinuses

tea, coffee
Eddie Ngai

As often as you can (and as often as you need to), bask your nose in hot water and wash out your sinuses. While it’s unlikely that you’ll always be able to be near a sink, it’s imperative that you make the effort to avoid sniffing; not only will your head be more stuffed, but chances of a sinus infection will increase with mucus lodging up your head.

Eat Spicy Food

salsa, jalapeno, cayenne, vegetable, pepper, chili
Eddie Ngai

Just like drinking hot stuff, eating spicy food will also raise your body temperature, making it easier to clear out your nasal passages. Spicy foods are also proven to boost your immune system, making there all the more reason to be using this time to push your spice tolerance. 

... And Other Foods That Boost Your Immune System

tea, lemon
Eddie Ngai

Chicken soup is a signature go-to for foods to eat with a cold, and for good reason – it’s warm, chock-full of nutrients, and body-strengthening. There are other staple foods that you can easily incorporate into your meals when sick to help boost your system, as well.

Stay Warm 

Eddie Ngai

There’s a reason you have to sweat out your cold – it’s crucial that you keep your body warm throughout the entire day in order to have a swift recovery. You may end up looking like a caterpillar about to turn into a chrysalis, but looking fly is the least of your problems when your head’s ringing. Especially during the winter, it’s much better to be overdressed than shivering when you have a cold.

Most Importantly, Get Sleep

Platzkart, by Kalegin Michail | Unsplash

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This point is the most important one; it doesn’t matter what treatment methods you go through if you don’t get enough sleep. Your body gets most of its work done when asleep, and functions more effectively after getting enough sleep. Our elders were right about this one: you need to get sleep if you want to get better quickly.

Unfortunately, there is no fast way to immediately get rid of a cold. There are only ways to make the recovery process as smooth as possible, and hopefully these tips will help you stay strong and persevere the upcoming midterm storm.