The flu is NO fun. Those achy pains, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, fever, vomiting—the flu runs a wide gamut of uncomfortable symptoms. Because flu season affects millions of people and the virus is highly contagious, I wanted to share some important, timely tips to protecting your health this season.
- Wash your hands—and wash them often. This is number one for a reason. While this task seems so simple, it’s easy to overlook. You’re shopping at the grocery store and touching the cart, the boxes of food, money, the credit card machine. Or, you’re at work touching the copier, touching the printer, sharing the lunchroom with all your co-workers. You’re dropping the kids off at school and touching book bags and door handles. And just think of all the other millions of places you touch in a day where germs live. Wash those hands as soon as you can or use hand sanitizer if you aren’t near a sink. And try not to touch your mouth or nose at all.
- Clean your electronics. That includes your phone, tablet, computer keyboard, TV remote, touchscreen in your car and more. Use a solution of 50 percent white vinegar and a soft, lint-free cloth and wipe those germs away without damaging your devices. This is a good daily practice year round. Studies have shown that our cell phones are actually dirtier than toilet seats. That is certainly going to make me remember to clean mine!
- Get your rest. A lack of sleep weakens your immune system and you can catch colds and the flu more easily. Your body needs to be ready to fight any strains of the flu virus you come in contact with, so try for 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night as an adult, and make sure children have at least 9 to 12 hours of rest. If you have trouble falling asleep, try using an app or listening to music while lying down.
- Know if you or someone in your family is at high risk. If you’re over the age of 65, pregnant, have a chronic illness—or if any other factor makes you high risk for the flu, keep that in mind. Also, be aware that infants under the age of two are at high risk. You have the option of having a flu shot. (I understand this is not for everyone, and I’m not making a recommendation either way. It’s an option.) And do your best to take extra steps to help yourself, such as by taking a supplement for a whole-body boost or eating fruits and veggies naturally high in antioxidants.
- Decrease stress. This is probably the toughest tip of all, as we deal with all kinds of stressors, especially during the winter months, including seasonal depression and with the busy schedule of holiday events. Try a meditation or gratitude practice that causes you to slow down and stop to breathe deeply throughout the day. Deep breathing releases tension, clears the mind, and stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluid, an important component in your body’s natural defense system.
Another tip if you DO get the flu: Stay home! Don’t spread the virus to others. Avoid the temptation to return to your regular schedule before you are truly better.
Wellness is crucial. Take care of yourself and your family. The flu is here to stay, and all we can do is protect ourselves and our loved ones in the best way we can.
If you want to chat more about the benefits of supplements, a healthy diet, or have any other health questions, please give me a call at 212-686-0939 or email me.