It’s dark, and you’re woken by an insistent, loud, vibrating alarm on your bedside table.
Drowsy, you pull yourself upright and go about your morning routine. But wait, something is different.
There’s a cloud in front of you. Hold on, you notice a tingle in the back of your nose. Oh no.
“Damn it, I’m getting the flu!”
It’s the time of year again, winter (well, at least in Australia anyway), where it’s almost expected that we get the flu.
It’s annoying, disruptive, and disgusting.
I know all too well.
As I write this, I myself am fighting back the beginning of the flu, so I thought I’d share my experience and what I am observing, trialling, and learning.
The good news is, I am fighting it off well, and am confident of a fast recovery.
I want a speedy recovery for you too.
In this post, I’ll cover my recent battle with the flu (a.k.a ‘Mr Hanky’) and how I fought back. I’ll share with you the early warning signs (I failed to recognise), how to fight off the symptoms using simple, natural remedies, and, of course, what I’ve learnt and will do better next time.
With this information, you’ll be able to build a strong defence plan when (or if) the time comes, and assist your body in a speedy recovery.
The onset: My early warning signs
Looking back, I can see that I started feeling the effects of an immune system attack around 2 weeks ago.
Why didn’t I act back then?
I didn’t believe I was getting sick.
Sure, I felt a bit ‘off’, but I was still functioning well enough to kick goals.
Had I listened closely, I would have recognised and acted upon the following early warning signs:
- Increased fatigue – This is the first thing I noticed. I started becoming unusually tired during the day, with decreased energy for exercise and, ahem, extra curricular activity.
- Abnormal morning grogginess – Following daily and evening fatigue, I experienced a morning fog that, in some cases, made me a danger to society! Forgetfulness, absent-mindedness, and disorientation started to take place amongst my morning routine.
- Poor concentration and mental drive – With the fog came a reduced concentration on things like conversation, work, and driving (some close calls avoided last minute). I noticed a reduced mental ability and focus too. Those ‘thinking’ tasks became way too much effort. Better to sit and stare………
- Muscle aches – Exercise became gradually harder to recover from. “Aching back? I don’t remember working those muscles?” Even with low impact exercise, the recovery was notably slower (and more painful).
Fight against flu: 3 ways to strengthen your counter attack
I’ve had some good teachers in recent times (honourable mention to you Mona 🙂 ) whom have increased my awareness of what is good recovery ‘fuel’.
The good news is, it isn’t complicated.
It’s important to recognise that when your body is getting sick, it’s battling with a lack of energy to fight the intruder, to fight the flu.
So how do we get the better of the flu?
The key is to give your body the energy to fight back!
I hope you have your notebook ready.
1. Take it easy
Sounds logical right?
It’s amazing how so many people (including myself in the past) get this wrong.
Our body is struggling with a lack of energy, so why would we continue to deprive it?
If you start feeling a bit low, here’s some good things to avoid:
- Stressful tasks – Fancy cooking, balancing financial accounts, trip planning, meetings etc. Leave anything that is unnecessary until later. If it compromises your health, it can wait.
- Odd jobs – cleaning the car, fixing the lawnmower, readying the bike for the next tour. These can turn stressful very easily if not completed or if problems occur.
- Strenuous exercise – Put the marathon training on hold, drop those weights NOW. Heavy exercise is very draining on the body and will only fuel the progression of the flu.
2. Get good sleep
Sleep. It’s how your body recovers. To get better, you need to be in a space that nurtures recovery.
You need to get quality sleep.
Get rid of the TV, put down that book that you can’t let go of, say no to that dinner date.
This is where you need to exercise diligence, and in many ways the ability to say no.
It’s that simple.
3. Use natural remedies and avoid complex food
Put down that burger and fries, lay off the store bought chocolate, hold back on the daily coffee shop visits, hold off on that trip to the drug store.
During your time of energy deficiency, don’t turn to drugs.
In food lies the answer to treatment.
Drugs act as a band aid, giving you a short term wellness feeling which you can mistake for recovery. You then continue your hectic life as normal – running 10km three times a week, socialising with friends, late nights with loved ones…
Two weeks later, you’re still sick. Why?
The drug acted as a placebo, masking the real problems.
Since you need to eat, why not use this as a natural way to assist in the healing process?
Consume foods that are easy to digest and vitamin rich.
Here are some things I’ve been doing:
- Liquid echinacea – I take 10-15 drops of this with water at least twice a day when I feel a flu may be coming on, and always have it handy. It’s my insurance.
- Green drink – Vital Greens & wheatgrass. This stuff is packed full of vitamins and minerals, and is alkaline in nature. Energising and revitalising, it’s just what your body needs as fuel. You can read more about my previous experience with green drink here.
- Warm Cacao and Maca drinks – These ancient superfoods are loaded with antioxidant goodness, and when combined with coconut and warm water provide a delicious, energising, vitamin and mineral packed drink to warm you up and make you feel good.
- Vitamin C – A tried and true favourite. Get as much of this as you can. I take supplements as well as consume foods rich in this wondrous vitamin.
- Ginger, lime and honey tea – full of vitamin C and many other minerals that aid in your fight against flu.
There you go. I continue to learn more about my body and it’s fighting potential with each flu experience that I have.
A key take away is to trust in nature, and don’t turn to drugs as a quick fix. Instead, be smart and invest in yourself.
Eat right, take a break, and get more sleep.
Getting the flu isn’t all bad. In fact, I see it as an opportunity for you and your body to learn to fight back better and stronger next time.
I know I’m more equipped, and I hope you are too.
I appreciate you taking time to read my work. If you like it, please share it with your friends on social media using the buttons below.
The more people I can help, the happier I’ll be.
Yours in inspiration,
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