Winter is a popular time for sickness, particularly the common cold. Here are the five stages of the common cold, letting you know what to expect should you or someone in your household contract the virus this season.

  1. After one to three days since coming into contact with the virus, your body will exhibit mild symptoms such as fatigue, runny or stuffy nose, and a sore throat. Get adequate rest and stay hydrated during this time.
  2. As the virus settles into your body, you will experience coughing and congestion. Now is the time for medicine, teas, soups, tissues, etc. Zinc is great at maintaining a healthy immune system, and Zinc rich foods are great to consume during this time (eggs, garbanzo beans, pumpkin seeds, and whole grains). Don’t forget your Vitamin C intake, too!
  3. You’re now experiencing aches and a low-grade fever. It is recommended to double the number of liquids you have been consuming during this time. Take hot, steamy baths and/or showers to relieve sinus pressure and congestion. Humidifiers and nasal decongestants are helpful, too.
  4. Your fever will break during this period and aches will subside. Your strength will slowly return. Disinfect all surfaces in your home, car, and office. Wash all bedding, blankets, and clothes. Sterilize your toothbrush and your cell phone.
  5. During this time, you may continue to have a runny nose or a slight cough, but you will feel more normal than you have for the past few days. Continue to take over-the-counter medicine and maintain a healthy, balanced diet until your body is completely healed.