Coming down with a cold or the flu is never pleasant. They take you out of commission for about a week, and in that time, your loved ones are doing all they can do to help you, while still remaining healthy themselves. If people could all employ a few simple techniques, the spread of colds and flu could be far less. Many people simply are not taking these necessary precautions to help them avoid catching these dreadful ailments.
It seems like common sense, but during cold and flu season people have to be vigilant about not sharing items such as drinks, food, eating utensils, hats, gloves and scarves. Within a family this is especially easy to forget. Often you all share from one another’s plate, and grab the closest pair of gloves as you run out the door. The danger of sharing food items is obvious, but the winter clothes? People sweat, sneeze and wipe their noses in their hats, gloves and scarves. Sharing them is sharing bodily fluids. Not many people wash these items each time they’re worn, so keep yours to just yourself. Sharing behaviors will contribute to spreading the flu if someone in the family has already been exposed. It is important to keep your distance from anyone that is already sick. Kissing and hugging should also be kept to a minimum, if at all. If you are helping to care for a sick family member, keep contact as minimal as possible. Keep thermometers and medicine cups clean, and the general area picked up and sterile.
No Touching Your Face
It is a good rule to never touch your face. If you train yourself to keep you hands off all the time, then during cold and flu season this will not be an issue. Transporting germs from your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth is the fastest way to catch a cold or the flu. Think about it, our hands do all the dirty work of the day. Would you touch your face everywhere your hands go? No! Well, you’re doing just that every time you place your unwashed hands on your face. So, no rubbing your eyes out of tiredness, pinching pimples, or picking your teeth. Even something as simple as leaning your head in your hands while you read can be trouble for you in just a few days. As harmless as these activities sound, they are all portals for colds and flu.
This old stand by still holds true. You must wash your hands correctly and often. Many people do not wash correctly. Cold water washing is not enough. Keep the water as warm as can be tolerated, wet your hands, dispense soap, and lather for at least thirty seconds. Next, do a thorough rinse for another thirty seconds, then dry. If you are in a public restroom you must use that drying towel to grab the door handle or else your washing was just undone. It is also a good idea to carry along a small bottle of antibacterial gel. These come in handy for times when you cannot get to a sink. Then, randomly throughout the day or whenever someone near you is sneezing or coughing, do a hand clean up.
Live Your Life, But Better
Boosting your daily vitamins to make sure you’re meeting the recommended dosage is another helpful tip to keep in mind. If your body is depleted in something, that can be a weakness and you may become more susceptible to colds and flu. Also, eating well, getting enough exercise and plenty of sleep also helps keep your body strong and better able to fight off any germs it may come into contact with. Practice activities that keep your stress at bay, as it has been proven that stress can weaken your immune system. Meditation, reading, listening to music or just chatting with a friend are all great stress relievers.
It’s difficult to avoid colds and flu every season. New strains pop up every year and it’s hard to prevent them all. These tips should help keep them to a minimum, and if you do fall ill, should help you recover faster. Here’s to your health!