With fall comes the beautiful changing leaves, refreshing rain pour, and exciting holidays. However, fall also ushers in the dreaded cold and flu season. Friends, coworkers, family members, and neighbors suddenly start exhibiting symptoms, and maybe you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that it’s going to happen at some point. But what if you didn’t have to?
Here are some tips on how to stay healthy when everyone around you is getting sick.
- Prevent the Spread of Germs
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or desk.
- Disinfect high-touch surfaces and avoid germ-ridden areas.
- Stop biting your nails! (I paint mine to prevent the bad habit.)
- Keep up on your laundry, which often carries germs.
- Boost Your Immune System
- People who get less than 7 hours of sleep a night are 3x as likely to catch a cold as those who get adequate sleep. Make time for rest!
- Strengthen your system with a healthy diet of vitamins and nutrients, like vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.
- Avoid excess sugar, which impairs the immune system’s response. (That means getting rid of your leftover Halloween candy!)
- Increase your water intake to combat the dehydration caused by illness. Inhaling steam early on when you’re sick may also reduce the spread of a virus.
- Get Some Fresh Air
People often fall ill during the fall and winter months because they confine themselves in warm, stuffy rooms with disease-ridden air. To diffuse this shared air festering in indoor spaces:
- Open a window to let the fresh air in.
- Go for a refreshing walk outside.
- Consider purchasing an air purifier.
This advice may seem elementary, yet we tend to overlook the simplest aspects of health and preventative care, instead opting for medications and treatments that only mitigate our symptoms after the fact. With a little investment in yourself, you don’t have to suffer through the time, discomfort, and cost of getting sick.
But if you do end up feeling ill, I encourage you to be considerate of the places you go and surfaces you touch. Many workplaces encourage staying home when sick to prevent others from falling ill. Break the cycle this cold and flu season by putting in the time and effort for health. You deserve it.