So, you did everything you could to avoid the flu, but it flew around your school or office and finally caught up with you. What to do now? Delegate tasks on your to-do list and give yourself a well-earned break for the next three or four days. The main goal at this point is to keep your condition from escalating into complications and illnesses such as dehydration, bronchitis, or pneumonia.
Here are a few tips to help comfort you while the flu virus runs its course (which can take up to a couple of weeks, with the worst symptoms subsiding within the first few days to a week):
- Nurse your symptoms for relief: Make a special “cold and flu kit” — you can even put it in a special storage box and store it in the linen closet — and keep it filled with a variety of pain relievers to treat fever, headache, and body aches. Also include cough suppressant, sore throat lozenges, decongestant spray or tablets for a stuffy nose, and antihistamine for a runny nose. Twice a year (say, when daylight saving time starts and ends), you may want to check expiration dates and replace any old items.
- REST! Curl up in bed with a good book, or binge-watch a hit TV series that friends raved about but you never saw.
- Drink lots of liquids — hot broth, juice, herbal or decaffeinated tea. You can soothe a scratchy throat by adding honey and lemon to the tea. (FunTip: If you can drink grapefruit juice, try heating it up with honey, a lemon slice, and a cinnamon stick — delicious and soothing!)
- Use a vaporizer, especially at night, to help moisturize nasal passages so that you can breathe and sleep better (if sounds annoy you when you’re trying to snooze, get a unit that’s ultra-quiet and has a remote control).
- Stock up on full- and travel-sized hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and tissues; keep them handy at work, in the car, in your backpack or purse, and at home in your bedroom and home office.
Also, you’ll want to do your best to avoid caffeine, smoke, and allergens that bother you. And by all means reach out to Teladoc for help to diagnose and treat your illness. Our board-certified doctors are available 24/7 anywhere in the U.S. by app, web, and phone. We hope you feel better soon!
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