What to do if sick: Essential tips for a quick recovery

What to do if sick: Essential tips for a quick recovery

Getting sick can be annoying, especially when it affects your day to day activities. Although it is impossible to be completely immune to sickness, certain habits can help you get back on track quickly. Here are some tips and tricks to help you recover quickly and effectively.

The first signs of illness

The first signs of illness are usually a sore throat, fever, cough, and runny nose. If you notice any of these symptoms early on, it’s best to address them immediately to prevent the disease from taking a more severe form.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose

Things to avoid

During a sickness, there are some things that should be avoided to quicken recovery. Here are some of them:

Avoid strenuous physical activity

While regular physical activity is essential for maintaining good health, strenuous activity can do more harm than good when you are sick. Your body needs energy to fight an infection, and taxing it with a lot of activity can slow down your recovery. It’s best to wait until you feel better before going back to your regular exercise regimen.

Avoid caffeinated drinks

Caffeine-containing beverages such as tea, coffee, and soda dehydrate the body, which can exacerbate cold and flu symptoms. Instead, opt for non-caffeinated drinks like herbal teas, water, and fresh juices to help keep you hydrated.

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol can cause or worsen dehydration, and it can also disrupt the immune system’s response to a virus or infection. Consequently, it’s best to avoid alcohol until after you have completely recovered from an illness.

Home remedies to try

Several home remedies can alleviate your cold or flu symptoms and provide relief. Here are some you can try:

Herbal teas

Herbal teas can help soothe a sore throat and relieve congestion. Ginger tea, for instance, has anti-inflammatory properties that can remove toxins from the body and cumin tea can help relieve cough, fever and congestion.


Garlic is known for its antimicrobial, antiviral and immune-boosting properties. You can either eat a clove of garlic or put it in your food to obtain its benefits. Additionally, it can be brewed as tea and consumed in small amounts throughout the day.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help alleviate sinus pressure and clear nasal congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your humidifier or use it in steam inhalation for maximum therapeutic effect.

Staying hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial when you are sick. Adequate fluid intake can help thin out mucus, decrease congestion and prevent dehydration. Here are some ways to stay hydrated:

Drink water regularly

Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help flush out toxins and prevent dehydration. Drink at least 8-10 cups of water daily or more if you have a fever or your symptoms cause you to sweat more than usual.

Soups and broths

Soups and broths are nutrient-dense, and they can help keep you hydrated while providing nourishing and warming support. Chicken soup, for instance, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve congestion and speed up recovery.

Fresh juices

Fresh juices are high in vitamins and minerals and are an excellent way to boost your immune system. Juice from vitamin-C rich fruits such as oranges and pineapples may help boost your immune system and provide relief.

When to see a doctor

Most illnesses will run their course within a few days to a week or two. However, in some cases, medical attention may be necessary. Here are some warning signs that you should see a doctor:

High fever

If you have a fever over 101°F, consult a doctor as soon as possible. High fever can lead to dehydration, seizures, and other complications, especially in children.

Difficulty breathing

If you have trouble breathing, experiencing chest pain or coughing up blood, this could be a sign of a severe respiratory illness. Medical attention should be sought immediately.

Persistent fatigue or weakness

If you experience persistent fatigue or weakness after a prolonged sickness, this could indicate that something more severe is at play. It’s best to have a thorough check-up with your doctor to help you determine the underlying cause.


Recovering from an illness can be a challenging process, but if you take care to avoid things that can exacerbate your symptoms and incorporate the right remedies and habits into your routine, you can speed up the process and get back to feeling one hundred percent in no time.


Below are popular questions and their answers related to the topic:

  • Q: How do I prevent myself from getting sick in the first place?
  • A: You can prevent sickness by washing your hands regularly, staying hydrated, eating a healthful diet, and getting enough sleep.
  • Q: Can antibiotics cure the flu?
  • A: Antibiotics do not work on viruses such as the flu. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections.
  • Q: What should I eat when I am sick?
  • A: When you are sick, it’s important to eat a balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein sources. Broths, soups, and teas with honey are also good for sick individuals.
  • Q: Can I still exercise when I am sick?
  • A: Exercise while being sick helps in shedding the sickness off that you have been going through. But it is best to avoid high intensity exercise and stick to mild exercises such as yoga or walking.


  • National Health Service. (2021, June 16). Dehydration. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/
  • Cleveland Clinic. (2021, June 16). 5 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System During Cold Season. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-natural-ways-to-boost-your-immune-system-during-cold-season/
  • Mayo Clinic. (2021, June 16). Fever. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/fever/basics/definition/sym-20050997

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