Cold and flu season is creeping up on us faster than we expected, so we better start preparing ourselves before we come down with something.
We obviously know the common ways to avoid getting sick, like washing our hands, getting a full 8 hours of sleep, and staying hydrated. It doesn’t stop there, though. There are plenty of other warnings and suggestions we should adopt in our fight against getting sick every year, and those warnings and suggestions will be provided for you below.
Let’s get started before our throats begin to scratch and our noses begin to run.
Rethink that last alcoholic beverage you want to have.
You don’t have to skip out on that glass of wine you always have with dinner, but I’d think twice about finishing the bottle (especially if you’re already feeling a little down in the dumps). Basically, what I mean is that drinking on a regular basis is not a bad thing. It’s only ever a bad thing when you overdo it and the circumstances aren’t right.
For instance, if you’ve been missing out on sleep lately or if you’ve been skipping your daily intake of water for the past few days, drinking extra alcohol is not the best idea. You see, when you drink a ton of alcohol, you hurt your body’s immune system by making it weaker. If your immune system is weaker, you’re more susceptible to get sick.
In addition, alcohol is known to dehydrate your body. Dehydration can affect sleep, and sleep can affect sickness, so really, it’s a full circle effect here.
Tip: If you’re already sick, try avoiding alcohol altogether, as it can actually lengthen your cold or flu by a few days.
Try to stay away from sugar as best you can.
Doctors and nurses warn us about the bad effects sugar can have on our bodies, but it goes further than just having bad effects. You see, sugar actually inhibits white blood cells from performing their job properly; the cells are unable to engulf bacteria and viruses if they are surrounded by sugar molecules.
With that being said, if you’re already sick, or if you feel a cold coming on, or even if you just want to avoid getting sick this winter season, I’d try to stay away from processed sugars. If you really crave sugar, go with the natural stuff and stick to fruits and vegetables. The candy and soda you’ve been craving can be pushed aside for a couple of weeks while you fight through flu season.
Go and get vaccinated.
I know a lot of people think this suggestion may be a hoax brought on by medical professionals, but they assure you that it’s not. They’re just trying to warn everyone that this years’ flu season will be especially bad.
Medical professionals will say that the strain on the market now protects against several different viruses, but they also would like to warn the public that the main virus it was made to protect us against may be stronger than projected. According to the doctors and nurses, this virus has mutated, as most viruses do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting your vaccine every year to protect yourself as best you can!
Wash everything you touch.
Now, I’m not trying to be literal with this statement, but I am trying to convey how important it is to wash what you touch. The following list of things should be washed at least on a weekly basis during the winter months:
- Light switches
- Bed rails
- Remote controllers
- Children’s toys
You want to stop the spreading of germs as best you can be disinfecting these items lurking around your home.
Do not bite your nails.
Unless you are absolutely always washing your hands, keyboards, and phone, do not bite your nails. Your hands are the areas of your body that are most susceptible to spreading germs.
Think about it this way: You touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands. You don’t want to touch these areas with your hands if there are germs present because if you do, you give your body the germs it needs to get sick. Plus, it doesn’t help the situation knowing that germs literally like to set up camp underneath your fingernails, so if you do bite your nails, it’s as if you’re just snacking on germs.
Use a nail clipper, please.
Get some fresh air.
This is relevant no matter what the temperature is outside. Even if it’s freezing, it’s still nice for your body to inhale some fresh air.
Think of it this way: One of the main reasons we get sick in the winter is because we’re sharing inside air with others. It’s not like your all outside with fresh air and an unlimited amount of space to breathe.
So, even if it’s quite chilly out, bundle up each day and head outside for a short walk. You could also open a window in the living room for a few minutes each day to try and get the air circulating better around you and your loved ones.
Hold your breath when you’re around someone that is sick.
Don’t make it obvious to the person that’s sick, but try your best to hold your breath around them when they cough or sneeze. When they cough or sneeze, they’re letting out germ particles into their immediate surroundings, and if you breathe in those germ particles, you’re more likely to get sick quickly.
And, what’s worse is that the germs spread a little bit further than we always thought they could. Take into consideration how close the person is and make your decision of whether or not you should be holding your breath. Try to hold it in for approximately 10 to 15 seconds, and you should be good.
Hope this helps you guys this winter season!
By Jenny Lyn