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[Wellness Wednesday] 10 Things You Can Do To Stay Well Through Cold And Flu Season

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday everyone! This week I’d like to talk about increasing our chances of staying well during cold and flu season.

Okay, I can hear you groaning already….. I know we’ve heard it all before, but the reports I’ve seen on the news have been that 80,000 people died from flu or flu-related complications last year. That’s a HUGE number y’all!

Admittedly, I may not have any new tips here, but it doesn’t hurt to have reminders when we’re talking about our health.

Things You Can Do To Help You Stay Well

  1. Get the flu vaccine. This is, of course, between you and your doctor, but the vaccine is the first line of defense between us and the flu. Even if it doesn’t prevent you from getting certain strains of the flu it can lessen the time and severity of symptoms.  People who have certain medical conditions are advised not to get the flu vaccine, and the vaccines are not without possible side effects, so if you have concerns, be sure to talk with your doctor before getting it.
  2. Wash your hands often. Washing with soap and warm water is the best way to do this. Don’t do a “fly-by” though. The most effective way of getting rid of the germs is to wash them for at least 20 seconds, long enough to sing Happy Birthday twice.
  3. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. When you’re out and about and can’t get to the sink, using hand sanitizer can help kill those nasty germs.
  4. Keep your hands away from your face, especially your nose and mouth. How many times do we touch our face without even knowing it? Try to be conscious of this, as our mouths and noses are the perfect incubator for germs and gives them easy access to our system through the mucous membranes.
  5. Eat a healthy diet. Eating healthy foods improves our immune systems to help our bodies combat illness.
  6. Get plenty of rest. That’s easier said than done for some of us, but allowing our bodies to get the rest they need helps them repair things at a cellular level and can also strengthen our immune systems.
  7. Avoid getting too close to people who are obviously ill. If someone is coughing or sneezing, stay as far away as you can, and don’t shake hands with them. I know we don’t like to be rude by refusing to shake hands. One way I get around this is, if someone wants to shake hands or hug me, I’ll just say, “I think I’m coming down with a cold, so I won’t hug you (or shake hands with you).”
  8. Avoid eating at buffets, or if you do eat at them, wash your hands after you get your food but before you eat. You never know what kind of germs are sitting on those spoons you use to dip out your food, especially during this season, so washing your hands afterward may help reduce your chances of getting sick.
  9. If someone in your household is sick, avoid using the same towels to dry your hands. Kleenex makes disposable  hand towels that work great during these times. If you can’t or don’t want to use those, you could always just put a roll of paper towels out or make sure everyone uses individual hand towels.
  10. If you work, make sure you keep your workspace clean, and disinfect shared phones, computer keyboards, etc. often. A quick swipe of a disinfectant wipe a couple of times a day can help get rid of germs and avoid cross-contamination if someone in the office is ill.

I hope you find some of these tips useful. As I said, there’s probably nothing new here, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of things we can do to help keep ourselves as healthy as possible.

What are your best tips for avoiding the cold and flu? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri

24 comments

  1. It’s that season again, isn’t it? My sister is in a nursing home and her floor is not only under quarantine – 11 have been sent to hospital with severe flu symptoms. Good tips, Terri. Stay well all.

  2. Brilliant tips. I must admit I go abit nutty with washing my hands in the flu/cold season. 🙂 And I do everything I can to avoid others with the flu. One good thing about not teaching in a school this year, as it was impossible when teaching to stay away from colds completely. xxx

    1. Thanks Heather! I know you’re relieved to be away from all those germs at school. As you said, it’s awfully hard to stay away from colds completely when you’re exposed to so many students. Stay well, sweet friend!

    1. Thank you Cindy! We do eat at buffets occasionally – we have one here that we really like – we just avoid them during times that a lot of people seem to be sick around us. At other times I really don’t think too much about it. Stay well my friend!

  3. A very important topic and some great tips. Sadly, about 3 days after I got the flu jab I started getting a sore throat..2 days after that I felt incredibly rough and have been battling the flu ever since (coincidence to get the flu not long after the jab, but it’s also important to bear in mind the vaccination can take 12 days or so to kick in and provide max protection). I’m also pretty strict on making sure to chew down my Vitamin C tablets every day but they weren’t enough to save me this year. I hope you’re managing to stay flu-free, Terri! xx

    1. Oh no Caz, I’m so sorry you got the flu! I hope you get rid of that awfulness soon. Thanks for the reminder that it does take about 2 weeks for the flu shot to be fully effective. A lot of people swear by Vitamin C to get them through cold and flu season. I hope you’re feeling much better soon. Hugs!

    1. Thanks so much Ellie! I appreciate you reading. I loved the visual you had in your post about telling the difference between a cold and the flu. Please feel free to post your link to the article here if you’d like. Blessings to you!

  4. Thanks for sharing this Terri. It’s a simple list but yet so informative. The only one that I tend to have a hard time with is getting plenty of rest. At my age, I really adhere to most of those things listed because I can’t seem to shake my illness as quick as I could twenty years ago.

  5. Great tips! As I was reading I noticed my head propped up by my hand. 🙂 Hand off face…I know that one! Something I do that has helped is that at the first sign of something I mince raw garlic, let it sit for 10/15 min, then scoop it with a teaspoon of raw honey and take it like a shot, followed with water to wash it down (so it doesn’t burn your throat). I might do this for several days before bed. It helps. Wishing you a flu-free season!

    1. Thanks so much Mishka! Isn’t it amazing how often we touch our face without even realizing it? Thanks for the great tip about the honey and garlic – I’ve heard that garlic is great for colds and flu. I hope I don’t have any need for it, but if I do I might have to try it.😊 Wishing you a flu-free season as well. Hugs!

  6. #8 about buffets is something that has crossed my mind semi-consciously. It makes sense. Gonna work on that one. I usually eat to much at buffets anyway.

    1. Thanks for your comment JoAnna! I usually don’t think too much about germs and buffets, but during cold and flu season I’m extra-careful about things because the last time my hubby got the flu he ended up with pneumonia. Now I do everything I can think of to avoid those nasty flu bugs… Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thanks so much Kirsten! It’s amazing how many times we touch our faces and don’t even realize it. I know I really have to be conscious of it, because I’m always rubbing my eyes or propping my chin on my hands…. Wishing you a flu-free season!

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