If you’re sick of being sick with a cold, then it’s time to learn some cold prevention techniques. It’s not hard to prevent a cold. You just need to learn and use some new behaviors and lifestyle habits, every day. – WebMD
No one really likes cold and flu season; we dread it even more should we acquire either one. Terrible.
Sore throat, runny nose, chest congestion, sinus congestion, cough. Ugh, ugh, ugh, and freaking UGH. Oh, and sometimes you can come down with a fever. A cold is never a “24-hour” thing either; instead, we can expect the dreadfulness to stick around for a week, maybe even two. Meanwhile, everyone else avoids us like the plague – and rightfully so.
Here’s the good news: if we learn some basic prevention stuff, we may be able to stave off a cold. You see, a cold is one of those sicknesses that sends us subtle “pre-symptom” signs; if we learn to pay attention to our bodies, we can be effective in preventing it.
So, we have two choices: (a) do some basic preventative stuff and avoid being sick, or (b) enjoy a cold and all of its dreadfulness.
We’ll ALL go with (a).
And here are 10 early warning signs of the common cold, and how you can prevent it:
1. Your energy levels are depleted.
We can feel when our energy reserves are getting low. This is especially true at the workplace, when our energy levels must maintain equilibrium in order to accomplish anything. If – at the end of the day – you’re completely spent, a cold may be surfacing.
The Solution: Find some way to relax. Chronic stress suppresses the immune system, making it more difficult to ward off any impending illness. A break is in order to correct this.
2. Your throat begins to feel “scratchy.”
Colds are upper respiratory illnesses; as such, it is common for areas of the upper body to feel early symptoms. Obviously, this includes the throat, where a cold virus can cause inflammation of the throat.
The Solution: Gargle with salt water. While it may sound funny, gargling with salt water reduces inflammation and mucus accumulation.
3. You’re blowing your nose more
If you’re beginning to blow your nose more often than usual, it may be a sign of impending illness. The areas surrounding the nose and sinuses are often the first to feel the effects of a cold virus.
The Solution: Take hot showers. A hot shower can be a cure-all for nasal symptoms. The steam that hot water emits reduces swelling into the nasal membranes, which also makes it much easier to breathe better.
4. Pressure in your sinuses
It’s common during the onset of a cold to feel pain around your sinuses. Symptoms include headache, pressure, or watery and tired eyes. This is one of the first symptoms that a cold virus is trying to invade the sinuses.
The Solution: Eat chicken soup. Yes, chicken soup really is good for feeling better. Specifically, the electrolytes, heat, and salt within the soup is terrific for hydration; while the ingredients reduce congestion.
5. Your nose is a bit stuffed up
When you can’t breathe through the nose easily, the nasal passages are susceptible to cold germs. As mentioned, symptoms will often appear around the nose and nasal passageways; it is important to address these symptoms before full onset of a cold.
The Solution: Drink a lot of liquids. Hydrating your body thins out mucus and keeping nasal membranes moist.
6. You’re coughing more
It seems obvious, but we have a way of disregarding something as “harmless” as a simple cough. Noticeably frequent coughing, however, can be a telltale sign of a surfacing cold.
The Solution: Prop yourself up. With pillows, that is. The reason? Lying flat on a surface actually allows congestion in the sinuses to permeate your throat – a byproduct of gravitational pull. So, counteract this natural law and use pillows to keep these areas clear.
7. Your chest is kind of stuffed up
As a cold virus works its way downward, it’s common to feel tightness in the chest. Germs contained within the lungs manifest into congestion of the airways. Oftentimes, this tightness is quite subtle, and can be difficult to “detect.”