It’s that wonderful time of year again – runny nose, flu shots, sick days and trying to keep away from catching a cold or flu over the holidays. Follow these eight simple tips to surviving the cold and flu season without getting sick.
Wash Those Hands – ALOT
This is drilled into your head since grade school, but it is one of the most important practices to use in your daily life. Wash your hands after using the restroom, before handling or preparing food, before touching your face, after handling animals, or when you touch things that may not be clean.When you wash your hands, make sure that you aren’t doing it in a rush. Scrub with soap for at least 15-20 seconds.
Disinfect Your Tech
On average, we pick up our smartphones 46 times per day – and even more if you’re 18 to 24 years old, according to a study by Deloitte.All of this touching leads to a pretty grimy and germ-ridden surface. In fact, a study out of the University of Arizona found that our phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. And we hold these things to our faces! Keyboards aren’t far behind, harboring three times more bacteria than a toilet. First, don’t take your phone into the bathroom with you. Second, disinfect all tech surfaces regularly with gadget-approved wipes.
Stay Away, Or Just Stay Home
If you are sensing a cold creeping up on you … just stay home. When possible, avoid close contact with people who are ill — or with healthy people, if you’re the one who’s sick. What’s a healthy buffer? Try six feet or more. That’s how far experts think germs can travel after being sneezed or coughed into the air. You don’t want to be the one in the office who got everyone sick… that could make for a pretty uncomfortable holiday office party.
It can be hard to stay warm in winter, especially when spending time outdoors. However, being cold uses extra energy as your body struggles to maintain a proper temperature. The use of this energy can impact your immune system.
To stay warm, you’ll have to dress for the weather. Depending on how severe the winters are where you live, this can mean layering clothes, wearing multiple pairs of socks, wearing sturdy boots, scarves, gloves, hefty jackets, and hats.
Around the house, ensure that all doors and windows are properly sealed as to not let in a draft.
Score Regular Sleep
Getting sick is often directly correlated to a lack of restful sleep. If you do happen to get sick, not sleeping enough will only prolong the recovery process.Try to sleep and wake up around the same time every day, and don’t doubt the power of a quick nap during the day if you’re feeling sluggish.
The average amount of sleep that an adult needs is seven to nine hours, with teenagers and young children needing even more sleep in order to stay healthy. However, these are just the averages – listen to your body.
Stress is a huge factor to your immunity. If you’re stressing about work, the upcoming holidays, or problems at home, don’t be surprised if you end up with a bad case of the sniffles soon.
Taking some time out of your day to meditate can help you to ward off stress and boost your immunity. Ten to fifteen minutes of meditation several times a week can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
When the weather is cold and your teeth are chattering, drinking a cold glass of water is far from appealing. Luckily, there are many other ways to stay hydrated including drinking tea, hot water, warm milk, and coffee. Obviously, water is the best choice for hydration and should be your primary source, but there are plenty of options out there. Just remember that the body of an average adult man is 60 percent water. If you don’t drink enough you could end up getting seriously sick.
Take Those Vitamins
Taking a multivitamin once a day for the extra micronutrients that you aren’t getting from your food should be an important part of your routine, not just in winter, but year-round. This can help prevent any vitamin or mineral deficiencies from developing or can turn around a deficiency that has already developed. This, in turn, can help prevent you from coming down with something this winter.
The bottom line is, getting sick is no fun, especially when the weather is cold and the days are short. Following these eight tips to keep you as healthy as possible during the flu season.