As a singer and touring musician I have collected a bunch of tips for staying healthy on the road even when you’re not getting sleep or eating the healthiest.
Here are my top 7 tips for fighting off colds
1. Gargle with warm salt water
You can do this before you go to sleep, when you wake up and if you feel a cold coming on you can do it throughout the day. If you’re traveling, bring some little salt packets with you – you can even steal them from your favorite fast food spot. But you’re not eating fast food right because you’re being healthy right? :)
This will ease a sore throat and clear out things that can cause colds too. If you can, add a tongue scraper to your routine. You might think they sound gross but what’s actually gross is all the stuff that’s coming off your tongue every day... or staying in your bod if you’re not using it.
2. Rest and take it easy
Take it down a level, your stress that is. Almost every time a cold actually does get the best of me it’s because I’m overwhelmed and pushing myself too hard. Our emotions are so connected to our health too and sometimes our bodies are telling us to slow down for good reason. If you haven’t heard of Louise Hay and her book You Can Heal Your Life look it up. Often the causes and affirmations line up with what I’m going through.
Taking care of yourself with a bath and some extra rest will help fight off the cold and help you get better fast. Take some naps and/or have an early night so you can get that extra sleep that’s going to help you get better.
3. Facial massage with a steamy hot compress
If you feel pressure in your sinuses try a facial self-massage facial. You can massage and put light pressure in small circles to help drain and open your sinuses. I usually massage above and between my eyebrows, lightly on the sides of the bridge of my nose and on both sides of my nose in the area that makes a kind of upside down triangle under your eyes with your nostrils. If that isn’t clear just Google “sinuses” and you’ll see what I mean.
If you do this often you’ll learn what feels best for your own anatomy. Often, the best thing for me personally is to put pressure upwards and outwards with two fingers on either side of the area just above the bridge of my nose between my eyebrows.
Adding a hot compress will really help open up those sinus passages. I like to use a small washcloth and get it wet with water as hot as I can stand it. I’ll wring out the water, fold it over so it’s ticker and keeps the heat better, and then cover my mouth and nose and breathe in that moist air. Yeah, I said moist. Deal with it. Ha! Your vocal chords will thank me.
4. Make sure you’re drinking enough water
This should go without saying but so few of us get enough of it. I find personally that it’s easy to go from having enough to needing some reminders and incentive from time to time.
You’ve probably heard that drinking enough water is like a shower for your insides. And it can really help flush out a cold before it settles into your body. I stay away from sugar, alcohol and dairy to help too. If you like tea, drink lots of herbal teas without caffeine so you can rest.
5. Have some probiotics
I know I just told you to not have dairy but yogurt is the exception. Sometimes I’ve noticed that the cause of my wellness imbalance is because of an upset tummy. The stomach and gut has been called the second brain in recent years because it affects our health and mood.
In fact if you’ve been suffering from depression, take a look at your gut health. You can read more about it here.
Or just take my word for it and get yourself some probiotic yogurt. If you’re vegan or really avoiding dairy I recommend kombucha and sauerkraut.
6. Make my special spice tea to burn out the cold
A friend of mine told me about this special tea and it’s been really helpful when I don’t feel so good. The spices work to warm up my body and give me a mild fever to burn off the cold. I’ll usually make some to sip throughout the day.
Spice Tea Recipe:
Add 2 cinnamon sticks, a tablespoon of whole cloves and a 1-2 inch sliced root of fresh ginger in a sauce pot with 6-8 cups of water. Once it starts boiling turn it down and let it slow roll for about 5 minutes. Make sure it’s not covered completely because once it starts boiling it will boil over like pasta does if it’s covered. You can turn it off and let cool for a minute before pouring or ladling it into a cup with some honey to taste. You can usually add more water to the pot and bring to a boil again for more spice tea.
A few more tips... I like to use spices from the Mexican spices section of my grocery store for this because the prices are a lot better. Also, I just throw the ginger and some water in a blender so I don’t have to slice it up and I add that ginger water to the pot to get the most ginger essence. If you don’t want little ginger pieces in your tea though just slice it up. You’re house will smell amazing from this tea too!
7. Behold the power of oregano oil
If you’re a singer get yourself some oregano oil to add into your maintenance routine. It’s a really helpful supplement for your voice. You can take it in capsule form or get a dropper. I’ve developed a taste for it and use the dropper to add it to my eggs, pizzas and when I make homemade soup. The different capsules I took made me walk around burping like I ate an entire oregano pizza so that wasn’t working for me. Tmi? Sorry, it’s just the truth.
Anyways, vitamin C, Echinacea and zinc are also helpful for me but I usually wont go through the trouble of taking them if I have this one vitamin with me...
7+. Wellness Formula
I’m putting this guy last but it’s honestly the best... save the best for last? ha! Not really. The truth is that I know it’s expensive and not many people will bother to get it so they have it on hand when they need it... which is what you need to do. Honestly, if this was the only thing on this list you did you probably would be good to go.
Sometimes when I’m traveling my health priorities get really out of whack but every time I’ve taken this when I’ve felt like I could be getting sick I just don’t get sick. I’ll use it for a few days to support my immune system and get back in balance and without fail it keeps me healthy.
That said, it tastes horrible.... like there are no words to describe it horrible. So, if you get it make sure you swallow it super fast and don’t make this mistake I made once of having the tablets with hot tea. The tea just melts the gross taste faster then you can swallow them down. Gag. Honestly though, it’s still so worth it, because you wont get sick.
Wherever you get them, I recommend getting the tablets. They make them in capsule form too but it’s a slightly different formula and I can’t vouch for it’s effectiveness.
There ya go. Some of my best tips to help you with any lingering bugs out there so you don’t get sick and can keep kicking ass!