Must-Know Cold and Flu Essentials

Somehow every year, just as the nice spring weather comes out to play, the flu tends to hit us right smack dab in the face…and sometimes, (in my case) even during midterms week.

Double whammy.

And as someone who very rarely gets sick (thanks to a lot of the tips below that can also prevent sickness as well as lessen the blow once you’ve already caught a ‘lil something), I must admit that I am the ultimate crybaby when I do. I am SO (usually unnecessarily) sad and mopey, and completely rely on Richard and my mom to take care of me *insert lots of grateful heart eye emojiis here*.


This isn’t really acceptable as a 19-year-old, autonomous college student, is it? Luckily though, I’ve been able to develop a regimen that’s pretty spot on for treating nasty cold and flu symptoms, as well as kicking potential infectors in the a**.

So, here are a few of my favorite, more on the natural side, methods of beating the sh*t out of whatever it is you’ve inevitably caught (probably from that jerk that always comes to class sick, sniffling/coughing throughout an entire lecture…):

P.S. None of these items are sponsored, I just love ’em!

1. Vitamins

I am all about taking my vitamins. Unlike a lot of people, this isn’t a habit that I started very early in life. I’ve taken them sporadically, but this year, when all of my roommates started getting sick, I made a vow to start making vitamins a part of my morning routine. I picked out an immunity blend (in gummy form, of course) specifically, because I was so afraid of catching something from my sick friends. So far, I’ve only been sick once, despite the many, many instances of living with people who have already come down with something! I’m sure that there are many factors that go into this, not just my decision to take vitamins, but it’s seems to be working for me, so I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who’s looking to bolster their immune system.

2. Hand Sanitizer

In addition to using hand sanitizer to prevent illness, it is so, so, so important to keep your germs to yourself once you’ve caught something. So, wash your hands/use hand sanitizer often! I love the little scented ones from places like Bath and Body Works or Target, and I’ll usually clip them to my bags so that I can use some after touching things like railings, desks, or even common appliances like the fridge when someone in my household is sick. This is a practice that you ideally would like to get build into your routine no matter what season it is, and regardless of whether you or anyone you know is sick. Even if it seems like a nuisance at first, the results will pay off when you’re the only one in your friend group who doesn’t catch whatever’s going around!

3. Essential Oils

I cannot say enough good things about essential oils. I know this is something that people can be skeptical of at first, but trust me, once you start using them you will love it! There’s lots of different diffusers to choose from if you don’t own one already (here’s a cute and cost conscious one), and each oil has different properties that give off unique benefits. I’d recommend lemongrass if you’re sick due to its antiseptic properties, but lavender is also a great choice if you just need some help relaxing or falling asleep.

4. Tea & Honey

Tea and honey is my all-time favorite cold and flu remedy. Just like essential oils, there’s tons of tea blends to choose from that all offer unique benefits. I really like the brand Yogi in particular, because each one of their teas have a specific time and place for their use (ex. this immune bolstering blend), which I think is really cool. Also make sure you mix in a tablespoon of raw honey with whatever tea you choose. According to this source, it’s known to suppress coughs and can also soothe sore throats.

5. Rest

I know, this is the remedy that nobody really wants to hear. How can we rest when we have a bazillion things to do? Trust me, it’s important. You’re going to be sick much longer if you don’t give your body a break and time to heal. I always have a difficult time skipping a class when I don’t feel well, but find that it’s the best choice for my body in the long run. Whatever it is that you feel guilty about missing out on, it’s not more important than you’re health. No “but…”. It’s just not. Curl up with a blanket, put on your latest Netflix binge, and get in the fast lane to feeling better.

I hope you all are avoiding the flu and happy Monday!