There’s nothing worse than that feeling of being run down and sick. Your muscles ache, your throat is sore, you can’t stop coughing and your nose is running. Headaches are making every waking moment painful, you don’t have the energy to get out of bed and you’re feeling pretty sorry for yourself. Sounds like you have the flu and we’re here to help.

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness which is a direct result of contracting the flu virus. The virus infects the throat, nose and sometimes the lungs. It’s quite common, particularly in the colder months, and can be easily treated in most cases. If your symptoms persist, it’s best to seek out medical attention. (We recommend looking for bulk billing doctors as you can receive treatment right away and worry about the payments later.)

Here are our tips on how you can effectively deal with the flu and get yourself back to full health as quickly as possible.

Rest Up

First and foremost is getting enough rest. When you are suffering from the flu, your immune system goes into overdrive to battle the virus. This fight is very taxing on your body but getting adequate rest allows your body to direct its energy to the right places and fight the flu as effectively as possible.

Use Those Tissues 

Being congested and having a runny nose is a common symptom of having the flu. It’s very important to blow your nose regularly and get rid of all that mucus buildup. To blow your nose correctly, hold a finger over one nostril while you gently blow to clear the other side. Dispose of your tissues properly and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

Drink Warm Drinks

Tea and toast are prescribed by mothers around the world when their children are sick for good reason. Well, the tea at least. Consuming warm liquids will help alleviate nasal congestion and will soothe any inflammations in your nose and throat. Drinking warm drinks will also help to prevent dehydration, a common side-effect of the flu.

Gargle Saltwater

 A Teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water will provide some temporary relief for your sore throat. Aim to gargle the mixture four times per day to moisten the throat and provide as much relief as possible. It might not taste great, but trust us it works!

Use Hot/Cold Packs

Hot and/or cold packs can be a very effective way of relieving flu symptoms. Simply apply the pack to the area around your congested sinuses for a few minutes. For some patients, hot packs work better, for others cold are more effective. Try both and see what works best for you.

If you can’t get to your local pharmacy you can improvise. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a light towel works great as a cold pack, while a damp towel heated in the microwave for 10-20 seconds is a great alternative to a hot pack. Just make sure to check the temperature before applying, to make sure it’s not too hot.

Get Well Soon

The common cold and influenza can often be confused as some of the symptoms are very similar. If you feel you are a bit under the weather, try the tips above and see if you feel better within a couple of days. If not, it’s best to see a doctor as a mild infection can turn into something more serious if not correctly diagnosed and treated.

Look after yourself, take some rest, listen to your body and you’ll be on the road back to full health in no time at all.

Image: http://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/article_main_large/public/images/sn-flu_1.jpg?itok=uEH6LwYD