7 ways I’ve been fighting the winter flu

Oh, Stylers, I’ve had a week of it. If you follow along on Instagram you would have caught a little of my pity party for one.

I’ve had the flu. Woman. Flu.

As opposed to Man Flu.

Let’s get one thing clear, the physical symptoms of Man and Woman Flu are the same; but the comparison stops there. With emphasis on the stopping.

Because men DO stop, don’t they? They just go to bed and get out however many days later.

Women WISH they could stop but should they have children to care for, rarely do they get such a blissful opportunity.

I know, I know … it’s a huge generalisation but this is exactly what happened last week. A school holiday week at that.

Thank goodness for soccer camp, which meant Mr Nearly 7 was run ragged for three hours and was quite happy to mooch around at home in the afternoon. But food still needed to be cooked, supplies needed to be gathered … especially if I was going to kick this flu in the butt.

Yesterday, I finally turned the corner. It was the first day without fevers since the previous Monday. I still cough like a heavy smoker and am emitting fluids from my nose at a rate that will keep Kleenex is business this month but I can feel that the end is in sight.

I got talking last week to my Facebook community about cold and flu remedies so I thought I’d share some of those here – plus some of the little things I do to help this old body along when it’s under fire from The Lurgy.

7 ways to nurse yourself through the flu*

1. Call in the reinforcements.  We are huge advocates of Olive Leaf Extract – sometimes if I get on to it early enough, I can even stop a cold taking over. Not this time … but I still kept up the doses every day. I also light every aromatherapy vapouriser in the house and add Twenty 8′s Immune Boost blend of organic Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea Tree, Cedarwood and Pine essentials oils. Oh, and I treat my poor old nose to the best tissues in Flu Town – Kleenex Eucalyptus 3-Ply.

Olive Leaf Extract | Twenty 8 Immune Boost | Kleenex Eucalyptus tissues

2.  Add a cut onion to your room. This is one I learned from the creators of the Twenty 8 Immune Boost blend I mentioned above. It’s SO simple and makes such a huge difference to your sleep at night. The vapours open your airways and reduce coughing and blocked noses. This time round I even cut a fresh one during the day.  This is also a good one to do when the sniffles first start as it too can stop a cold taking hold.

Cold and flu remedy: cut onion

3.  Keep up your fluids.  I’ve been making up a brew of this tea throughout each day.  To the pot, add: half a lemon, juiced; 1 tsp of Manuka honey; 1 tbs of ginger, grated; 1 sprig of rosemary; 1 quill of cinnamon; 3 cardamon pods. (Originally I’d only been doing the lemon, ginger and honey but Facebook readers suggested the others and it tasted amazing!)

Lemon, Manuka honey and ginger tea

4.  Drink fresh juices. Mr Styling You went into nurse mode over the weekend with only minimal complaining about the loudness of my coughing. We had a lot of left over citrus fruits from our weekly fruit delivery so he whipped up a juice for me in the Thermomix. Proof that I was sick: I didn’t even suggest he add vodka ;)

Fresh citrus juice from the Thermomix

5.  Make a batch of chicken soup.  I summonsed up the energy to whip up this soup mid last week and thank God I did. Seriously life giving. To make: saute onion, garlic, leek and ginger in a little bit of oil in a large pot; add two litres of chicken stock, four chopped carrots and half a bunch of celery; bring to boil and simmer for two hours. I then chose to “blitz” the vege and stock mix in the Thermomix before returning to the stove and adding diced chicken breast to cook through. I’m not a chunky soup person ;) and I know it’s more authentic and health giving to use chicken on the bone but I chose to work with what I had at home and save another energy-zapping trip to the shops.

Chicken soup really is magical when you're sick

6. Wear comfort clothes. Comfort clothes not only need to be comfortable, they need to provide comfort just by enveloping your skin. Well, that’s my opinion any way. If I’m feeling all achey and painy then I want the fabric on my body to give me a little love. Does that make sense. I’ve been very lucky of late to be sent some things** that fit that bill: Emu Australia boots (my tootsies have never felt so warm and loved); Deshabille sleepwear (simply divine and elegant … and suitable for when the delivery men arrive at the door throughout the day); and Sorella & Me wrap (nothing like organic cotton to make you feel comforted). I refrained from doing a Keeping it Real outfit photo of me wearing these pieces as no amount of makeup was going to disguise my grey pallor and watery eyes.

Comfort clothes are needed when you're not feeling 100%

7.  Look after your lips and nose.  I previously blogged about this Golden Ointment – new this year from Lanolips – and I have to say it’s very much come into its own this week. Breathing through your mouth is not kind to one’s lips and as for my poor old nose … the soft tissues mentioned above do help – they do – but when there’s a whole lot of blowing, the skin does need a little helping hand. Special mention must go to my Sussan hot water bottle too … very much needed when the fevers switched to chills.

Lanolips Golden Ointment

So, there you have it. My little remedies to help you should you be hosting a little flu pity party this winter.

Want more?

Here are some awesome tips from Styling You’s Facebook community:

Kirsty Blinston Drink Aloe Vera juice, 30mls three times a day and have Bee Pollen tablets, and it helps the severity of it all and makes you feel better within a day or two.

Mary Hickey Tried and tested old Irish one, warm milk and honey before bed to sooth throat and chest.

Nel Kenworthy SLEEP!

Leigh Robshaw Chicken broth made with a whole organic chicken simmered for at least eight hours, then take Astaxanthin — it’s the world’s strongest antioxidant and has gotten me through winter without a cold or flu so far.

Lorraine Ross zinc tablet every day helps a lot.

Amanda Heitmann Tom Yum soup – I always crave it when I’ve got a cold or flu, and I recently found out that there are scientific studies on how effective it is as a cold remedy! Get well soon!

Mary Sherwood My children’s Papou used to swear by warm Retzina (not sure of spelling) … basically Greek vodka with honey and lemon juice. The hard part is actually getting it down!

Jodie Emslie After a very warm/hot shower put Vicks on your feet and then socks on. I also put the plug in when I’m showering a pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil in – you get to inhale/steam and foot soak in it at the same time!

Emma-Louise Moss ‎Dr Red – Blueberry Punch – it does wonders. I had the flu, really bad, two weeks before my wedding, and within a week I was great. I’m also a Diabetic and things will sometimes take twice as long to recover from, but I swear this stuff is the best! You can it from most chemists or health food stores and the fun thing is, it comes in what looks like a wine bottle :) It even tastes good too – a bit like Ribena.

Reannon Hope Bowen My hubby puts a spoonful of Vegemite into a mug of hot water & drinks that. He swears by it but I just swear at him when he tries to make me drink it ;)

Kate Parker For a sore throat boil fresh sage with Manuka honey and when it cools use it as a throat gargle

Jo Anderson Oh oh can’t believe I forgot, a hot hot bath + glass of red wine: increases your temperature, simulating fever stimulating healing.

The Tall Poppy Project Dark leafty greens stir fried in garlic (antibacterial) and ginger (warming, cold relief). Been dosing myself up with stirfried silverbeet and chard all week – works a treat!

Victoria Gooch GARLIC GARLIC GARLIC. As soon as you feel the niggle in your throat. Take the tablets. Works every time. I have not had a flu for a good year or so.

Pam Schmidt Vitamin C (5000 mg), echinacea, zinc, potassium iodide. Take this every four hours. I can usually beat the flu or a cold within two days of starting this treatment.

Lisa Mckenzie Just rest and take it easy,drinks lots (not alcohol lol) and sit in the sun.

… and I saved the best for last!

Alison Bennett-Roberts Internet shopping! Doesn’t help with the cold but gives you some nice things for when you are feeling better!

* I’m not a doctor and, trust me, if things hadn’t improved yesterday, I’d be lining up at my GP’s today … or if I felt there was a secondary infection that might require something extra.  I just know that except for secondary infections, mostly I just need to rest and help myself.

** These items were sent to me for editorial consideration, in accordance with my disclosure policy.

How do you nurse yourself through a cold or flu?

Print Friendly

Stay in touch

For a daily email update, click HERE. Or hit the subscribe button below for weekly news in your inbox.
  • Mummaducka

    I am really pleased you are on the mend. I keep up with my vitamins esp. C in winter, and I never get a flu shot. I seem to go ok, I think it is about 10 years since I have had a really bad time, even the swine flu 2 years ago didn’t knock me too badly. I start to rattle with all the pills on board though when I think I am going down, and then hang in a semi suspended state, but never go fully down. Besides I am always ‘looking after myself’ and probably spend too much time ‘resting’ on my couch!! I am stunned that I haven’t got really sick this year as we are spending so much time at the hospital. (FIL passed away after 2 weeks in there and MIL has been in there 4 weeks now) I know what it is like having a man who thinks he is dying at the very start of anything. He ALWAYS gets a flu shot and always gets sick, and will never take anything but panadol. But being a disgusting nailbiter I think he picks up everything. In the states 4 years ago he went berserk in a hotel about getting a doctor to come and tried to convince my military nurse sister and I that he was dying from mouth cancer, when in actual fact he had an ulcer! OMG he went on about the pain of it. Finally he listened to us to bin the mouth washes that he was addicted to and change his toothbrush and not scrub at his gums. WE still had to get to a drugstore and spend megabucks filling him up with every painkiller and vitamin known to man but after he gave in and ‘submitted’ to our treatments he was fixed in 1.5 days! Hahahaa I tried to tell him he had scurvy- not being a liker of any fresh veges or fruit. This is the most fantastic party story to tell and we always kill ourselves laughing!

  • http://www.sorellaandme.com.au/ sorella & me

    So sorry to hear you are unwell Nikki! Glad our wrap has provided a little comfort. And thanks for sharing your reader tips! These are priceless! Get well soon! ~ anna

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It so did – nice to be comforted with beautiful fabric!

  • http://twitter.com/MummaInHeels Melinda

    Saving this post to my favourites. We have been battling colds and flus non stop lately. We need all the tips we can get!
    Hope you feel better soon! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      There’s a whole host of good ones there Melinda!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Yes I had the same thing a couple of weeks back it is horrible,I rarely get a cold or flu and I got this one sounds the same when I wasn’t sweating i was shivering and I wore Nice PJs and no makeup for 4 days unheard of for me.
    I’m glad you have turned the corner ,Thank you for your msg on Instagram,Luckily you had no engagements to go to and you could rest with MR 7 at soccer camp,so lucky,I will take on board some of your remedies though here’s hoping I do not get sick again this year.Yes I agree men just go to bed and cannot do anything,so so annoying ,but us mothers just have to get the dinner and do washing and at least attempt some sort of cleaning of the house as the fairys do not come in and do it for us,which is very unfair BUT must be something in our makeup that makes us feel we still have to nuture others.I hope You feel back to your fine self very soon Nikki ,and take care.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I turned the corner yesterday but not 100% – as you know it’s a fierce one!

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        I Hope the Snot dries up soon and you feel Back to normal,sending you healing vibes x

  • http://www.boxandbrownie.com/ Hannah

    Oh gosh, I hope you feel better soon. I’m down with awful asthma and it’s just the worst. I have to admit, Mr BB and I are opposites. He refuses to rest and I get straight to bed. I am sure this will change when we have kids but for now I get more annoyed by his inability to STOP sucking it up. He waits until he’s nightmare-proportions sick to give in and *then* drives me bonkers :/

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yep, that would drive me bonkers too!!

  • http://twitter.com/KateBAustralia Kate

    I swear by Vicks First Defense and keep bottles of it everywhere. It is a nasal spray that you use at the first sign of cold symptoms or even if someone close to you is sick. It works not by helping with symptoms but buying stopping the cold virus from multiplying and taking hold. Youi spray 4 sprays up each nostril 4 times a day. Its basically saline with some essential oil but it is the bomb and have stopped me getting sick on many occasions. Of course my family NEVER use it and I think its another one of my ‘out there’ fixes but hey I don’t have a cold so………………….. Also hydrogen peroxide place few drops in each ear canal and let it bubble away also helps prevent a cold. So long as you don’t have an ear infection etc. All easy cures which my GP husband thinks is quackery but they work for me! Kate bx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Love that you have a GP husband and you’ve got your own methods! Love it!

  • Penny

    Hahah – posted about mum flu this morning (have come down with it in the last 24 hours). I’m such a believer in stopping and recovering and asking for help or feeding everyone cheese on toast for 3 days! Also linked to your tips in the post ;-) And blogged from bed this morning :-) Thank goodness for daycare days.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yes, unfortunately no family around to help and husband commuting meant I couldn’t fully stop till the weekend. School went back today so blogging from bed again until 3pm. Ignoring total disaster that is my desk ;)

  • stinkb0mb

    I guess I’m lucky, I’m married to a man who is rarely sick but when he did get sick the last week of our holidays in May and was sick with the flu for 4 weeks, he didn’t stop and had just ONE measly day off work, which was just as stupid as hitting the bed at the first sign of a sniffle and not moving again til completely healthy! During week 3 of his flu, I caught it, put myself to bed straight away for 2 days and was over it in 4 days – his still went for a further week. It’s a man thing, I think, they either crumple or soldier on!

    As for what helped me? A Lemsip in the morning and then another at night – but the one at night, a shot of Scotch gets mixed in with it, works up a sweat and works a treat! Lots of liquids – mainly water, rest and just keeping warm.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Sounds like your man could be in those Codral ads ;)

  • Carly Findlay

    Great post Nikki – I have a cold while in the uk and tho don’t feel awful with it, I am wheezing and sniffly and will get asthma soon. I too put the call out for good remedies, as I’m in a foreign country, allergic to cold and flu tablets and hate medicine so much. Tweeps recommended some of those you listed. Ive had honey and lemon (lots of honey sachets from airport cafes) and panadol (19 pence can you believe?!?!).

    My recommendation – and this comes from many many times of being sick with sore skin and sometimes not able to cook – is have a heap of healthy home cooked meals in freezer – soups, casseroles and slow cooked meals, so you can heat up a frozen meal with ease and know te ingredients are good and the food is yum. When I had bad hands, I couldnt cook at all and so I discovered the wonders of frozen vegetables and I could just cut the packets open with scissors instead of hurting my hands chopping fresh veggies. And now I also always have a packet on hand to serve up with my reheated frozen meal if I am sick.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Great tip Carly – and sorry that you’re not well. Do try the onion trick to help x