We're steadily creeping into cold and flu season and since being sick is no fun, this year we're committing to the preventative measures that will keep us (and our immune systems) going strong through spring. Need a reminder about the best cold preventing practices? Read on.
1. Wash (and dry) those hands (a lot) — Go for both quality and quantity with your hand washing routine. Wash frequently (more than you think you need to) and scrub for at least 20 seconds a pop. Make sure to dry hands completely on a clean towel to prevent immediately picking up more germs with damp hands.
2. Sanitize your surfaces — Everything you touch is a potential germ catalyst so be extra diligent to keep your frequently used items clean, especially if other people are touching them as well. After all, germs can live on many surfaces for up to 48 hours so they have plenty of time to nab you. Your cell phone? It's probably filthy. Your keyboard? Germ factory. Take a few minutes each day to sanitize some key things and you could be saving yourself weeks of sick days.
3. Sleep is your best friend — Just do it. Treat your body right and it'll return the favor. Sleep is the most restorative thing you can do to keep your body functioning optimally so log plenty of sleeping time between the sheets and hopefully you'll wind up logging fewer miserable sick days in bed.
4. Boost your immune system — Keep your defenses in good shape so that the germs you do encounter can be deflected. Reduce stress through meditation (or any way that works for you), try acupuncture which has been shown to boost immunity and think about beginning a regular probiotic routine which can help strengthen your gut and ward off problems. Bonus: My best addictive cold weather habit? Regular use of my neti pot helps me rinse my sinuses before colds can set in.
5. Stock up on medication (just in case) — Even though you're doing everything in your power to stay well, if you do succumb to a bug, the last thing you're going to feel like doing is making a drugstore run. Keep necessities (and maybe a few extra sick day treats) in the house and maybe, just maybe, Murphy's law will work in your favor for once.
See? You already knew this; now you just have to put it into practice. Stay diligent and be well!