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5 Common Cold Remedies You Can Easily Make at Home

5 Common Cold Remedies You Can Easily Make at Home

It’s that time of the year again when cold and flu symptoms are spreading like wildfire and no matter how much you try to avoid them, you get hit with sore throats, runny noses and pesky coughs. While over-the-counter remedies are the popular choice for tackling a bad cold, there are many common cold remedies you can make and use at home that can promote a faster recovery.

1. Make Your Own Chest Salve

coconut-oil

    Vapour rubs are a popular way of soothing blocked noses and decongesting your chest and throat area. Making your own is much cheaper plus you can make it much stronger if you so wish by adding more peppermint oil. Coconut oil is also a natural antiseptic which can be an added bonus.

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    • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
    • 15-20 drops of peppermint oil
    • An airtight container

    Directions: Melt the coconut oil down by leaving it somewhere warm like a radiator or airing cupboard, on the stove or microwave. Once melted, pour into the container and add the peppermint oil stirring well. Leave it to harden and then rub onto your chest or below your nose being careful not to touch your eyes while it’s on your hands.

    2. Take A Sinus-Clearing Bath

    himalayan-salt-bath

      Taking a hot bath is an obvious one for clearing a blocked nose and soothing a chesty cough as well as relaxing the body. Drawing a bath using Epsom salts or Himalayan Bath Salts will help detoxify, hydrate your body and draw out any nasties while providing nutrients. Adding some essential oils can add a decongestant to the mix as well.

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      • 1 cup of Epsom or Himalayan Bath Salts
      • 3 drops of peppermint oil
      • 3 drops of eucalyptus oil
      • 3 drops of lavender oil
      • An airtight container

      Pour the salt into the container, mix the essential oils and add them to the salt making sure to stir it all together well. Add a couple of generous handfuls to a bath-full of water, sit back and relax!

      3. Decongest With A Radish Or Two

      radishes-1485888_640

        When you’re suffering from a nasty cold, the last thing you probably think of doing is munching down on a radish but the peppery vegetable has antiseptic qualities. Plus, its a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. If you find yourself feeling stuffed up, have a couple of radishes to clear out that blocked nose – the spiciness will clear it up in no time.

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        • 2-3 radishes (homegrown or organic are the best)

        Directions: Eat 2-3 radishes twice a day (or if you love them, all through the day!) Keep them in the fridge for extra relief to a sore throat and to keep them crispy.

        4. Go Classic With Garlic, Ginger, Lemon And Honey

        cup-hand-mug-potatoes

          Never underestimate the power of garlic, ginger, honey and lemon as common cold remedies. Incorporating these into your daily cold-blasting ritual will boost your immune system and help to clear and soothe sore throats, coughs and blocked noses. Use them separately but why not just go all out and put them all into one powerful concoction?

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          • 1 medium clove of garlic
          • 1 lemon
          • 1 teaspoon of honey
          • 3-4 slices of ginger

          Directions: Crush the garlic clove, and squeeze the juice of the lemon into a big mug. Add the honey and sliced ginger. Fill the mug with hot water and allow to steep for a few minutes before drinking. Aim for making one of these flu-busting drinks about 2-3 times a day for maximum effectiveness.

          5. Utilise Those Crucial Bedtime Hours

          coffee-cup-bed-bedroom

            When you finally fall into bed, you’re probably so exhausted and glad to be there that you don’t think about how your time in bed could help your cold and flu symptoms. Grab a load of cushions and pillows and create a comfortable gradual slope for your head and neck. This will stop all the mucus building up in one position and help to relieve congested nasal passages.

            Another tip is to fill a room diffuser with some peppermint oil and keep it running throughout the night. This will help your cold and flu symptoms while you’re peacefully passed out and give you a fighting chance when you wake in the morning.

            Common Cold Remedies That Aren’t So Effective

            When it comes to combating your cold, there are some known remedies that aren’t really as effective as we think.

            • Over-the-counter decongestants – While these can help, they are only effective in the short term and they can actually make your blocked nose worse if they’re used for more than a week.
            • Ibuprofen and Paracetamol – While these can help reduce fever, they are not recommended for tackling a cold. Using both together can also be unsafe for children under 16.
            • Zinc – This has had a cold-fighting reputation for a while but there’s actual little evidence that this is the case.
            • Vitamin C – This is also another source of contention with recent studies showing the power of vitamin C for helping with colds and flu isn’t actually as effective as first thought. Vitamin D is fast becoming a much better cold-blaster.

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            Jenny Marchal

            A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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            Last Updated on September 16, 2019

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

            We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

            The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

            Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

            1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

            Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

            For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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            • (1) Research
            • (2) Deciding the topic
            • (3) Creating the outline
            • (4) Drafting the content
            • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
            • (6) Revision
            • (7) etc.

            Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

            2. Change Your Environment

            Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

            One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

            3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

            Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

            Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

            My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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            Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

            4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

            If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

            Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

            I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

            5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

            I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

            Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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            As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

            6. Get a Buddy

            Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

            I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

            7. Tell Others About Your Goals

            This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

            For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

            8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

            What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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            9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

            If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

            Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

            10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

            Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

            Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

            11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

            At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

            Reality check:

            I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

            More About Procrastination

            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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