Alberta Health Services
From homemade chicken soup to a hot shower—everyone has their own remedy for a cold or flu. If you get sick this winter, health management nurse Tracy Mullen has seven tried-and-true suggestions to help you feel better.
1. Get lots of sleep. “It’s your body’s way of healing itself,” Mullen says. Shoot for at least six to eight hours a night, and nap if you can.
2. Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration and loosen mucous.
3. Gargle with salt and warm water to relieve pain, Mullen says.
4. When you have a stuffy nose, try a humidifier. “It hydrates and loosens the secretions in your sinus,” Mullen says. Visit Facebook.com.applemag.ca for tips on cleaning your humidifier. You can also use a saline nose mist.
5. Talk to your pharmacist about safe over-the-counter medications for you.
6. Give your body time to heal.
7. Get the free flu shot to prevent future colds and flus.
Protect yourself from the cold
There’s a reason the phrase “Jack Frost nipping at your nose” is so relatable.
When the temperature drops, skin and the tissue underneath—most commonly on the hands, feet, nose and face—can freeze or get frostbitten. From tingling hands to frozen feet, frostbite becomes more severe the longer you’re outside and the colder it is; if you think frostbite is severe, seek immediate help.
The best way to protect yourself from the elements is to dress for the weather. Remember these four layers before heading outside.
1. Inner layer: choose socks, long johns and long sleeves made of merino wool or synthetic fabrics to wick moisture away from the skin.
2. Middle layer: choose sweaters and pants made of fleece or synthetic insulation to trap warm air against your body.
3. Outer layer: add a jacket with material that cuts or blocks wind and repels rain and snow.
4. Final layer: wear boots, hats and gloves that can wick away moisture and insulate, and add a balaclava or scarf to cover your face.