So, I have been having rather two wonderful weeks. Things were going pretty normal and the weekend was just about to kick in when Friday night my body started to feel little weird. Came Saturday morning and I was hit by very high fever episode. I hoped it would be gone in a day but matters went worse and there it all started. Viral fever and throat infection at the same time. In a matter of 30 hours I was bedridden only to know that I am going to bear with this for another week. Trust me, I have had viral fever once before but this was nothing like I expected. I was blacking out all the time, had no strength to leave the bed and visit restroom without any assistance and fever would be high most of the times, between 103-104. I was very lethargic and my throat hurt terribly. We all know any infection calls for antibiotics and they come with their fair share of side effects which affect everyone differently. I had to even struggle with swallowing down water because it tasted so so bad.
There it occurred to me, if I let this continue, my immune system will be left even more vulnerable and that would cause delays in returning to usual activities and work. I had to cope with this sickness for a long term positive effect.
No matter how tired I felt, I made a plan to eat certain foods(even though I couldn’t taste anything like how it actually is), keep my skin and body clean inside out and concentrate on taking ample rest.
Below are the suggestions based on what I did and how they positively affected me. Just for the reference, I am not a doctor.
Sorry guys but here a regular acai bowl won’t do it all when your body needs a variety of vitamins and minerals in larger quantities.
Always listen to your body and feed it accordingly. Constantly fluctuating body temperature, chills, medications can exhaust the mind and body to an extent that being forgetful is not even a major factor anymore.
I have had viral fever few years ago but wasn’t this worse so I was not at the least prepared.
I concentrated on not letting my body drown in weakness than trying to recover from it later. Viral fevers attack your blood and both White Blood Cells and Red Blood Cells along with Platelet counts can be effected which in my case was true. So, I was doomed to feel dizzy and blackout at all times. Here’s what I ate and included in my diet ;
-Intaking natural iron is a great way to inject a current of energy into the blood stream. I drank a bowl of freshly made spinach soup or ate simple stir fried spinach and garlic with a tiny portion of fish grilled with himalayan salt and pepper. You can make a big batch and store securely.
-Coconut water is full of electrolytes and tastes great. Calcium, Potassium, Sodium are all electrolytes and their deficiency can cause the body cells to weaken which effects all the body functions. And coconut water is not very high on calories as well so always have one or two a day.
-Soups are my favourite things to indulge in during colds and I like all sorts of soups whether they are vegetable pureed or clear oriental soups. But, I literally lived on two varieties during the whole week and the first one is pumpkin while the second is chicken bone broth. The latter may sound yucky to some but it is full of minerals and intaking chicken broth during sickness is very beneficial for digestion, inflammation and strengthening the immune system.
Pumpkins are very high in zinc and selenium along with other minerals and antioxidants. With them being full of fiber and low in calories they can also help bulk up the stool and enable easy passage as being very less mobile and low on diet can make one constipated which nobody wants when they have so many other side effects to deal with. A small bowl of pumpkin soup can make you feel full so it actually makes you eat less!
-Eat easily soluble carbohydrate rich foods and here my friends from Ayurveda take the hit. “Khichdi” is a holistic meal which has very basic ingredients and is healing to the body. I recommend avoiding all sorts of bakery items and sticking to simple carbohydrate meal for lunch. Oatmeal is another one of the healthier carbohydrates and easy to digest.
-Antibiotics and fever can worsen the palate which makes everything taste funny, even your favourite dish(atleast it was the same with me). That doesn’t mean you starve yourself or rely on heavily salted and stuffy food like pizzas and burgers. Digestion system becomes very weak during sickness and medications can make matters worse. So never skip a meal. For maintaining normal flora and fauna of the digestive system(gut) include Probiotics. They come as small shots of drinks, capsules and supplement powders. Find the one that is most suitable to you but do not neglect the highly impacting effects of Probiotics on our overall health.
-Along with coconut water and ofcourse plain water, I drank lots of sweet lime juice. It looks like an orange but yellow in colour and is full of antioxidants and vitamins, especially Vitamin C. The natural sugars also help as there is possibility to suffer from low blood sugar levels. Sweet limes are also recommended to athletes because they are great for joints and reducing inflammation and also less acidic than other citrus fruits so great when you are suffering from throat pain.
–Dragon fruit, kiwis, apples and pomegranates are powerhouses of fiber, vitamins, antioxidants so I made sure to include a little of each fruit every morning. Nuts can be bit difficult to digest but soaked almonds(much easily digestable) are great source of healthy fats(think unsaturated fatty acids) and vitamin E along with Vitamin B which is essential for nervous system. Include foods with good amounts of Vitamin B if you suffer from intense fatigue.
-You may or may not suffer from temporary water retention so rather than drinking more and more water, make an effort to leave the bed every two hours and take a walk around the house. Eat diuretic foods like cucumbers, watermelons, carrots, warm lemon and honey water, green tea that help in getting rid of excess accumulated water and reduce the swelling.
There are certain foods that help elevate serotonin levels(one of the good mood hormones) and they have been scientifically proven to help regulate mood swings. I have spoken about the muscle relaxing and calming effects of Chamomile tea multiple times and still recommend.
Dark chocolate is one of the best sources, so are nuts-make a habit of eating a small chunk everyday. Simple sugars from fruits and carbohydrates like oatmeal and pasta also help increase serotonin levels. One thing to highly consider is to watch the portions.
There is a saying “Skin is the mirror of our inner health” and I always believe and go by this rule. Not only as a skincare advocate but someone who has studied skin, I know how the structure of our skin can be interfered when balance of water, oil, vitamins, amino acids and etc is hampered.
-When we are lying around whole day doing absolutely nothing why not put on a good smelling mask and let our mind and skin revive?
I noticed one major difference in my skin during the whole time until I recovered. My skin began to look clearer, smoother and more hydrated.
-Firstly, it is because I ate very little carbohydrates(only easily soluble fiber for lunch) and caffeine. Sugar intake was only through fruits and carbs, ofcourse. I drank thrice the amount of fluids than usual and my skin was not exposed to polluted air.
-I never left my skin without thoroughly moisturised. Whenever my fever would subside, I cleansed my skin and reapplied my lightly moisturising and brightening serum from organic and vegan brand Andalou Naturals. It has ingredients that will lightly moisturise, brighten, help to lighten dark spots, provide antioxidant and anti inflammatory protection. Don’t ever forget to moisturise your body too. I noticed my body skin feeling drier than ever so I applied St.Ives Coconut Milk and Orchid Extract Body Lotion thrice a day. It is dirt cheap yet so moisturising and comes in a huuuggeee bottle. St.Ives always makes some of better drugstore products.
-Sweat and grime can accumulate over the days and lead to breakouts. Wash your face thrice a day during fever with hydrating cleanser. I love Murad’s Essential C Cleanser as it is not stripping, smells amazing and has skin brightening ingredients. Know more why I love this cleanser so much.
-Make an effort to use a clay mask to avoid congestion. L’Oréal’s Purify and Mattify clay mask with it’s relaxing herbal scent is an equilibrium between deep cleansing and softening. I find it gentle enough to use even thrice a week. If you have a very oily skin then this mask will not give desired results. Charcoal face masks work in the best possible way on oily skin types.
-If you are suffering from cold along with fever, drop few sprigs of lavender flowers and couple of drops of eucalyptus oil in steaming hot bowl of water and breathe in slowly. Lavender is soothing in nature and eucalyptus essential oil is very effective in decongesting the nasal passages and sinuses. Not only for your cold but also your dull tired skin will benefit from the stimulation(think rosy cheeks).
-Always ALWAYS moisturise and use a correct type of moisturiser or your skin will either starve of hydration or feel like a grease pan. I am more of a gel moisturiser kind of girl so The Saem Iceland Volume Hydrating Cream is gentle enough to not give me an oily feel but hydrates very efficiently. And, it is not that expensive too.
-Avoid all sorts of chemical exfoliants and retinol based products as the skin is likely to become sensitive from constant rise and drop of body temperature along with antibiotics. Our skin is likely to breakout during the course of antibiotics if they increase the acidity levels. Stick to a simple spot treatment like tea tree oil or this oxygen based healing cream (one of the first products I used for spot treating without inducing irritation or drynsss) and amples of hydrating products.
-Finally, keep your daily skincare routine simple and don’t use too many products in rotation.
Sickness can have an equally negative effect on mind as on our bodies. Whether you have been ill for as long as a year or a week, if your normal life and day to day activities have been on hold while you recover, then you are most likely to feel disturbed, irritative and left out. Believe it or not, there are often times you may unknowingly act sarcastically with your loved ones because you are not thinking straight.
This may continue even after you resume to your normal life.
Few simple steps and total mind detox is important to avoid any personal and professional relationships being affected which in turn can lead to your embarrassment and disappointment.
-When you are struggling every moment trying to make yourself feel better, avoid hanging around with phone. Don’t visit social media unless it is very important. Social media is very stimulating and manipulating, you don’t want to stress your mind during this time, especially bloggers, youtubers and influencers.
-Don’t be a part of an arguement or try to provide your input in any such matters. Remember, your mind is not in it’s usual 100% sharp state.
-Request friends and family to not call you often. We understand loved ones can be concerned but answering the same questions all the time can take a toll on the patience level and also your sleep.
-Music can play a big role in uplifting the mind. Download relaxing music or ask someone to do it for you. Leave the music on low volume even if you are not actually listening to it and take 2-3 short naps a day. Your brain subconsciously responds to it and calms your senses.
-Your mind can actually start playing games when you are idle and unwell. I was hallucinating things and confused with paranoia. Even after my fever stopped recurring, I felt shivering and warm all the time. The truth was, my body temperature had gone back to being completely normal yet the previous episodes kept replaying. Our brains store everything so it is likely to happen to most of us and there is not much we can do about it except for keeping ourselves busy and calm at the same time. Meditation!
-I don’t really meditate much but I really should because my mind is always active and that stresses me out a lot. You know if you are one of those people who can’t be idle for more than 1/2 hour and when you suddenly have to be lying on the bed doing absolutely nothing, it can make you feel like you are going crazy. I tried to work on it while I was sick and it helped me be very patient and not get hyper about every single thing. Lie down on the bed, relax your body and close your eyes.
Take a deep breathe, count to five and slowly release. Your abdomen should swell up when you exhale. Another very simple way of relaxing the mind is putting your phone on airplane mode for half an hour, sitting next to your room window and watching the birds, the trees-it is all about appreciating the nature and decluttering the mind from everyday stressors. You wouldn’t understand the effect of doing this on your mind until you try it out.
-I have talked previously about mood lighting for a peaceful night’s sleep and how research shows the relaxing effect of dim lighting and music on our brains.
-Hot massages. A masseur may not be accessible and I would highly request not being out and about while you are still recovering. But, you can give yourself a warm oil massage on hands and feet. Take few tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil, warm it and add 2 drops each of eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and chamomile essential oils. These anti inflammatory and muscle relaxing essential oils will increase the blood circulation and help with aching muscles(common symptoms during high fevers) and also de stress the mind(bye bye irritative behaviour).
-Before you resume to your normal life, take a weekend or 2 night getaway trip far from the hustle of city life. Hills and mountainous locations or a little closer to nature would be the best thing to reset.
How have you coped with sickness? Was this post helpful to you? Then please share it!
Thank you all for reading and supporting me.