This past week I have been sick with a bit of a cold.
When you are sick, there is really only one thing you really care about and that is feeling better.
Therefore, I found myself spending a good deal of time last week trying to make myself feel better.
And knowing I’m likely not the only one to fall prey to a cold this winter I have decided to share my findings in this column.
As you probably know, the common cold is caused by a virus, which means there is no cure for the disease save to let it run its course.
Instead of treating the cold, cough syrups and other cold remedies you can buy at the pharmacy (or even make up at home) treat the symptoms of the cold so that you can at least function while you are feeling miserable.
Of course, that also means that no matter how much disgusting cough syrup you quaff, it will never make you feel 100% better.
However, that doesn’t mean cold remedies are useless and there are quite a few simple ones that will make you feel much better.
In last week’s column, I wrote about the simple pleasures of hot showers and hot beverages.
A perfect time to indulge in these is when you are sick with a cold.
A hot shower will warm you up, which I think we can all agree is something that someone wants when sick with a cold, especially in incredibly frigid weather we have been experiencing recently, as well as to keep your body clean – something that is important while you are sick.
Hot beverages will do this and keep you hydrated as well as help to soothe a sore throat, one of the most common symptoms of a cold.
Soup works for this too. Grandma was right when she said homemade soup is good for you.
As a bonus, inhaling the steam from hot showers, beverages or soup can help decongest sinuses, another common symptom of the common cold, which actually can cause the sore throat.
While these remedies will help you feel better, they aren’t going to cure your cold. As mentioned before, only time can get rid of a cold completely.
Because of this, there is a somewhat prevalent myth that there is no point to treating symptoms of a cold or using any pharmaceutical remedies while you have one. This is not the case.
The thing to remember is that cold remedies aren’t intended to cure you, they are intended to make being sick easier to deal with.
Cold remedies don’t get rid of the cold, they soothe the symptoms so that you feel better while your body heals. Treating your symptoms can at times aid the healing process because the body can focus on fighting just your cold rather than your cold and all its symptoms.
So, using over-the counter cough syrups and other cold remedies is beneficial.
Just be sure you aren’t taking too many meds for the same issue, as some can interfere with each other.
Of course, since the only way to get rid of a cold is to let it run it course, the most important thing your body needs is rest.
While you might want to run around and do some errands after using some remedies (or run some errands to obtain some remedies), the best idea is to stay home and rest.
Instead, have someone else like a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, parent, sibling or good friend run your errands or help you out while you are sick.
If you feel like you are taking advantage of them, you’re not.
These are the people who want to help and you will get the chance to return the favour.