Tips for Feeling Better

Feeling ill or have a cold or the flu? The following self-care tips may help you start feeling better.

Flu-Like Illness Self Care

  • Drink plenty of liquids, about 8-12 glasses of fluid a day to hydrate your mucous membranes.  Water, juices, soups, Jell-O, ice pops and herbal tea are great choices.  The steam from hot beverages helps open airways and soothes an irritated throat.
    • Avoid soda, carbonated drinks, caffeine and alcohol.
  • For fever > 100° F (37.8 ° C) and muscle aches, take over-the-counter, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or any brand of Ibuprofen.  Ibuprofen should be taken with some food in your stomach.  Be sure to follow the dosing and warning directions carefully.
    •  Avoid aspirin products if you are under 21 years of age, do not use aspirin for treatment of fever or pain. (The reason is there is an association between influenza and Reyes Syndrome).
  • Get plenty of rest.   This is not the time to pull all-nighters.  Your body may require more sleep than usual when you are sick.
  • For cough and congestion, keep your airway moist by trying a steamy shower or using a hot steam vaporizer.  Clean the vaporizer daily with a mild vinegar solution so germs are not added to the air.
  • For congestion, try a salt water (Saline) nasal spray.  Try spraying each nostril several times a day, generally every two hours if needed.
  • For throat pain, try gargling with salt water.  Mix ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and gargle several times a day.  You may also consider throat lozenges or hard candies to keep the throat moist.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough and remember to wash your hands frequently.
  • Students who are ill can receive pre-packaged healthy meals provided by Mason Dining Services -visit their website for information on the Sick Meal Request.

Additional Information

Flu.gov

Centers for Disease Control