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I have a cold/flu, what do I do?

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

By Jenny Peterson

Grab all the immune boosting remedies from the cabinet babe, get the tylenol ready, he can’t have any sugar or dairy, make sure to give him remedies every 30 minutes like I wrote down. We are kicking this virus to the curb so we both can get back to work tomorrow.

Yup, this is the old me and my protocol whenever my son got cold and flu like symptoms.

Having a cold or flu back then was extremely stressful and scary to me. Today, my cold and flu healing protocol is quite different and less stressful.

This is a popular question I get from you my audience, what do I do when I have cold and flu symptoms, and I’m going to share my thoughts around this area and my healing protocol with you today to hopefully ease your mind and start building trust in your amazing body for when you experience these acute symptoms.

If you have kids, work with a lot of people, or simply turn on the news, getting colds or the flu seems to always be in your face. These acute symptoms seem to put the world into a state of frenzie, that I have yet to understand.

Let’s start with first understanding the difference between acute vs chronic. Cold and flu symptoms are typically acute, they last for only a few days or weeks and they are done. They include sore throat, cough, runny nose, body aches, etc. Chronic conditions are where you experience a symptom regularly for 3 months or more and are considered hanging healings, which I will get into later in this blog.

A typical response to a cold or flu symptoms

There are many factors that play into why you respond the way you do to these symptoms. It's going to all be based on your “programming” and the meaning that you give to them.

As kids, maybe our parents took us to the doctor and we were put antibiotics. I hear this all the time, that as a kid a person had strep many times over and was put on antibiotics every time.

A typical medical response will be antibiotics, tylenol, or some over the counter medication and stay away from others so you don’t give it to them.

For those that are more holistic, they have a tendency to grab a bunch of supplements like echinacea, garlic, or zinc to “boost” the immune system. Even sometimes you will hear of people detoxing during this time to get rid of all the “toxins”. Lots of air quotes here!

For me, it was the later of these two that I used to do when I was into more holistic practices. In fact, I would pull out all the immune boosting, virus and bacteria killing remedies I could find in my cabinets and take them all. Taking something every hour, even throwing in some homeopathics that I had. I would only take off working at my store if I absolutely couldn’t function and depended on those herbs and supplements to do their magic so I could get back to normal.

Both of these medical or holistic treatments are common approaches to cold and flu symptoms.

My question is, why on earth are we responding this way to a simple healing process of our body? Why as a culture are we so hesitant and fearful about having acute symptoms?

The meaning we give it

It all comes down to the meaning. Our perception, the meaning we give anything, is based on our subconscious programs that stem from society and the environment that we live and grow up in.

There are so many factors at play here:

  • We are taught to go grab a pill to fix everything or go to someone else that has the answers. The answers are outside of us rather than inside.

  • We don’t like being uncomfortable. We are taught to avoid discomfort. Don’t like your pain? here is a pill. Got trauma? here is a pill. Give me something to stop this runny nose.

  • We can’t stop because we need to be productive. It's not acceptable in our culture to rest or take a day off work or not go to school. It is a badge of honor when we don’t miss school or work. Just take a motrin or give them a tylenol so we can stay productive or so we don’t have to miss something. It is such a negative thing to rest the body, to nurture and allow the body to do what it needs to do. We are constantly suppressing so we can continue with our lifestyle or image that we want to be.

  • Generational trauma. If you have had members of your family die from the flu, that fear of death connected to the flu will most likely be passed on from generation to generation.

  • The fear of dying when the news announces the amount of deaths due to the flu or covid.

  • The limited beliefs that we are told about illness and our body. Like it is that time of year for colds, your immune system needs to be boosted, the bugs are all around you.

  • Growing up with parents that freaked out when someone had symptoms or had hypochondriac thinking. Everything is doom and gloom and fear based. So we do the same.

  • We are programmed to be fearful and weak in so many ways. We are never taught that we have the power within us or to build trust in that power.

Based on these programs, it's really no wonder why people panic. These are all fear based and because of that we are reacting out of survival rather than adaptability and trust.

Now, if someone reacted to a cut or broken bone this way, we would think they were frick'n crazy! But it is really the same process that is going on in the body.

We simply don’t understand how our body heals. We are not taught what healing looks like outside of a cut or broken bone and because of that, reactions are over the top and come from a state of panic.

Think about this reaction from a kids point of view! What covid and all the reactions to it did to them and their understanding of their body and sickness. We wonder why this just continues from family to family. Why are we doing this to our children?? Our kids and literally everyone are full of anxiety with the body symptoms they experience, and it really isn’t a mystery why based on all the programming that this happens.

If this isn’t how we should be responding to cold symptoms then what do they really mean? How do we get a “cold”?

Every symptom you have is connected to a body system. That body system is connected to a location in your brain and that location in your brain is controlled by your subconscious.

Our body systems only react based on messages from the command center, the subconscious. They don’t make changes unless there needs to be adaptation for survival.

Each of our body systems are connected to different ways in which we need to survive. The lungs are about breathing, our skin is our protection, our bones are our strength, our digestion digests.

So based on our perception of a situation, our subconscious determines if this perception is safe or unsafe. If it feels unsafe, then it tells the body to adapt because again it is all about survival.

So for example:

If you experienced a situation that stunk either literally or figuratively, your subconscious perceives it as not feeling safe. Maybe your kid threw up in the car and the smell was horrible or you reacted out of frustration and it bothered you for several hours afterwards. That may not feel like a threat to your survival on a conscious level but to the brain this is a message that feels unsafe.

Because your smell is connected to your sinuses, this area of your body adapts. As soon as you reacted to the situation, it immediately started making changes behind the scenes. You lost nasal cells so your nasal passages can widen to enhance your sense of smell. Because in nature, smelling a predator or other potential dangers is essential for survival.

A day later after you get over the situation, this sends a message to your body that the threat is gone and everything can come back to normal. So the body now wants to come back into balance, which means all the cells that were lost before when you were stressed out, need to be replaced.

This is when you will have a stuffed up nose, swelling, nasal discharge, headaches, etc. This is what is called the healing phase. This is healing. You have resolved the situation in your mind and now your body is coming back into balance. This is what healing is.

So colds or the flu are signs of healing. They mean you have gotten over something. Your symptoms determine what body system is involved and what kind of “survival risk” took place.

Your ears are about something you heard, sinuses is regarding something that stunk or frustrated you, your bronchs about something within your territory that scared you, lungs are about fear of death, and throat is something that was difficult to swallow.

So the symptoms that you experience, whether there are one or many, are all going to be based on how you perceive a situation. Again, because your perception is the message that determines the action in your brain and body.

A cold or the flu is an indication you have gotten over something and you are now healing.

What about when everyone gets the same thing?

When people in families or communities or countries get “sick”, this is no different. Within our families we often experience the same situation but we don’t always respond the same way. This is why not everyone gets the same symptoms and why some may not get anything at all.

Within our communities and world, we experience stress as a collective as well.

There are no bugs jumping from person to person. What you are experiencing is yours. You can’t catch a healing phase from someone. The body doesn’t make these changes without it starting from within the subconscious first. Remember it is the command center and the adaptation in the body only happens based on the message it receives.

Cycle of healing

It is important for us to understand the cycle of healing. Every symptom that we have moves through the phases of healing.

First there is the conflict, the situation that made you subconsciously feel unsafe. Once you get over the conflict, that triggers the healing process which will include inflammation, discharge, and then repair. You can see this phase in the very basic symptoms that we seem to accept much easier like a cut or a sprained ankle.

But the reality is that every body system goes through this phase in order to heal and come back into homeostasis.

It is during the healing phase that the good guys come out, which in the rest of the world, they are the bad guys. Like fungus, bacteria, and viruses. These are your clean up crew and are a very crucial part to the healing process. This is when we are experiencing symptoms at their worst, which is when we are healing, that they show up on the medical tests.

Symptoms of healing include: a fever, headaches, dizziness, chills, night sweats, diarrhea, fatigue, pain, inflammation, puss, discharge, weakness, etc.


Because people are not informed about this healing cycle and don’t want to feel uncomfortable, they grab for outside remedies to get rid of it, this is where suppression takes place.

There are consequences to these quick fixes and suppression. When you suppress, you stop the healing process. You basically tell the body, stop what you are doing.

So for short term comfort, we sacrifice our body doing what it is designed to do. When this happens, the healing process stops and when the suppression is done, the body will go right back to trying to heal again.

Inflammation is part of healing, pain is part of healing, discharge is part of healing.

Yes, you may be snotty. You're letting it out. That's perfect. If we suppress that, it's like telling your body that it's not allowed to poop! Nothing good would come from that. We need that discharge to come out and if it doesn't fully release, then it's always going to be trying to release and that is how chronic conditions happen.

Suppression happens in the case of most over the counter medications and prescriptions and there are certain herbs and supplements that do this as well.

You can see this suppression process when it comes to antibiotics. Someone gets on them for a bladder infection, the pain goes away, and they feel more comfortable but the bacteria that was there as part of the healing process has now been killed. So once the antibiotic is gone, the healing process starts over again which is when the cycle starts all over again.

Now I am not saying there aren’t times for medical intervention and that these medications need to be avoided completely. There is a time and place for them. But what is typically happening is that they are being overused and we simply don’t need them if we support the body during its healing rather than suppress.

What amazes me about the body is that no matter how much a person suppresses, it still continues to do what it needs to do to heal. It continues to work towards homeostasis.

New Meaning

To heal, you must shift the meaning that you are giving to symptoms. Shifting your perception and meaning to everything is actually at the root of all your problems, not just symptoms.

These acute symptoms are a good thing for the body to experience. It builds a stronger body because again it is about survival. What we experience helps us to become stronger in order to survive.

How you respond to these acute conditions is a mirror to how adaptable you are. If I experience a healing phase that requires me to chill out for a few days and just rest, I look forward to grabbing my favorite blanket and watching a movie and sipping some tea.

We are here to learn and grow. Our symptoms are actually helping us in that process. Every time you experience acute symptoms, you can choose to see it one of 2 ways: These are bad and uncomfortable, I need to stop them OR these are a sign that I have adapted to a situation, I am healing. If your symptoms continue to happen and are chronic, which is called a hanging healing, then it's an indication that you may need to look into how you are perceiving your situations.

Remember perception is based on subconscious patterns and those start from back in childhood. This is why if you have chronic conditions, it requires a much more in depth process to resolve them.

What do I do when I have symptoms or prevent them?

The solution of how to prevent and respond to cold/flu symptoms is the same. You have to trust and be adaptable.

Don’t watch the news. Don’t lock yourself up in a building away from everyone thinking this will prevent you from getting something. You're just adding fear with this and causing you to have other symptoms. Don’t be taking handfuls of supplements to boost your immune system. Your immune system doesn't need to be boosted, it knows what to do. Eating all the perfect healthy foods won’t prevent you from getting symptoms. Yes it makes you more resilient and supports your body when you heal but it doesn’t change your subconscious patterns. In fact I see a lot of people that are very health conscious about the foods they eat and they are all fear based. That isn’t healthy eating and it creates a lot of stress in the mind and body.

If you are constantly trying to prevent “getting sick” you will be obsessed with everything you do. I see this when people switch over to doing this work.

They stop fearing symptoms and then start fearing having stressful situations. Worrying about how they are responding to certain situations, if it is right or wrong and if it is going to cause a conflict.

The fear shifts from one thing to another and that is not what this work is about.

When you build trust in yourself, it allows you to be adaptable and therefore you respond to situations differently. When you know and trust that the body knows exactly what to do, with every time we trust that, it gets easier and easier.

How do I build trust that it's going to be ok?

Just like how you build trust in a relationship with someone else, that is how you build trust in yourself and body. That doesn’t happen overnight. It is little baby steps. You start with small things.

I am very confident in how I approach symptoms that myself or family gets. But that is because I have been doing this for years. Before the mind work, I may have done a lot of holistic things I don’t do now, but I still trusted myself to make those decisions. So that was a good foundation for me and then once I learned mind body work, then understanding why my body was doing what it does, helped me to trust my body. My own healing journey and doing the work myself is where a big part of this trust has come from. I had to let go of trying to control my body and healing, and simply surrender to what my body already knew to do.

There were moments where I got scared in the beginning and ran to the ER or the doctor. That is kind of the building trust process. You learn that maybe you overreacted or that you made a good decision, you got verification that everything is ok or whatever. It is part of learning and learning is going to be messy and not perfect.

You may need to start with little things to build trust in yourself and body. It may start with a cut that you get on your finger and you watch how it goes through the healing phases when you didn’t have to do anything.

Then it might be a rash that your child gets that you decide to let it run its course and not suppress the healing and see how it went away on its own. Then you might have a bout of diarrhea that you realize makes sense because you had a situation at work just before those symptoms showed up.

You stop googling and stop panicking and instead, start trusting; it is an amazing thing. Imagine how this makes our kids feel when we don’t panic when they have symptoms. They can relax and trust in you and at the same time they are learning to trust their own bodies.

It takes time to build the awareness and trust that you need to do this work. You have to remember that your brain has been wired with all this other programming and it is going to challenge you especially during those times when you want to do something different.

Secondly, this is also about personal responsibility. I’m going to be very honest here. Many people don’t want to take personal responsibility. It is uncomfortable and it requires you to pull up your big girl/boy panties. You have to stop blaming and start looking within.

It is easy to be a victim to our symptoms and situations but there is a lot of misery with that too.

When you do this work, you realize that there is only one person in charge of your health and life and it is you. This work empowers you to do anything and trust that you can.

Cold & Flu Plan

Lastly, I wanted to give you a cold & flu plan that you can follow for when you experience these acute situations.

Again, these are only suggestions, do what you choose to do based on what you feel comfortable with. If you truly believe you have a medical emergency then this is not a replacement for that.

These suggestions are to support your healing because again the body knows what to do.

  1. Listen to my 'trust your body' meditation - this will help you shift your mindset from fear to trust.

  2. Realize that you have resolved something and you are now healing.

  3. Rest - take a day or a few days off from working/school. By not resting you are just making your healing phase last longer because it is when you rest and sleep that your body is repairing the most.

  4. Stay hydrated - Water with electrolytes. You sweat and urinate a lot when you are in the healing phase so you want to make sure you are staying hydrated.

  5. Good food. Soups, good quality protein, eggs, healthy grains and fruit are very important during this time to support the healing process. This isn’t a time to limit food intake or detox. Your body needs support right now, not to be limited on resources or told to detox a body system.

  6. Warmth/heat if you don’t have a fever. Warmth keeps the blood flowing to the areas that need healing.

  7. Drink warm teas - I personally like to make a honey and cayenne pepper drink for when I have a sore throat or cough. Again, this is simply for soothing, I don’t look to it for fixing anything. The cayenne helps with the warmth and blood circulation to those areas.

  8. Take a bath if you don’t have a fever- I like epsom salt baths maybe with some lavender essential oil added.

  9. Apply peppermint/ginger based ointment to the nose or your chest to help with the stuffiness/congestion. You could also use a neti pot or something similar to help clear out congestion. Just know that the goal isn’t to stop it here, it is to move it along.

  10. I will use cell salts if needed. These again are not to fix anything, they are to support the healing process. Fevers are part of the healing process and you don’t want to stop them but ferrum phos is a remedy that will help to assist the body in moving the fever along. Kali mur is used for white secretions, kali sulph for yellow. I don’t want to go into depth about this area because it is a whole class in itself. But if it is an area that you would like to learn more about there are lots of resources out there about cell salts. Again, these can be abused as well. Giving to get rid of symptoms is not the goal with these, it is to assist the body. You still have to let the body run its course.

A lot of people misunderstand how long it takes sometimes to get back to feeling normal again, especially when it comes to bronchial or lung symptoms. These particular areas can take weeks to fully clean out. Remember they go through the inflammation, discharge and repair stage. That discharge phase can sometimes last a week, 2, or 3. It really depends on a lot of factors.

I know this cold and flu plan may sound very simple… and it is! We have complicated our health so much that simplicity doesn’t feel comfortable anymore. But the truth is that your body knows what to do. Trust me, I have had colds and flu’s where I took tons of remedies and frankly it didn't shorten the process up, my body still did what it needed to do. In my mind it may have made me feel better but that was it. I may have also made the healing last longer because of the fear I had around those symptoms, which is also something I commonly see. Since doing this work, going through healing phases with a very simple approach has allowed me to relax, rest and trust my body.

This is true health empowerment! I hope you found this information helpful to help you navigate through future cold & flu symptoms. Remember that every time you experience these, you have an opportunity to build trust in yourself and your body!


We get it, you're desperate to have your illness be a thing of the past, not something that defines your days. But trying to heal WITHOUT a custom plan is costing you precious time, money and energy!

You are unique, your symptoms are connected to very specific patterns within your subconscious.

Without a plan unique to you, you will continue struggling and miss out on the life you deserve to be living! To help you get started on your long-lasting healing journey, we would love to provide you with a healing plan that is unique to you. Get your custom healing plan today!

You can also Download my free healing guide, “Why Can’t I Heal” where you will learn the 5 reasons that you haven't healed despite everything you've tried. These are the missing pieces to your healing and the key to resolving your symptoms for good.

Jenny Peterson is the founder and CEO of Mind Body Rewire (MBR). She teaches those that are overwhelmed with trying to heal chronic symptoms how to simplify their healing by focusing on just one place, the subconscious mind. Learn more about MBR here.


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