It’s the season of giving, y’all…but we may be giving each other more than anticipated. The influenza and cold viruses are rampant this time of year, especially for those of us living and working on a college campus, or in other high-traffic locations. Below are some tips I’ve collected through the years to help stave off those icky germs!
Wash your hands, DUH!
Think about how many things we touch throughout the day…Other people’s hands, door knobs, microwaves, keyboards, and any common use items. These are easy ways for germs to transition onto your body, so lather up as often as possible with anti-bacterial soap and warm water. When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
Don’t touch your face.
The eyes, nose and mouth are entry points for bacterial and viral germs on your hands to get into your system. Be aware of how often you rub your eyes, bite your nails, and scratch your nose.
Stress lowers our immune systems, so make sure you are eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, and staying as stress free as possible during the flu season.
Go for a walk.
Exercise reduces stress and enhances immune system function. Get out there!
…From people who are already sick. Try to avoid touching items they have touched or standing close enough to catch airborne germs. If you do get sick, be considerate enough to stay home for several days, even after you are feeling better, because you could still be contagious. Also, if there is a loved one in your home who gets sick, you can still spread the germs to others even with no symptoms. Be aware and be considerate of others.
Bottom line: take extra care of yourself during cold and flu season. If you do come down with cold symptoms, and they get increasingly worse, visit your doctor to make sure you have the correct diagnosis and treatment.