7 Things to Do ASAP If You Think You're Catching a Cold

Nobody likes getting sick—but did you know there are ways to get over your cold fast?

Just because you've caught something doesn't mean you have to spend days out of commission. Here are the seven things you should do ASAP to nip your cold in the bud.

Drink Lots of Water

Just because this step is super obvious doesn't mean we follow it as much as we should. Staying well-hydrated is critical to feeling good and preventing most illnesses, and a cold is no exception. Drinking water optimizes your immune system so that it can fight whatever ails you, and also prevents congestion so that you never have to get to the point of feeling stuffy and irritated.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Thirsty dehydrated SpongeBob drinks water

(SpongeBob SquarePants via Nickelodeon)


Get Some Vitamin C

If you feel like you're coming down with something, it can be a good idea to take a vitamin C supplement like Emergen-C or Airborne—or even better, find naturally-occurring vitamin C in food and drinks like orange juice. While there isn't a lot of evidence that loading up on Vitamin C can actually prevent colds, there is evidence that it can make them shorter. We're crossing our fingers that a cold doesn't actually develop, but if it does, reducing its length by a couple of days can only be a good thing.


Suck on a Zinc Lozenge

Studies show that zinc lozenges, such as Cold-Eeze, can be super effective in combating the common cold. It won't prevent your cold from hitting entirely, but it can shorten the duration of it by days—meaning all of your aches, coughing and sneezing can be over faster.


Avoid Junk and Stick to Immunity-Boosting Foods

As much as you might want to pig out on junk food when you're getting sick, you'll heal a lot faster if you maintain a healthy diet. There are also tons of foods that are said to have natural immunity-boosting properties. The list contains everything from ginger, ginseng and green teas to dark chocolate and whole wheat bread, so there's an option for you no matter what types of foods you enjoy.


Stay Warm

While being chilly won't actually cause a cold, keeping warm once you have one can help get rid of it faster. Not only do certain viruses replicate faster when they're in a cooler environment, but keeping warm and cozy can also boost your immune response. If you want to get over your illness fast, it's better to bundle up and avoid the cold weather as much as you can.

SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob gets the suds

(SpongeBob SquarePants via Nickelodeon)


Distract Yourself

The longer you sit around thinking about how miserable you feel, the more the day will drag on and feel like an eternity. Try to find a calming activity that you enjoy, such as reading or playing a soothing video game, to get your mind off of your physical symptoms. Research shows that stress can also prolong colds, so if you can do something that clears your mind while it relaxes you, you'll be on the track to quicker healing.


Rest Up

Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health. Your immune system gets severely compromised when you don't rest, and pushing yourself too hard when you're unwell can make things even worse. It's best not to go to school with a cold, not only because you'll heal less quickly, but also because you'll spread it to others. If you can't get to sleep during the day, take things easy and don't put unnecessary strain on yourself. And when you're feeling really cruddy, it can be a big help to sleep it off. You just might feel like an entirely new person when you wake up.

SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob cuddles up in bed

(SpongeBob SquarePants via Nickelodeon)


Taking a day off? Click HERE for clever Instagram captions for your sick days.