Young woman with bright red hair sipping a hot drink on a cold day outside

9 ways to kick your cold to the kerb

1724 views 1 min to read

Super keen to get over your latest bug so you can get on with life? While we can’t promise a miracle, we can show you 9 ways to put your cold on notice.

As soon as symptoms like sneezing and a sore throat decide to Airbnb it for a while in your respiratory tract, you probably think you might as well just write the next week or so off for ‘recovery’ – because you can’t get rid of a cold any quicker than it takes to run its natural course. 

Or can you? Fact is there are things you can do to feel better faster, starting with these 9 tips. 

1. Sleep it off

Sleep is your BFF right now, which is handy because it’s probably literally the only thing you genuinely feel like doing anyway. 

Not only are you four times more likely to catch a cold when you’re tired (mind blown!), if you’ve already caught a cold, sleeping will help your body’s immune cells fight harder to get you better  more rapidly. 

So sleep. And then sleep some more.

2. Be zen about it

If sleep is your friend, stress is totally, completely not.

Thanks to the relationship stress has with your immune system, feeling frazzled will only make your symptoms worse. So instead of getting worked up about having to flake on everything for the next few days, just (blocked nose willing) breathe. 

3. Get gargling

Early results from a recent Scottish study show that gargling with a simple homemade saltwater solution three times a day might send a cold packing a day or two earlier . 

4. And start flushing too

The Scottish scientists also found that nasal flushing or irrigation – which means pumping a saline or saltwater solution into one nostril, so that it flows through your nasal cavity and down the other nostril – is effective for helping cold symptoms clear up earlier, too .

5. Hit the vitamin C

Getting at least 200mg of vitamin C a day might also help you feel better faster when you’ve caught a cold . 

You can put the juicer away though. Orange juice does contain vitamin C, but it also delivers a big sugar rush, roughly the same strength as the one you’ll get from a soft drink . 

Choose fresh veggies like capsicum, broccoli and low GI strawberries for a a bigger health bang for your buck.

6. Stay warm

Think of this as a way to give your immune system more breathing space to get the job done. If your body temperature stays toasty when you’re sick, cold viruses are more vulnerable to your natural defences. Nice!   

7. Have a hot drink

It might be psychological, it might be physical (it’s probably a bit of both), but drinking something that’s steaming is a science-approved way to fight and relieve cold and flu symptoms . 

8. Give your workout gear a day or two off

Exercise can halve your risk of catching a cold, but when that’s already happened, you might want to rest for a few days so your immune system can stay focused – particularly if what you’ve got is a flu rather than a cold . 

9. See a doctor who ‘gets you’

Most colds clear up on their own,  but if you feel like you need to see a doctor, do it. And if you can, make sure he or she is empathetic. 

Research  shows that seeing an empathetic doctor when you’ve got a cold can cut both its duration and its severity (seriously!).