I don`t know about you… but it seems that at around November I`m about to pull my hair out! Whether it was finals in school or end-of-year quotas when I grew up… it seems that all the stress that builds up over the year culminates right around December. That is why every year I ensure that I take the time to visit my family for the December holidays. The holiday provides a nice respite from the stresses of my hectic life and helps me reconnect with family and loved ones that I tend to somewhat neglect during the year. Interestingly enough, within the first few days of relaxing I end up getting sick! Whether it`s the change in temperature (Florida to Minnesota, ouch!) or the fact that my body finally retaliates after the year of abuse it has received. Whatever the reason… fighting a cold is NOT what I want to be doing on my first days of vacation. If you find yourself in the same situation, here are a few tips that I`ve picked up to help nip that cold in the bud!
1.) Sleep-in! Hey… you`re on vacation and you want to get the most out of it right? Wrong! The worst thing you can do when you get sick is to push yourself harder… this will only increase the severity and lengthen the duration of your cold. Remember… you are on VACATION! You don`t have to put yourself on a time schedule, and you especially don`t have to wake up early. Take the first few days of your time-off to give your body some much needed rest. This will help reinvigorate you AND your immune system.
2.) C is for COLD: There have been a few recent studies that bring into question whether mega-doses of Vitamin C really helps lessen the duration of the cold, but placebo effect or not… I still take mom`s advice. I especially love the chewables… takes me back to the days when all it took was a hug from mom to start feeling better. Another great alternative to bottled Vitamin C is to take a few oranges and squeeze them into a cup. There is nothing like fresh-squeezed orange juice… as those of us lucky enough to be surrounded by orange groves know!
3.) Re-VITA-lize: If you don`t already take a multi-vitamin, get one. The junk food we eat each day does not have all the vitamins and minerals recommended. I choose a slow release capsule, so that I don`t just flush it out of my system at one time. It has been recommended that men purchase multi-vitamins that don`t contain iron, and women get supplements that contain iron, but ask your doctor what would be best for you.
4.) Herbology: I`m not talking about the class that a certain popular wizard takes, but I am talking about a few natural herbs that have been known to strengthen the immune system and shorten the duration of a cold. Two that I have found work wonders are elderberry and Echinacea. I have found that by making Celestial Seasonings Echinacea Complete Care mixed with honey and lemon helps, and a nasty tasting elderberry syrup called SambuGuard work wonders. Be careful when using herbs, especially those with allergies.
5.) Zap it with Zinc: There are several different products that contain zinc gluconate in them. Zinc gluconate has been clinically tested and has been shown to reduce the length and severity of colds. Though some of the products taste leave something to be desired… it is much better than being sick for your entire vacation.
There are plenty of other cold remedies out there, but I just outlined a few that have worked for me. As with any health advice, check with your doctor to ensure that the advice you take is right for you. Let`s hope that this holiday season is cold free… but if you do get a cold, take some holiday warmth and cheer and call me in the morning!