Steam and Tea

There aren't a lot of things about life and the world that I'm sure of. I mean really, really sure. Not "sure" like I'm 99% sure I heard or read it somewhere or "sure" like it makes a lot of logical sense to me so I say it with a lot of confidence and hope it makes a lot of logical sense to other people too. I mean sure in a "death and taxes" kind of way.

I had a great mom growing up. Well, I have a great mom now too. (She's the same one I had growing up, in case that wasn't clear.) But I've also always been pretty independent, partially, I believe, because due to circumstances beyond our control (ah, divorce) I wasn't always able to be with her. I did a lot of taking care of myself as a kid and teenager and now, obviously, as an adult. Sure, I still call my mom to whine about my scraped palms or ask her if you're supposed to bake a lasagna covered or uncovered. (I still don't remember and have to ask mom every time, so don't ask me.) But for most of my life, it's been me taking care of me — and I like it just fine that way.

I also got sick a lot as a kid. This was, I firmly believe, due to an undetected gluten intolerance that I didn't fully realize until I was 23 (the source of many stomachaches and migraines for a little Italian girl who basically lived on bread and pasta) and high levels of anxiety that always manifested physically. So suffice it to say, we learned a lot about home remedies in my years as a kid.

All these things are connected, I swear. Just bear with me.

When I get sick now — whether it's a virus (rare, knock on wood), a migraine (more frequently than anyone deserves, though significantly less since I started seeing my chiropractor), a stomachache (I'm mildly lactose intolerant and I have an addiction to cheese, life is hard), or just a general under-the-weather feeling (stress doesn't stop when you're an over-scheduled, over-analyzing, over-extended Type A with OCD and anxiety) — I pretty much want to be left alone. I'm not a great patient and I don't need to subject anyone else to Sick Alyssa. I also am pretty gross when I'm sick, so there's that too.

So all of this boils down to a few simple facts I've learned about being sick. (I can never remember if it's feed a cold, starve a fever or the other way around, and Googling is much too hard when you're sick.) Through much trial and error and more than enough practice, I know this much to always be true:

(Unless you're gluten-intolerant,) There's no fix for a rumbly stomach quite like pastina. My mom used to make it for me with an egg and a little bit of grated cheese. (Not recommended for phlemy sicknesses, for obvious reasons.) Cooked in chicken broth instead of water with a little bit of salt works too. Best when eaten piping hot out of a gigantic mug like the ones they use on Friends. (I have four in my cabinet; I live alone.)
These days I swap out the pastina for brown rice and use the chicken broth since I always have it on hand. When you're not about to be waited on and aren't up for preparing a pot of soup yourself, this second best thing ain't half bad.
For some, there's no way to cure a migraine. But a hot shower for as long as you can stand it followed by a strong mug of full-caf tea is the best treatment there is. This may seem redundant of the two that will follow (spoiler alert) but the difference is the importance of the caffeine. The only thing really separating OTC migraine meds from regular OTC pain killers is caffeine. You could take an ibuprofen with a shot of espresso and get pretty much the same effect. So go for the caffeinated black tea as soon as you step out of the steam.
For absolutely everything else, stand in the shower under hot water until it runs cold. Heartbroken? Take a shower. Hungover? Take a shower. Nerves killing your stomach? Take a shower. Need to reset? Just take a long, hot shower. I think this works for physical and mental ailments like nothing else. We can all agree we get the best #deepthoughts in the shower, right? Indulge in your shower thoughts and let the steam and the heat scare away pain or frustration or that god-awful way the smell of vodka seeps out of your pores and makes you feel the worst kind of drunk all over again the next morning.
When you get out of the shower, find yourself a book that makes you laugh or cry and make a cup of tea. Caffeine optional.

Nothing fancy here. Simple enough right? But I'm telling you, unless you're struck down by Ebola, this is all you need to feel better next time you're sick.

I'm linking up with Melissa for her very own and very fabulous October blogging challenge today.
Making Melissa
What are the home remedies you swear by?


  1. I have to say that I had a terrible headache yesterday and the shower felt so incredibly good I'm convinced that's what made it go away not the advil I took before the shower LOL!

  2. hmmm you might be on to something with this shower thing, it's where i have my best cries.

    thanks for linking up :)

  3. A definite yes to a shower followed by a really good book when you're not feeling well. I don't get migraines, but I get really horrible sinus headaches during certain times of the year and I swear a bowl of white rice always makes me feel a little bit better.

  4. A hot shower cures all, I think. I've just started getting into essential oils and they'll seriously fix you right up! I almost want to get sick just so I can try them out...that's weird I know, you don't have to tell me.

  5. I'm more of a hot cocoa person than a tea person, but yeah. Some days just require a good cry in a hot shower, followed by a couple hours with a book.

    I think that sleep also fixes pretty much everything. And cuddles from my pup. :)

  6. A hot shower is basically a cure for anything that ails you! I always love finding home cures for things instead of just shoving meds down my throat.

    My favorite thing for headaches is peppermint tea or any type of mint item seems to help.

  7. I am not a fan of showers when I'm sad or sick, I have a habit of sitting on the floor, crying and falling asleep. A bath normally does the trick for me. When KC and I broke up, i was in Hawaii with my mum and I was keeping it all in and being all strong, and I had a shower and let myself cry, really cry (it's making me want to cry now, jeepers) and I was so loud my mum could hear me in the other room, but it was the only time I cried about it, so it was a good cry. When I'm sick, I want flat lemonade (sprite, not lemon lemonade) and twisties. and my mummy. and to curl up with a blankey and a book. which is what i did today (minus the sprite and twisties and mum).

  8. Tea is pretty much the cure for everything :-) When I'm ill, I just want to curl up in bed with a book and a pot of tea. And all I want to eat is soup, usually from a tin since I really don't want to cook at that point and heating up some tinned soup is the most I can expect from the boyfriend ;-)



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