I Have COVID—Here Are 7 Things That Have Helped Me Feel a Little Better
This is Obsessed: my weekly column devoted to sharing all the things I'm loving right now—from unique food and gift ideas to travel destinations and beauty products—plus some tips and tricks for living your best life.
I managed to dodge COVID for almost two years, but it finally caught up to me (despite my best efforts). Thankfully my side effects have been pretty mild, but it definitely has not been fun. I had a high fever and terrible chills for the first two days, and then my symptoms progressed to be more cold- or flu-like (think: sore throat, fatigue, aches, headache, runny nose).
This is just my personal experience, and I'm definitely not a doctor, but there are a few things that have helped ease my symptoms and made me feel a little better (as always, speak to your doctor before trying anything new). If you don't have grocery delivery or a friend to drop these items on your doorstep, they're all available for purchase online and should arrive within a few days.
7 Things That Have Helped My COVID-19 Symptoms
1. Tiger Balm
I had random aches and pains for the first few days after I tested positive (mostly in my neck and back). I swear by this extra-strength Tiger Balm for instant relief. When you rub this balm on achy muscles or stiff joints, it warms up and immediately soothes the area. Plus, the camphor and menthol scent is really nice when you have a stuffy nose.
2. Epsom Salt
I wish I was exaggerating, but I took seven baths in the first two days I had COVID. My chills were so intense that I literally couldn't get warm, and baths were the only thing that helped. When you have a fever, you're not really *supposed* to take hot baths, so I kept mine on the warm side and added a handful of epsom salts for good measure. This really helped tame the chills and ease my muscles. Plus, taking baths helped me relax and sleep a little better.
3. Over-the-Counter Medicine
Since there's (unfortunately) no cure for COVID, managing the symptoms with over-the-counter meds is the next best thing if you've tested positive. Based on how I was feeling, I alternated between Dayquil, Nyquil, aspirin, cough drops and Vick's Vapor Rub (as always, talk to your doctor before taking anything). I found that these worked the best to help ease my symptoms.
As soon as I tested positive for COVID, my doctor recommended that I take vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc. While there's limited evidence that vitamins can shorten or ease the severity of COVID symptoms, they can help support healthy immune system function. Just make sure to choose supplements that have third-party certification to ensure their labels are accurate, since most supplements are unregulated (we have this handy scorecard to help you make an informed choice).
5. A Huge Water Bottle
I've felt a little like a dried sponge this week, but a huge water bottle has been handy in helping me stay hydrated. I like this one-gallon water bottle because it makes it easy to track exactly how much I'm drinking throughout the day.
6. Popsicles, Soup and All the Carbs
I love to cook, and I love veggies (I do work at EatingWell, after all!), but most of my energy to cook healthy meals went out the window as soon as I got sick. As much as I wish I could say that I craved immunity-supporting foods like kale salad and salmon, I really just wanted canned soup, simple carbs and popsicles. Are those things super nutritious? Not exactly. But they're easy, taste good and have helped me keep my energy up.
7. Throat Coat Tea
My worst symptom so far has been a super sore throat (I've had plenty of colds and one awful bout of bronchitis, and I've never experienced a sore throat quite like this). I had no voice for the first few days, but this tea (along with a good amount of honey) has helped me so much. The warm liquid has helped to ease the pain and soothe my throat. Just make sure to talk to your doctor before trying if you have heart, kidney or blood pressure conditions, since this tea contains licorice.
Jaime Milan is EatingWell's senior digital editor for all things newsy and trending. She's always on the hunt for the latest and greatest things to share with EatingWell's readers. In her spare time, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, tackling home projects with her husband or taking pics of her very photogenic American Eskimo Dog, Grits. Follow her on Instagram at @jaimemmilan.