Lucky me I woke up yesterday morning with a sudden and awful stomach flu. I will spare you the gory details but I spent the whole day either under the covers or in the bath trying to alleviate my stomach and head pains. When I get a bug like this I can’t take any medicine because I can’t keep any medicine down. So, I have to resort to other methods of relief. Cold and flu season is upon us so I thought I would share my sick day essentials in case these might help you someday this season.
A Hot Bath
Nothing helps alleviate aches, pains, and nausea more like a hot bath. When I would get sick as a child my mom would plop me in a hot bath. Sometimes she would use a cup or her hands to pour the bath water over my back. Now, as an adult I use this method for almost any type of ailment I might have. I pour my own bath water now, though. Yesterday I added some rosemary and peppermint foaming bath oil for an extra soothing effect. I used this one by Village Naturals but I know there are lots of options out there.
This goes along the same lines as the aromatherapy bath oil but this stuff is seriously amazing.This spray has a mix of lavender, clove, and oregano oils. Oregano is a natural bacterial and virus killer so it can help speed up recovery from any cold or virus. I like to spray it into a tissue, place the tissue over my nose, and then take 2 deep breathes. If you have a stuffy nose this will open up your nasal passage really well. The lavender scent is relaxing and can help you sleep. Some nights I spray this on my pillow before bedtime. The only downside is the spray contains pure essential oils so the scent can hang around on your skins and hair for awhile making you smell strongly of oregano. My husband often jokingly says I smell like a bowl of spaghetti. I don’t really mind the scent though and the benefits far override me smelling like a spice rack. I got mine at a local health store but I know The Vitamin Shoppe sells it and you can find it online too.
Gel Face Mask
Whoever invented cooling face masks is a pure genius. I constantly have one of these in my fridge just in case. I suffer from frequent headaches so having one of these on hand is essential. It is also great for breaking a fever if you are vomiting and can’t pain reliever. Sometimes I strap the mask to my forehead or top of my head depending on where my headache is located. I have tried many different brands of masks in my day and honestly the best one yet came from Dollar Tree. If you don’t have a Dollar Tree near you I would suggest finding a mask that has little beads inside rather than the solid gel. The beads seem to mold to your face better in my opinion.
When my stomach feels well enough to eat something I like to start with crackers or these yogurt bites. This snack is actually branded for toddlers but aren’t we all kids at heart? The yogurt bites melt in your mouth and are gentle on your stomach. They also taste great and I eat them as a snack even when I’m not ill.
This is kind of a no-brainer but people often end up in the hospital from the flu due to dehydration. Two years ago I went to the doctor for a severe flu and my doctor gave me two options: get an IV of fluids or rehydrate myself by drinking 2 liters of water over the course of the day. I hate needles so I chose the latter. The trick my doctor gave me was to make the water as cold as possible and then take at least one sip every 4-5 minutes. Dehydration can cause headaches to worsen so hydration is the most important part for me when I’m sick.
Once I can keep down water I make a cup of hot tea. I like to use a black tea. Specifically I prefer Constant Comment tea by Bigelow for nostalgic reasons. Mint and ginger teas are also great for settling your stomach. Just make sure you choose a tea without artificial flavors. Those artificial additives can cause further upset to your stomach.
Besides the essentials listed above a comfy pair of pjs and a good movie are always a must for me. I’m also planning to get a flu shot in a few weeks. My workplace offers them for free but most drugstores or health clinics offer them for a reasonable price. I know there is a lot of controversy around whether or not to vaccinate for the flu but I get sick very easily so I think I’m going to opt-in. What are your thoughts about the flu shot? Do you have any essential items you use when you’re sick? Let me know in the comments section.
Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great weekend!