Winter wellness – a seasonal guide to common ailments

Winter wellness - a seasonal guide to common ailments
Photo: Lisafx, Bigstock

Brrr…it sure is getting chillier! And, when a change of season approaches it can be hard to avoid pitfalls in wellness, especially when it comes to common ailments. Red and runny noses, chapped lips and watery stinging eyes can seem like rites of passage when it comes to weathering the winter months. But, colder times need not be spent hiding indoors… well, at least not with the aid of this handy guide!

The dreaded flu

Nothing quite gets you like the onslaught of incessant influenza, that ‘dreaded flu’. It’s enough just to get a cough directed in your general vicinity to make you cower in fear, because once caught – many weeks may pass before you resurface to the world at large! It can mean unpaid sick leave, untimely breaks in schedules (for example, fitness regimes), cancelled holiday plans and all sorts of inconvenient things. But, what can you do about the flu?

Well, flu shots are always recommended. They are easily administered and usually quite affordable, just take this doctor as a good example of a bulk billing practice in a central locale that can offer new intakes on the daily. It’s well-documented that the flu is much worse than a common cold, and that it can even result in a stay in hospital. Knowing that avoiding it can be as easy a quick injection means that you can cast away all your influenza induced anxiety in just one trip to the doctors!

Horrible hay fever

Hands up who hates pollen! Whilst flowers can be pretty and all, it’s just not the same when they make you sneeze like a freight-train, have you scratching like a flea-ridden animal, and leave you feeling all-round horrible. Sometimes, you can even get brain-fog and nausea! If you are a sufferer, there are some medications that may help relieve symptoms of hay fever –  it’s best to ask your GP to find out what might fit best.

Apart from this, there are some practical ways to avoid overexposing yourself to the common causes of hay fever. Most of these are environmental. And, whilst you can’t exactly envelop yourself in bubble-wrap and breathe through a straw, you can do a few sensible things to naturally lower your risk of encountering hay fever in all its unbridled fury. Some great tips include applying a vaseline barrier on the entrance of your nostrils, wearing sunglasses, changing your bed sheets regularly, and even just taking more showers!

Vicious viruses

One of the worst things about contracting a virus is simply that you have to wait it out. Antibiotics may treat a subsequent bacterial infection, but will do nothing against strains of viral sickness. Symptoms can be unpredictable, as they can manifest as anything from a common cold through to a full-blown stomach bug. However, viral infections are usually accompanied by a fever – as this is the body’s way of fighting the infection. Plus, you will recognise the tell-tale signs of fatigue, headaches, body aches, sore throat, coughing and potential abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. It’s all very nasty indeed!

The best course of action? As much rest and fluids as you can possibly get. Other methods are more preventative and/or auxiliary – like building up your immune system with plenty of vitamins. A hot drink made from fresh lemon juice and honey can be a great way to get Vitamin C and also soothe a sore throat (due to the lubricating effect of the good old bee nectar). A popular folk remedy entails rubbing vicks vapour rub on the soles of your feet before putting on socks to help a cough. Also, eucalyptus oil in a vaporiser may give your sinuses some much needed relief. Why not give it a whirl?

Winter Warrior

Yes… it’s flu season once more! Soldiering on through some sickness can be part and parcel of what the colder months bring. But, with a few practical approaches you can prepare yourself, and give it your very best shot at wellness… to make this winter your most enjoyable one yet!