Getting Through the Gunk

Last week I had the “gunk” or what the professionals would probably call a respiratory infection, aka the common cold. It came in the form of sleeping through my alarm and waking up with a nose full of snot. Not how I prefer to kick off my week.

As I have shared before I’m not one to run to the doctor the minute I have a little sniffle. Assessing my symptoms and knowing where I am with my asthma control I decided to lay low at home first. The congestion was all in my nose and sinuses, not my lungs. Ultimately it did move down to my lungs after a few days, but I made it to the other side with minimal asthma trouble.

Things that helped me get through this cold more comfortably:

  • A thick skin protectant such as coconut oil or petroleum jelly:I set aside some coconut oil to apply to dry skin in the winter from the jar I use to cook. Whether allergies or a cold has my nose running, I apply coconut oil before the skin gets raw. For me coconut oil rubs in better than any other skin protectants I’ve tried.
  • Handkerchiefs: I have spent a lot of my life blowing my nose and sneezing. A 100% cotton hankie is my preferred mucus catcher. It is less irritating to nose than paper tissues. Also even at my snottiest I generally only need to take 1-2 hankies with me when I leave the house. Much more compact than taking a box of tissues! I do end up doing more hot water wash loads when I’m sick to have clean hankies. It is for the best that I wash sheets and towels more frequently as well.
  • 🌶 aka Salsa: I tend to take my hot peppers in the form of fermented hot sauces or salsas. Next time I'll check out Kerri’s medicinal Doritos. I wasn’t feeling up to running out to the store. I scrambled up some eggs with salsa or hot sauce. It helps open up my sinuses. I enjoy eating spicy food anyway. This is a win-win to have an excuse to eat more salsa.
  • Drinking tea:Nothing feels better to me on a sore throat than a nice hot cup of tea. I breathe the steam from the mug in through my nose which also feels good. I tend to drink tea most days anyway. Just like spicy food this is not a huge burden to increase my intake.
  • Strong Core Muscles: This is a long term planning thing. I discovered that the work I’ve put in to improve my core strength made coughing less painful. This is a pleasant surprise to find out there is another benefit I’ve gained from yoga. I still coughed a bunch and it wasn’t fun. Yet, I skipped the part of being sick where my abs ache after days of coughing. This is good motivation for me to stick with my core strengthening routine.

Do you have favorite ways to ease cold symptoms?

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