Kicking the crud


Laura Heckenlaible

With these simple steps, built up stress can be released and ultimate relaxation can take place thus boosting one’s overall physical and mental health.

Laura Heckenlaible, Perspectives Editor

As winter rolls in, all the little sicknesses and flu-like symptoms seem to follow close behind. By incorporating humidifiers/vaporizers, essential oil diffusers and hot tea into an everyday routine, any cruddy feeling that arises can be soothed and prevented.

It is common, especially in months like November, December and January for people to be infected with a slight cold. These colds normally include runny noses, harsh coughs and aching throats. During this stretch of the months, classrooms run out of tissues faster and students’ work time is filled with constant sniffling. While sickness is common so is a mutual resentment towards feeling under the weather and unfortunately it is almost inevitable to surpass getting symptoms. By adding three simple agents into an everyday routine, present symptoms can subside and prevention can occur.

Tip #1- Drink hot tea

While it might not be a favorite among teens, hot tea is immensely beneficial not only while sick but also in everyday life. By drinking just a cup a day, one can almost immediately feel relief such as the clearing of the sinuses, soothing for a sore throat and the easing of a harsh cough. Because of the nutrients in the leaves of the tea along with the help from additions like honey, people can take in more vitamin c thus boosting their immune systems. It is important to drink caffeine-free liquids while sick to ensure hydration, which is why decaffeinated tea is ideal. It is most optimal to warm up the tea as well as mix in additives like honey and lemon. A tried and true favorite when sick is the Starbucks honey citrus mint, better known as the “Medicine Ball.”   

Tip #2- Make use of essential oils

Sick or not, essential oils are widely known to have healing properties through their aromatherapy benefits. Essential oils can be rubbed directly on the skin (do with caution as they must be applied with a carrier oil like coconut oil), put into bath water, inhaled and most popularly used in a diffuser. According to a medically reviewed piece by Arielle Mitton for K Health, “Any essential oils with antibacterial, antimicrobial or antifungal properties can help keep the air around you clean.” Essential oil’s healing agents combined with the diffusion throughout a room make for not only a relaxing atmosphere but also multiple health benefits like clearing congestion and body ache relief. Some go-to oils are lavender (which helps one fall asleep and destress), eucalyptus (which allows for sinus relief) and chamomile (which reduces congestion and stomach pain).

Tip #3-Purify the air with a humidifier/vaporizer

Perfect to partner with the diffuser, a humidifier or vaporizer is another great option to combat sickness. While these machines are commonly used for younger children, many do not realize that the lasting effects benefit people of all ages. In an article by a leading medical brand, Vicks, a vaporizer is “a type of humidifier: its purpose is to add moisture to the air in your room.” The hot steam released allows for cough relief, reduction of congestion, less dry lips and nose as well as so much more. The release of the vapor also allows for needed comfort and relaxation in stressful, sick-filled times.

Hopefully, with the integration of these simple tips into a routine, the sniffling will cease and tissues will be reserved. In the meantime, while winter barrels on and sickness tries to tag along, take a quick trip to Starbucks, diffuse some eucalyptus and breathe in purified air. After all, no one likes to be sick, so why not prevent it while you can? Kick the crud for the winter and enjoy the upcoming holiday.